Press Clipping
Boulder officials, business getting serious about elevated cable transit as potential last-mile solution

Boulder business leaders three years ago fantasized of a gondola connecting downtown and University of Colorado, but the city has upped its seriousness in examining the idea.

An engineering firm with its U.S. headquarters in Boulder thinks it could go a step further, allowing riders to take in a view of the Flatirons while soaring on cable cars not only between University Hill and the Pearl Street Mall, but perhaps all the way to work, school and home, too.

Since the notion of the transportation method popular on ski slopes — and growing as an urban transportation option — was floated for Boulder in early 2017, the city last year was awarded a grant from 100 Resilient cities, an effort to encourage urban change by the Rockefeller Foundation, to fund a consultant’s study of the feasibility of bringing cable transit to the city.

“The study may also identify potential locations for cable transit in the city,” Boulder spokesperson Julie Causa said. “One of the areas being considered in the high-level analysis is a connection between CU and downtown. The city is very early in the exploration process and no recommendations or decisions have been made about bringing cable transit to the city.”

Meanwhile, Holmes Solutions, a New Zealand-based company with its U.S. facility in Boulder, has found a way to combine overhead cable with rails, allowing the cheaper cable to run on long stretches lacking curves and the more expensive rail infrastructure to placed where turns on the transit system need to be made. The combination, according to Holmes CEO Chris Allington, along with the 50 mph capability of the pods it is pairing with the gear it first developed as an amusement park ride, gives such a system a greater chance of economic viability as a citywide last-mile transit solution.

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