For many, aerial mass transit--either by way of tram or gondola--is an idea best left to ski resorts and World’s Fairs.
But for a growing number of urban planners and designers, aerial transit represents an alternative for cities where traditional transit options are limited. At PSFK’s recent conference in San Francisco, Frog Principal Designer Michael McDaniel unveiled an ambitious plan called the Wire, which proposes a network of gondolas over Austin, Texas.
McDaniel and his team imagine a system of detachable gondolas connecting neighborhoods throughout the city, making it possible for cyclists and pedestrians to “hop” over particularly congested areas. “The big advantage here is the detachable part which means more gondolas can be added during rush hour and removed in non-peaks times,” he tells Co.Design.
After looking at precedents--like dedicated bus lanes and Portland, another city whose aerial tram has been a huge success--the design team took to Austin’s streets, interviewing locals about their transit experiences...