One of the Bay Area’s two Major League Baseball teams is looking at building the first 3S gondola in the United States. The $123 million system would transport up to 6,000 passengers per hour and direction between downtown Oakland and a new waterfront ballpark, becoming one of the highest capacity lift systems in the world in 2023. Thirteen or so 35 passenger cabins would depart approximately every 21 seconds at full speed, yielding a three minute trip from the BART regional train network to the stadium near Jack London Square. The gondola would be feature just one tower between stations thanks to tricable technology, which can traverse large spans while achieving high throughput.
A’s President Dave Kaval noted at a Saturday press conference, “I think anyone’s who’s sat in traffic in the Bay Area, which is everybody, realizes there’s a need for new, innovative transportation options.” He continued, “In terms of transportation systems, we feel [a gondola] is a great investment and a great way to open up this part of the city and remove that original barrier of the 880 that cut off the waterfront from downtown Oakland.” Over the first ten years of operation, the gondola could generate $685 million in economic benefits through construction work, new jobs, increased taxable sales and time savings for commuters according to a study completed by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. The lift would service an estimated on million riders a year with an operating cost of $4.6 million.
Oakland is already home to two cable-driven transportation systems, both built by Doppelmayr. A monocable detachable gondola links new and old sections of the Oakland Zoo and a $484 million ropeway people mover links the Oakland Airport to a nearby BART station. The Athletics’ 3S would be the first installation of its kind in America, unless the Los Angeles Dodgers beat them to the punch. “We are in discussion with a few companies and plan to select our partner soon,” says Kaval.
Faced with the possibility of losing its operating lease completely, Sunshine Village reluctantly agrees to new guidelines that remove the proposed Goat’s Eye tramway, Bye Bye Bowl expansion and Wildside lift from future consideration. A second lift in the existing gondola corridor, Goat’s Eye II, Lookout, Hayes Hill and Lower Meadow Park expansions are still possible.
Environmental groups and Squaw Alpine are still sparring over the proposed California Express gondola.
Resorts across the Pacific Northwest come to the aid of Hurricane Ridge season pass holders, who lost a month of their season due to the government shutdown.
Rain delays the debut of Spider Mountain, the seventh lift-based destination for Mountain Capital Partners.
Under blue sky at 12,000 feet, the President of Bolivia pressed start at high noon yesterday for Línea Blanca, the newest gondola in the world’s urban ropeway capital. Surprising thousands gathered for the occasion, President Evo Morales then proceeded to inaugurate the first section of the Sky Blue line, initially slated to open later this year.
The day was momentous as seven color-coded gondola lines now stretch contiguously throughout La Paz and El Alto with no significant gaps between them. From this weekend, Mi Teleférico (My Cable Car) includes approximately 140,000 feet of haul rope, 962 gondola cabins, 168 towers and 26 stations. The scale is almost unbelievable and there are still four more lines in development!
Built by Doppelmayr like most of Mi Teleférico, the White line services four stations with 131 10-passenger cabins. It’s capable of transporting 3,000 passengers each hour on a 13 minute trip between the Sky Blue (Celeste) and Orange (Naranja) lines. The initial section of Celeste was once planned to be part of a four-section White line which was later split to serve additional neighborhoods and prevent any one line from becoming too congested. Like most of the world’s largest gondola system, I’m pretty sure the White Line is made up of two separate haul rope loops and vault drive systems with cabins that rotate through both.
There’s quite a party in the urban gondola capital of the world tonight as Mi Teleférico (My Cable Car) opens the Bolivian capital’s fifth urban gondola line. The Línea Naranja (Orange Line) carried its first public passengers just after 6:00 pm and will serve some 30,000 La Paz commuters daily. Joining the Red, Yellow, Green and Blue lines already in service, the new 10-passenger Doppelmayr system features the world’s first underground gondola station and amenities such as free Wi-Fi, video monitoring and cabin lighting. As La Paz builds out its eleven-line subway in the sky, the Orange Line forms an impressive continuous gondola route 6.1 miles long with the Blue and Red lines.
Like its predecessors, the newest line is technically two gondolas with four stations, a combined 26 towers and 127 cabins representing a $66 million investment. One way ride time is 9.5 minutes with a capacity of 3,000 passengers per hour, per direction. The project uses a mix of UNI-G and tunnel-style terminals built into modern station buildings.
Could a north-south gondola effectively move people through the town of Breckenridge much like TellurideandMountain Village pioneered twenty years ago? A team from SE Group presented Phase 1 of its Gondola Transit Study (pages 28-47) to the Breckenridge Town Council on July 11th. The document looks at siting, capacity and cost for a system that could include up to seven stations with the goal of creating a system which reduces traffic congestion, improves connectivity between Breckenridge Ski Resort and the town and enhances the experience of riding transit.
The study’s first siting principle was to serve core destinations from peripheral parking areas to get people out of cars. Another principle placed stations no more than 2,400 feet apart with the assumption that skiers would not willingly walk more than 1,200 feet in winter. The shortest and simplest option would begin at the Satellite North Parking (Station 1) and end at the BreckConnect Gondola (Station 5) with three mid-stations. This option would span 7,530 feet and utilize 84 gondola cabins. The second option (Stations 1-7) would follow the same route but add two more stations at Riverwalk Center (Station 6) and F-Lot parking (Station 7). This one would be 10,395 feet with 116 cabins. The most ambitious alternative, dubbed 1-7b would include the same first five stations but diverge at Gondola Center to the ice rink. This would stretch 12,630 feet with 140 cabins and seven stations. All routes contemplate utilizing separate haul rope loops so that only certain stages could be operated during off-peak times and seasons.
The report notes the first two alternatives could be built easily, as “[they] present few physical barriers; alignments easily pass between existing buildings, transect relatively few private parcels, and appear to have a clear corridor.” The third alternative with stations 6b and 7b reaches more people but a high cost. While the 40-foot corridor for Stations 1-7 encompasses land owned by the Town, CDOT, Vail Resorts, the Summit School District and one private landowner, the alignment for stations 6b and 7b adds four more private parcels and significant complexity.
Revelstoke homeowners aren’t happy lift development has stalled for almost ten years now. The resort’s response identifies master plan lifts 1 and 11 as the highest priorities but notes construction of them is subject to market demand.
In an interview, new Crystal Mountain owner John Kircher says he wants to build a second gondola to Campbell Basin.
NY State Fair gondola continues to be targeted as an example of government waste.
Whaleback’s T-Bar project is a go. The lift came from Plattekill, NY and will be installed by SkyTrans.
Poma reaches agreement to build new gondolas in Vietnam with the first next-generation Sigma Diamond EVO cabins introduced yesterday at Interalpin. The new cabins offer more natural light and feature doors that slide rather than opening out.
Wolf Ridge, NC closes for the season following lightning damage to 1988 Doppelmayr quad. The place has an interesting past; a 2006 Doppelmayr CTEC quad and 1980 Borvig were both abandoned after a 2014 fire and only two lifts remain.