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Lift-off for urban cable car projects as cities seek transport solutions

M II A II R II K

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Lift-off for urban cable car projects as cities seek transport solutions


6 November 2012

By Sophie Landrin



Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/06/cable-cars-transport-solutions-france

.....

Just before this summer's Olympics, London launched the Emirates Air Line. Its 34 cars bridge the Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Docks, running 90 metres above the ground. Visitors to Barcelona can climb to the top of Montjuic hill in a gondola lift. Its counterpart in Koblenz spans the Rhine then rises to the Ehrenbreitstein fortress. Rio de Janeiro, New York, Portland, Algiers, Oporto, Bolzano: the list of cities equipped with a cable car is growing longer every day.

- Cable transport is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, safe and requires little infrastructure. It is particularly suitable for crossing natural obstacles such as rivers or scaling hills, there being no need for expensive engineering work. Over an equivalent distance a cable link costs half as much as a tram line, and though no rival for underground railways in terms of capacity, some models can carry up to 8,000 passengers an hour.

- A 5km link is under study in the Paris suburbs. Branching off from a metro line, it would connect Créteil to Villeneuve Saint Georges via Limeil Brévannes. The Paris Region Transit Authority (Stif) is set to publish the results of a feasibility study early next year. "We are enclosed on all sides, trapped between several hills and the Seine, with several major road and rail routes to cross too, so it would be a suitable form of transport," says Marc Thiberville, vice-president of Val de Marne departmental council. "The cable car would take less than a quarter of an hour, whereas it currently takes half an hour by car and 45 minutes on the bus."

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M II A II R II K

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More options for technology that have their own unique advantages over any other technology should always be explored.

DVP, Centre Island, downtown people mover loops perhaps. Also I wonder if it were ever considered to have low level cable busses run above busy streets as a viable alternative to streetcars that aren't LRTs. Since they aren't really fast they could work well on frequent stop routes and most importantly be off the road.
 
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diminutive

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too low capacity. (2-4 people a car)

Cable car people, if there is such a thing, have always maintained that the systems could get ~8,000 pphpd, but I've never understood if that refered to cable propelled systems like the LINK Train @ YYZ. Can you put longer trains on cables? O are they limited to the pods?
 

gweed123

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More options for technology that have their own unique advantages over any other technology should always be explored.

DVP, Centre Island, downtown people mover loops perhaps. Also I wonder if it were ever considered to have low level cable busses run above busy streets as a viable alternative to streetcars that aren't LRTs. Since they aren't really fast they could work well on frequent stop routes and most importantly be off the road.

I think something like this would be most useful as a Union - Billy Bishop - Centre Island type of thing (or at the very least Queen's Quay to Centre Island, to replace the aging ferries).

Another option that I think would work well is from Renforth Gateway to Pearson, and then on to Malton GO.
 

M II A II R II K

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Longer cars with more hooks perhaps for greater capacity. A downtown and/or high density area could have cable car people movers in addition to the mass transit that's already there.
 

rbt

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too low capacity. (2-4 people a car)

I've been on ski-lift gondolas that held 20 people plus their crap (bulky winter clothing, skis/boards, etc), etc. Frequency was probably one every 20 seconds too (very large doors).

Tourist gondolas get much larger than that and can be built to fully stop for wheelchair access.


Might make a good ferry replacement but anyplace there is level ground an LRT is significantly easier to deal with in the event of emergencies.
 
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JayBeeGooner

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I think something like this would be most useful as a Union - Billy Bishop - Centre Island type of thing (or at the very least Queen's Quay to Centre Island, to replace the aging ferries).

Another option that I think would work well is from Renforth Gateway to Pearson, and then on to Malton GO.

A cable car system will never be able to match the capacity of a ferry, and the Toronto Island ferries run every 15 minutes to the Centre Island. I do not know the cost of building a cable car system, but I can't imagine it would be cheaper than simply buying new ferries. The current ferry fleet is over 50 years old.

Also, the support pylon might present obstacles for boats in the harbour.

I can see a cable system as an additional crossing over the Don Valley, but that's about it.
 

M II A II R II K

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The St. Clair ROW would have been better if it has this sort of thing dangling above the street instead of through it.
 

gweed123

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A cable car system will never be able to match the capacity of a ferry, and the Toronto Island ferries run every 15 minutes to the Centre Island. I do not know the cost of building a cable car system, but I can't imagine it would be cheaper than simply buying new ferries. The current ferry fleet is over 50 years old.

Also, the support pylon might present obstacles for boats in the harbour.

I can see a cable system as an additional crossing over the Don Valley, but that's about it.

Gondola systems can carry up to around 4,000 pphpd. I think that could theoretically handle the capacity.

The St. Clair ROW would have been better if it has this sort of thing dangling above the street instead of through it.

May be an interesting solution to connect St. Clair Stn to St. Clair East (over the Don Valley), or another point on the east side of the valley.
 

Hipster Duck

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These things are only good in two contexts: to cross a deep, narrow, busy waterway or to climb a very steep, tall hill. Since a tunnel is being built to Billy Bishop the number of places where this has any use in Toronto are exactly zero.

Plus, there's the other downsides, such as the fact that it can only serve point-to-point (2 termini) destinations, the secluded cabins are a sexual harassment waiting to happen and if any stoppage occurs, passengers are left dangling in a claustrophobic cabin dozens of meters above the ground.
 

jamincan

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You could introduce a stop on the Richmond Hill GO line in the Don Valley and then establish a connection to the Danforth Line with a cable car.
 

gweed123

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These things are only good in two contexts: to cross a deep, narrow, busy waterway or to climb a very steep, tall hill. Since a tunnel is being built to Billy Bishop the number of places where this has any use in Toronto are exactly zero.

That's a bit of a logical fallacy, isn't it? I've only ever seen a monorail in action at Disney World, does that mean that's all it's good for? There are plenty of examples of gondolas being used in operating environments that are far different from the two that you proposed (Medellin for example).

Plus, there's the other downsides, such as the fact that it can only serve point-to-point (2 termini) destinations,

Incorrect. Medellin's system has multiple lines that have 4+ stations on each line.

the secluded cabins are a sexual harassment waiting to happen and if any stoppage occurs, passengers are left dangling in a claustrophobic cabin dozens of meters above the ground.

As opposed to being trapped in an underground tunnel that's barely lit, where the nearest emergency exit could be several hundred feet away? Personally, I'd prefer to be up in the air.
 

ssiguy2

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They certainly have their place and hats off to cities that are trying to entertain alternative forms of transit.
There are only a few places I could see where it would be particularily useful in Toronto. The first is, of course, to the Islands and Button and the second would perhaps be a "connector" for the UT Scarborough campus to STC.

One area that it could be very useful and much faster would be along Toronto's Finch Hydro corridor. It would much cheaper than LRT, faster, easier to build, and no one could bitch about the overhead wires seeing it's going along the Hydro line. They can also be quite effective for point to point destinations using rail corridors and vacant lands along highways and the DVP comes to mind.
 

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