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Looking to the skies for answers: a second look at gondola transit Mayor Rob Ford seems to favour tunneling transit underground in Toronto. But a growing number of international cities, including some in Canada, are casting their eyes to the sky at an unconventional mode that’s cheaper, cleaner and quicker to build than subways and light rail. Two years ago, when the Star ran a feature on gondolas as public transit — yes, essentially heavy-duty ski lifts — many Toronto readers and politicians said it was crazy talk. That was before Councillor Doug Ford floated his vision of a lakeside monorail and his brother’s plans for a privately funded Sheppard subway rang increasingly hollow. Meantime, interest in gondolas has grown in Canada and abroad. Why not a gondola, asked Professor Amer Shalaby, a University of Toronto transportation engineer, who has studied them as part of a multi-modal transportation plan for Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They could be used to carry pilgrims to the hajj from satellite parking lots around the city. Its roads are so congested that pedestrians and cars compete for space. Although he’s not advocating gondolas for Toronto, Shalaby doesn’t think it would hurt to look at them. “It’s not out of the blue. A number of jurisdictions around the world have started using this as a public transit mode,” he said. A video on his website notes that “aerial ropeway transit” is a great solution where there’s no room at street level. Stations could be integrated into existing buildings or built over the roads. A gondola doesn’t offer the same capacity as a subway but it could move 5,000 to 6,000 passengers an hour, “which is good compared to a streetcar line,” said Shalaby. The Queen streetcar line carries about 1,800 people per hour at its busiest point in the morning peak, according to the TTC. That’s compared with about 30,000 on the Yonge subway, 2,100 on the Spadina streetcar and 200 to 300 on a neighbourhood bus route. Meantime, Vancouver is releasing a business case in January for a gondola that would transport commuters up Burnaby Mountain to Simon Fraser University and a nearby residential development. “Because it’s on top of a mountain, it gets snow before ground level. Right now we serve the university with very large articulated buses that have to go up and down that hill. There are 10 to 15 days a year they can’t make it to campus because road conditions are so poor,” said Ken Hardie, spokesman for TransLink. Although a gondola hasn’t yet qualified for Vancouver’s long-term transit plan, its environmental benefits could help make the case. An electric powered aerial cable system is cleaner than a diesel bus, he noted. Calgary had also been looking at a gondola to connect its C-train to hospitals and the university. But the project has been set aside as the city looks at expanding its light rail and bus services. , however, has issued a request for proposals from companies interested in studying an overhead cable car that would connect the Metro with a shopping mall and future entertainment-park complex.Mountain backdrops, however, seem to make cities more receptive to gondolas. Hardie admits Vancouver officials were inspired by the Peak 2 Peak gondola that opened in Whistler in 2008. It uses pioneering three-rope technology — two lines support the cabin and one pulls it across the line. It moves faster and offers better stability and wind resistance than other cable systems. The Peak 2 Peak carries over 2,000 people an hour one-way, scooping up 28 skiers every 49 seconds. It could probably carry a few more people per cabin without skis, said Steven Dale, a transportation planner who splits his time between Switzerland and Toronto. “I would have the easiest job in the world if there was a club for transportation planners who ski,” says the founder of the Gondola Project and Creative Urban Projects. With its ravines, Toronto’s topography hardly qualifies as flat, said Dale. The Don Valley is the most obvious place to string a cable, he said. It’s a potential alternative to a downtown relief subway line to take some of the load off the south end of Yonge, he said. If Ontario Place were redeveloped, a gondola would also solve what transportation planners call the “last-mile problem.” That’s the issue of carrying people from rapid transit stops the last mile to their destination. It could shuttle people to Ontario Place from Union Station without adding to the downtown congestion. GONDOLA PROJECTS • Laval, Que., has issued a request for proposals to study a gondola to connect the Metro subway with an entertainment complex. • Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is considering a gondola among the solutions for safely ferrying pilgrims to the Hajj from satellite parking lots around the city. • The London Thames Cable Car opens next year, although it is mired in controversy over the cost, which has soared. • Venezuela and Colombia have embraced cable technology and now Rio de Janeiro is opening one and planning to build more. • Algeria is building three. • The African Development Bank has issued a request for proposals to explore a network of gondolas in Lagos, Nigeria. • The Roosevelt Island Tram in New York was reopened last year to connect with Manhattan. • First "Urban Concept" system in Koblenz, Germany designed to act and look like public transit will shuttle visitors across the Rhine to an international horticultural show. Source: Steven Dale and The Gondola Project http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1110111--looking-to-the-skies-for-answers-a-second-look-at-gondola-transit#.Tws1TClRmX4.twitter
Je voulais vous montrer cet exemple de tram hybride, qui peut rouler autant sur les rails conventionnels que sur de rail type tramway dans la rue. Le genre d'hybride qui serait intéressant pour la connexion Brossard-Centre-ville, voire pour la navette avec Dorval. RandstadRail is the lightrail system that connects The Hague with Rotterdam and Zoetermeer. It's a hybrid system - partly an extension of the HTM The Hague street car lines and the Rotterdam subway (Erasmus Line). The hybrid character also explains the two different types of vehicles used on this system. Alstom built Regio Citadis cars that run on "normal" street car routes through the city of The Hague and Rotterdam Bombardier built subway cars that connect to the Rotterdam subway system. Outside Rotterdam and The Hague all vehicles use former standard railroad lines: the Hofpleinlijn (oldest electric railroad in The Netherlands - 1909) and the Zoetermeer Line (1975). Both routes have been rebuilt to lightrail standards. The system is quite succesful, at least for Dutch standards. About 80.000 passengers use it on a daily basis.
(Courtesy of Autoblog)