For Those Who Want An Aerial Tramway To SFU

This has just happened and file it in “I told you so” department”.

When things go wrong, they go wrong very badly.

When aerial tramways fail, the result is catastrophic.

Those who promote exotic transit modes do not think about safety or the constant maintenance needed to keep the transit mode safe.

A recent comment by Mr. Cow has all of a sudden become very relevant:

The subject came up about the possibilities of urban sky gondola technology, like the planned one to Simon Fraser University. This technology doesn’t move a lot of people unless you spend a lot, on a truly grand and significantly complex 4 plus cable operation (2 or more suspension cables traveling in each direction). The huge operating and maintenance costs as well as the rate at which Translink wants to subsidize the operation has never really been made clear, I promise you it won’t ever make an operational profit. I guess the public is going to have to talk with ski resort operators to find out just how pricey these systems truly are.

And then, we have our resident cable car cable cutter, who has sabotaged the Sea to Sky cable car twice in as many years.

Do we really want to spend $300 million for a  aerial tramway to SFU, with yet undetermined operating costs, instead of spending $30,000 for good snow tires for buses?


Italy cable car fall: Nine dead after accident near Lake Maggiore


View of the crash site showing view belowimage copyrightHandout via Reuters
image captionEleven people were on the Stresa-Alpine-Mottarone cable car when it crashed

Nine people have been killed after a cable car fell on a mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy on Sunday.

The accident happened on a service transporting passengers from the resort town of Stresa up the nearby Mottarone mountain in the region of Piedmont.

An image posted on social media by emergency services showed the wreckage of the car lying in a wooded area.

Officials say two children were taken from the scene by helicopter to a Turin hospital.

They are the only survivors of 11 passengers who had been on board when the cable car crashed, a spokesman for Italy’s alpine rescue service confirmed to the Reuters news agency.

Officials said a call to emergency services came just after 12:00 local time (11:00 BST) on Sunday.

Walter Milan, another alpine rescue spokesman, told RaiNews24 television that the cable car was left “crumpled” after falling from a high height.

The cause of the incident remains unclear, but local reports suggest the cable carrying it may have failed about 300m (984ft) from the top of the mountain.

Social media image showing wreckage of cable car posted by emergency servicesimage copyright@emergenzavvf
image captionEmergency services shared an image of the deadly crash on Sunday
Police and other rescuers photographed at the scene of the wreckageimage copyrightHandout Via Reuters
image captionPolice were among emergency service rescuers working at the scene

The website for the Stresa-Alpine-Mottarone cable car said it usually takes 20 minutes to transport passengers 1,491m above sea level.

Mottarone is situated between Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, offering scenic views of the region for tourists.


The cable car service had recently reopened following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, Reuters news agency reported.


2 Responses to “For Those Who Want An Aerial Tramway To SFU”
  1. Nathan Davidowicz says:

    1. Many successful cable systems in the world.
    2. While the SFU cable system is not perfect as there is a road that buses use while at other locations no road system exists. However, the time saving of the SFU Gondola vs Buses is almost 10 mins which is the major justification for this project.
    3. All figures from other cable systems show that the operating cost is quite minimal and
    replacing the SFU bus route 145 with a Gondola will actually save money.
    4.Gondolas speed is even higher than LRT operating up the Burnaby Mtn, so overall coping from other systems around the world is the best way to go.

    Zwei replies: don’t drink the koolaide, an aerial tramway is expensive to operate and maintain. Time savings is more than a man of straw issue as buses to stop along the way to pick up passengers.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Even just a small to moderate separate sized group of 12 and 18 metre long buses will carry more people than the largest aerial gondola systems and cost a lot less to build and a hell of a lot less maintain.

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