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Aerial Photo by Dicklyon - Gondola photo Doppelmayr USA
Imagine stepping into a cabin the moment you arrive at the Alaska Junction SkyLink station (one of 6 stations), then gliding over tree tops and traffic for a scenic 14 minute ride to the SODO Link Light Rail station.
From SODO, you can catch Link for a 26 minute ride to SeaTac Airport. Or stay on the gondola for 3 more minutes and arrive at the International District Transit Hub. There, you can catch Link for a quick ride downtown, a 13 minute ride to University of Washington, or a 20-30 minute ride to Bellevue or Redmond. Other options from the ID hub: take a bus or street car, or walk to King Street Station, Pioneer and Occidental Squares, or restaurants, sports and event venues.
SkyLink is an urban gondola we propose as an alternative to the expensive, intrusive light rail system that Sound Transit is planning for West Seattle. Once approved, it can be built in just two years, at a cost that is 1/10th of Sound Transit's plan.
With the Seattle area’s rapid growth, traffic congestion has become a major problem. This is especially true for West Seattle as traffic funnels through a few bridges. This increases travel time, emissions, and stress for drivers as well as transit riders who rely on buses traveling on the same congested routes.
Sound Transit proposed building a light rail to connect West Seattle to its regional transit network. As it would run on an exclusive pathway, it would offer West Seattle a more dependable, faster, public transit option. However, light rail entails lengthy and costly construction since it requires a new bridge across the Duwamish and a high, elevated guiderail through hilly, densely developed West Seattle. Construction cost has already escalated by 73%. As a result, light rail would not be available until 2032 to the SODO Link station and would not connect directly to downtown or with the Eastside Link line until 2037 at the earliest.
SkyLink could provide the fast, dependable transit promised – only much sooner and Sound Transit could use the $2 billion savings to accelerate other projects.
Check out the comparison.
In New York, the proposed East River Skyway would transport commuters between Brooklyn and the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Courtesy of East River Skyway
Most gondola cabins have room for at least 10 persons and can accommodate bikes, strollers, and wheelchairs.
As much as possible, the gondola will be routed over streets rather than private homes. Cabins can be equipped with electrified privacy glass so that windows become opaque when they pass over residential areas.
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