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Gondola Idea Linking Airport to Downtown Floated in San Diego

As San Diego plans a major airport redevelopment, County Supervisor Ron Roberts is advocating an aerial cableway concept to connect the airport to downtown.
October 13, 2018, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Gondolas as transit aren't exactly prevalent in the U.S., but now the concept has been put forward once again in San Diego. Jennifer Van Grove writes, "More recognizable as a ski lift or gondola, an aerial cableway system is the best answer to the airport's in-and-out transportation woes, according to County Supervisor Ron Roberts. His office commissioned a report to study the feasibility of using a so-called 'skyway' to get people from the Convention Center to San Diego International Airport, and vice versa, with a handful of stops at various points along Harbor Drive."

The study follows an environmental review conducted by the airport on a proposed $3 billion redevelopment that has prompted some traffic concerns. "The report found that a skyway system that follows Harbor Drive from Fifth Avenue at the Convention Center to the airport would cost from $230 million to $300 million to build, and an additional $11 million to $12 million to operate annually. It could transport up to 2,400 passengers per hour, per direction in enclosed eight- to 12-passenger cabins."

For the time being, Van Grove says, the idea is just food for thought. But it's been shared with the mayor, the Port of San Diego, and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority with the intent to spur interest.

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Published on Friday, October 12, 2018 in The San Diego Union-Tribune
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