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Austin - Gondola Cable Car

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art_suckz
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Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby art_suckz » 25 Oct 2016 09:43

WireOneGondola-Austin.jpg.838x0_q80.jpg


http://www.argodesign.com/work/wire-one.html

Map_01mf.jpg


http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/lo ... al-/nshNm/

By Taylor Goldenstein - American-Statesman Staff
Posted: 3:31 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016

1. We’re at the beginning of a first-blush study. The viability study will cost $15,750, funded in equal parts by the city of Austin, Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority and Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which voted this week to participate. Still, the prospects for such a system are hazy. If it’s deemed viable, the agencies would have to decide whether to embark on a more extensive feasibility study that could cost as much as $1.5 million.

2. Building the system could cost between $290 million and $550 million. The proposal by design firm Argodesign consists of an initial 8-mile, 19-stop line on South First Street running from Slaughter Lane and then, after crossing the river, on Guadalupe Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. How it would be funded is unknown.


More interest around the world.

http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transport ... an-transit

Ficklin and his team anticipate that the system — a “meaningful mass transit line in the middle of the city” that, like other urban gondolas, would be cheaper and easier to build than light rail, subway lines and bridges — could accommodate between 2,400 to 6,000 riders per hour. This, by Ficklin’s estimates, is equal to running 100 full city buses per hour. The continuously loading, schedule-free system, which would run 19 hours a day to accommodate Austin’s sizable population of queso-scarfing night owls and insomniac students, would be fully ADA compliant. Commuters would also be able to bring their bikes along for the ride.
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DPatel304
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby DPatel304 » 25 Oct 2016 13:41

I've heard rumblings about this project, but this is the first time I'm reading about it in detail.

To me, Gondolas just seem like a touristy attraction and not a proper means of public transportation (which is what Austin desperately needs). But now that I know more information, it sounds better than I originally thought. My only concern is the speed at which these things will run. I wonder how long it would take to get from Campus to Downtown. Luckily, based on the map, it looks like they aren't planning to cover a huge area, so even a slow speed shouldn't be detrimental to the whole system.

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art_suckz
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby art_suckz » 25 Oct 2016 13:47

Traveling The Wire from terminus-to-terminus in air-conditioned 10-person cars traveling 12 miles per hour would take roughly 44 minutes. This isn’t necessarily the speediest way to get across town but soaring across the city over both highways and the Colorado River is certainly the more scenic option.


edit: here you go.

Route_01mf.jpg
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tamtagon
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby tamtagon » 27 Oct 2016 07:58

"Don't Dallas my Austin"

As long as they keep all this fluff froo-froo in Austin and out of San Antonio, I'll be okay with it.

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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby Tnexster » 27 Oct 2016 12:49

Would they not be better off with a streetcar that runs the same route? Seems like a more logical option, this looks like a tourist thing, which is fine unless you're allocating resources that should be spent on improving the horrid commuting issue in Austin and spending it on a toy for tourists.

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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby DPatel304 » 28 Oct 2016 09:51

Tnexster wrote:Would they not be better off with a streetcar that runs the same route? Seems like a more logical option, this looks like a tourist thing, which is fine unless you're allocating resources that should be spent on improving the horrid commuting issue in Austin and spending it on a toy for tourists.


I think the problem is, is that the roads are congested as is. Their bus service seems to be pretty sufficient here, but it takes up space on the road. I suppose they could go with the streetcar route, but, IMO, it makes sense to just create dedicated bus lanes throughout the city (some parts already have dedicated bus lanes). There isn't really a stigma against buses in Austin as there is in Dallas, so I don't see the advantage of a streetcar, other than looking cooler.

Regardless, they should definitely not be wasting their time and money on a tourist attraction. Traffic here is a very real concern and it gets worse by the day, so I assumed that the Gondola was a serious attempt at fixing that. I think, with the roads being as congested as they are, their options are to either build something above the roads (the Gondola) or underground (subway). A subway seems out of the option, which is a shame, because they are relatively small and pretty dense, which would make it perfect for a subway system.

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art_suckz
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby art_suckz » 28 Oct 2016 10:08

Also this is cheaper than rail and way cheaper than subway.
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electricron
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby electricron » 31 Oct 2016 07:51

Aerial cable tram lines can be very expensive to build, maintain, and operate. In a scenario transit oriented more so than a tourist ride, Portland's cable tram to Oregon Health & Science University campus, expenses are far more than was projected.

The tram cost $57 million to build—a nearly fourfold increase over initial cost estimate of $15.5 million. Operating costs of $1.7 million yearly are nearly twice original projections of $915,000. OHSU is the largest employer within that city, atop a hill 500 feet above the majority of the city will limited access.

One could argue that an aerial tram car was the best way for Portland to improve access to OHSU campus for it to continue to grow - one can not make that suggestion for Austin. There's no 500 feet tall hills with steep grades in Austin to overcome.

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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby KTuser » 31 Oct 2016 15:32

But there is a river which greatly limits car access and a large, growing, and dense population on one side and a city center on the other. I suspect that building and maintaining a gondola on a flat elevation would be less costly than for a gondola going up a hill (to what- as you describe it - is a single location). While I have not seen or done any analysis on the economics of a gondola for Austin, I think the premise of your argument is wrong.

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electricron
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby electricron » 01 Nov 2016 07:32

Roosevelt Island in New York City is assessable by an aerial tram. It is the only other commuter aerial tram in North America. It is placed almost immediately adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge. In 1993, when the subway finally arrived at Roosevelt Island, it's ridership fell from 5,500 to 3,000 riders per day. If you live on Roosevelt Island, you only have two choices to commute off, the aerial tram or the subway. The East River this tram spans is navigable by fairly large ships and rises 250 feet above sea level. A bridge when need ramps longer than the island is wide to reach that height, which is why a bridge wasn't built.

The Lake or River between south and north Austin is not navigable by large ships - at most you'll see boats - so one wouldn't have to be built 250 feet up. And on both sides there's plenty of room for ramps if it had to built so high. Ever took Loop 8 over the Houston Ship Channel?

In both aerial trams used by daily commuters in North America, there were obstacles much more difficult for roads to overcome than are present in Austin. Both only have just the two terminals on either end. Both run or span less than a mile in length. And both cost more than $25 million to build anew or remodel recently.

In comparison, a streetcar costs around $15 to $20 million per mile to build on average. It can be extended far beyond a mile in length without difficulties. Streetcars can easily carry more than 5,500 passengers per day.

I'm not suggesting aerial trams wouldn't work in Austin. I am suggesting it is the wrong solution for the terrain present in Austin. If your goal is to get transit above the streets, an elevated guideway for buses, light rail trains, or streetcars would be a better solution.

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art_suckz
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby art_suckz » 01 Nov 2016 09:50

If I have my math right... for building alone DART has spent around $5.5 Billion for 90 miles. That $61 mil per mile.

For the Gondola if you say it costs between $290 and $550 Mil then that's roughly $52.2 per mile ($36 mil on low end).

So, the articles compare this to Light rail. If street cars are that much cheaper, then A Gondola/Light Rail comparison is not valid.

Street car wins if you don't care about road congestion.
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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 01 Nov 2016 18:21

electricron wrote:There's no 500 feet tall hills with steep grades in Austin to overcome.


You've obviously never done a triathlon in downtown Austin. It might not be 500 feet, but there's one hill that sure feels like it....

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KTuser
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby KTuser » 03 Nov 2016 09:01

@electricron: intelligent post thanks. I used to live very close to the Roosevelt Island gondola and took it over to see friends on Roosevelt Island.

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electricron
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Re: Austin - Gondola Cable Car

Postby electricron » 30 Mar 2017 23:17

From http://www.statesman.com/news/local/rep ... dRE3hzTXI/

Report grounds dream for Austin gondolas.
After reviewing an analysis of the Wire One Austin urban gondola proposal, the city of Austin, Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority and Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority concluded Friday that they will not move forward with planning such an unconventional mode of transit.
“We’re not saying that it has no future or has no role in Austin’s mobility,” said Todd Hemingson, Capital Metro’s vice president of strategic planning and development. “But we are essentially saying that … there’s more work to be done before it could really be considered.”

Link to A&M study
https://lintvkxan.files.wordpress.com/2 ... -final.pdf

Metrocable from Colombia used as an example. Really?
Googlle it. Note how high the towers and the gondolas are above the ground in Colombia, then note how low the drawings place them in Austin in the A&M study.. Two entirely different realities! Also note the differences in sizes of the stations. It's amazing how advocates always minimize the size of aerial structures needed in proposals, while in reality these structures are always much larger.


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