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  1. #1
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    Using Cable Cars as Inner-City Public Transport

    Michael McDaniel, a designer at Frog Design, has proposed using cable cars to reduce congestion in cities.

    Cable cars are far cheaper to build and operate than subways, and actually offer a serious option for inner-city public transport.

    His design, 'The Wire', will cost around $3 million a mile whereas subways cost $400 million a mile, and one system wouls have the capacity to transport an estimated 10,000 people an hour, equivalent to 100 buses, or 2,000 cars.

  2. #2
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    There is no reason why cable cars cant be used as a means of inner-city transport. However one hurdle may be convincing investors of that fact. cable cars are traditionally thought of as a means to scale mountains in ski resorts, and until this stigma is overcome, many people might have trouble imaging using one to get to work in the morning.

  3. #3
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    Busses? Trolleys? Why bury a cable that grinds away under the street when there are better, faster, cheaper things to do.

    Heck, why not install a PRT (personal rapid transit) system? It may actually have a chance at making a REAL difference.

  4. #4
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    What cable gets buried? the cable cars would work as normal, above ground, hanging from cables that are supported by pylons.

  5. #5
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    A lot would depend upon which type of cable car you are dealing with.

    If you are working with the San Francisco style cable car, you're dealing with a ground based system on tracks with a central 'power' source. The cable car moves by latching on to the cable and stops by letting go of the cable and applying brakes. Maintenance is a lot simpler because you don't have to deal with motive power with the car. (You do have to tear up the streets though.)

    If you are dealing with an aerial tramway type cable car, like the Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York City, you are dealing with something more like the cable cars used for ski resorts. One advantage of this is that you don't necessarily need a lot of ground level space to run it. It goes above traffic, making use of airspace. While a lot of them are point to point, it wouldn't take that much work to have a multipoint system.

    If you are using small cars, it in effect becomes a PRT system.

  6. #6
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    Wow. Calling a tramway or funicular a cable car. Humph!

    If the small car can detach from the "cableway" and move aside to an off line station, then yes I would consider it a form of PRT. Especially if it can trade cables and go in any desired direction rather than a defined loop.

  7. #7
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    To be functional the cable cars do not need to change lines and go in any direction. They can exactly mirror a subway layout, but at a far lower cost. Subway trains do not change track, they have a set route, and the passenger changes track if he needs to go somwhere else.

  8. #8
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    Right, but subways and such things are distasteful. That is why I drive. I MAY however take personal rapid transit (PRT) if it were available. If you are going to install an overhead system, might as well make it attractive and make it a PRT.

    FYI http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/

  9. #9
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    Yes a PRT system is more attractive, but do you not think that the need for a fixed rail, over a cable, would boost the installation cost massively and therefore deter investors?

  10. #10
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    What deters investors is government stealing massive amounts of money to provide massive subsidies to continuously failing mass transit systems. Investor funded, user paid systems have a difficult time competing against theft subsidized systems.