AUSTIN, TX—It’s an idea that sounds just weird enough for Austin.
A local design firm’s has imagined a system of gondolas spanning Austin’s skyscrapers, and while city planners have not put it on a fast track, the idea also hasn’t gone away, reports the Austin Business Journal.
The project, known as the Wire, hasn’t worked its way into discussions about transportation solutions, the Journal says.
Michael McDaniel and Jared Ficklin of Frog Design Inc. helped create the project and recently gave a presentation as part the TED talk series on the subject. They argue that gondolas have some of advantages over traditional transit.
They compared the idea to the ski lifts of Europe, which have the capability to move millions of people each day without having to stick to a set schedule. McDaniel and Ficklin estimate that a system of gondolas would cost about half as much as the $550 million urban rail project the city has planned.
Stops could be incorporated into existing buildings, and stringing wires doesn’t require buying right of way.
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