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New year, new idea: gondolas as public transport in megacities

Jan 1st 2013 6:50 AM EST




Here's a new thought for the new year: stringing public transportation pods between buildings, also known as gondolas. This is the idea of Michael McDaniel, a designer at Frog Design, who proposed The Wire, a hanging mass transit solution for Austin, TX.

The Wire answers the question that Frog workers posed to themselves: "Why haven't ski lifts or cable?powered transit been considered as a viable solution for mass transit in a place like Austin?"

There are a number of upsides here: gondolas would be cheaper than subways (by a long shot ? subways can cost up to $400 million per mile and The Wire could be implemented for around $3 million a mile) and they can be used in tight, congested areas. A gondola system ? easy (relatively) to install and expand ? could also move up to 10,000 people an hour, which could replace 100 bus trips or 2,000 car rides. There are downsides as well. For example troubles with wind and the hurdle of trying to introduce yet another mobility concept to car-bound Americans. Still, McDaniel and his team want to try, as you can see in the video about this pie-in-the-sky idea below.

Michael McDaniel: Rethinking Solutions For The City from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo.

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Filed under: Emerging Technologies, Transportation Alternatives, Videos
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