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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rare in North America, gondolas all the rage down south

A MetroCable line connects San Agustín, Venezuela, with Caracas City

Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH

A MetroCable line connects San Agustín, Venezuela, with Caracas City



With Clearwater considering gondolas, as well as St. Pete thinking about them, now might be a good time to see how the rest of the world is using them.

The Hamilton Spectator reported last week about how gondolas are being used elsewhere in the world.

According to Steve Arnold, gondolas have really caught on, just not in North America.

La Paz, Bolivia, has built a network of gondola cars into its transit system — a $235 million chain of 11 stations capable of handling 9,000 passengers an hour. The service has been said to cut commuting time for suburban travellers from two hours to 25 minutes.

Integrated systems are also operating in Caracas, Venezuela; Constantine, Algeria; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Medellin, Colombia, which was the first city to install them for mass transit purposes in 2004; Ankara, Turkey, Lagos, Nigeria, Mexico City, London and Berlin are also on board.

Arnold does mention that gondolas have been used in North America. But as far as a widespread commuter system, Clearwater could be a sky crawling pioneer.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 11:29am]


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