Over at streets.mn, I have a post about everyone’s favorite fictional urban transit revolution, the urban gondola (or aerial tram).
The case history on US urban gondolas doesn’t look good cost-wise, but the travel time savings look great. The Portland Aerial Tram, which could also be called an urban gondola (if you consider low-slung Portland urban), cost $57 million, or roughly $90 million per mile, if I calculated the hypotenuse correctly. The Portland Aerial Tram travels at a top speed of 22 mph, which could make an Uptown Transit Station to Hennepin-8th Street trip in 6.5 minutes. That’s about one-third the posted travel time for the #6 bus, and less than half the travel time of the limited-stop #12. 6 minutes is even less than half the travel time identified by Metro Transit for an upgraded arterial BRT on Hennepin.