A gondola network that flies at 30 miles per hour could be a solution to New York City's broken subway system
- A designer has created a plan for a gondola system that could address many of New York City's transportation woes.
- The system, he said, would be cheaper, faster to install, and more energy efficient than building new subway lines.
- It might also be a way to transport residents during a climate-related disaster such as a hurricane or flood.
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New York City is in the midst of a transportation crisis. Its Hudson River tunnels, which carry the Amtrak and New Jersey Transit rail lines, were badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy, and its highways are so crowded that commuters lose $87 billion worth of time a year due to traffic congestion.The subway system is also heavily weighted to Manhattan, with limited service in the South Bronx, southeast Brooklyn, and eastern Queens. In Staten Island, there's no subway service at all, leading many to dub the area New York City's "forgotten borough."
Eugene Flotteron, a principal at the architecture firm CentraRuddy, was born and raised in Staten Island. He sees untapped potential in his hometown, which has more land mass than the Bronx or Queens and the highest median income of all five boroughs."It's like a perfect storm for development," said Flotteron. "But its biggest problem is transportation."
In 2018, Flotteron took matters into his own hands by designing the first piece of mass transit that would run through Staten Island into the remaining four boroughs. Rather than trying to wade through the red tape of building additional rail lines, Flotteron and Swiss transportation engineer Arndt Batzner designed a gondola system that would fly through the air at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.The system, he said, isn't just a plan to revitalize a forgotten borough. It's also a way to transport residents if another hurricane or flood toppled the city's underground transit. Take a look at his grand vision for the future of New York City transportation.
The idea of an urban gondola system isn't new, but it could be tough to pull off in a major city like New York.
The initial plan includes service from Staten Island to Manhattan, but could eventually connect all five boroughs.Advertisement
The New York City Economic Development Corporation is supportive of the idea, but residents will have to get on board first.
The plan could bypass some of the red tape associated with building new rail lines.Advertisement
Flotteron said a gondola would be less expensive and more energy-saving than a new subway line.
Another big advantage is a gondola's ability to transport residents after a disaster.Advertisement
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