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Sky gondola may fly over San Diego

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tram1Imagine boarding a tram car, roughly the size of a San Diego trolley car, only square, and taking off, pulled by cables, to the upper heights of a tall building, then up and out from downtown to Balboa Park. This commuter and tourist sky ride may come to pass sooner rather than later, if County Supervisor Ron Roberts’ vision is realized.

$75,000 in funding for a study on the feasibility of the plan is certain to be approved the County Board of Supervisors. SANDAG will be coordinating the three-month effort to research and design the high flying proposal. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program will provide the money to study the requirements of constructing a sky line track and tram car, including design essentials and financing.tram2

One possible route would begin between Fifth and Sixth Avenues at the trolley station and run 2 to 3 miles to Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, with an undetermined number of stops on the way. The aim of the tram would be to provide both a commuting option for working locals, and a must-see view for visiting tourists that would include the sights of downtown, the harbor, and the park.

The gondolas are projected to be larger than the ones in use at the SeaWorld skyride, with the goal of moving a thousand passengers per hour. The number of passengers that the gondola carries would be something the proposed study would determine by taking comfort, convenience, and cost-effectiveness into consideration.

tram3Roberts has reported that he has received only positive feedback from everyone to whom he has presented his transportation vision. This includes downtown business owners and civic planning groups, all of whom has been enthusiastically supportive of the venture. With a goal of completing the study of the project by the end of 2014, it is hoped that the total endeavor can be completed by 2020.

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