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Gondola-Based Transportation Might Come To North Texas

Cities in DFW can propose their busiest areas for the new transportation
Screen Shot 2023-03-15 at 10.49.46 AM
Photo: Swyft Cities

Spending hours in busy North Texas traffic could be a thing of the past. A gondola company hopes to bring a quick and reliable type of transportation.

According to WFAA, cities around North Texas will soon discuss the possibility of implementing Google-developed, high-tech gondolas in congested areas around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Next week, the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) for North Texas will allow cities in DFW to pick their most congested areas for the autonomous gondolas to be built. These cities and the RTC will then work together to determine where in DFW the first Swyft Cities project will be built. 

These gondolas were developed by a Google team in 2019. But that team left and commercialized their creation under the company Swyft Cities

The company‚Äôs website explains that rides are efficient, comfortable and sustainable, as well as assist in reducing costs for places like real estate developments, universities and airports. 

The gondolas are self-propelled with advanced guidance systems, which the company argues leads to faster trips. The gondolas combine an autonomous cabin with lightweight, fixed cable infrastructures that move passengers at a lower cost and with fewer carbon emissions than other transportation. 

These gondola stations are about the size of traditional bus stops and can be either on the ground, elevated or built alongside the upper levels of a building. Cabins wait for passengers and immediately begin traveling along fixed cable guideways. 

According to Swyft Cities, the vehicles have the ability to navigate through turns, serve multiple routes and bypass stops. Passengers cruise along non-stop to their destination.

It is not yet known when the gondola systems would be implemented, but the company says the systems are built relatively quickly with minimal infrastructure needed. 

Last year, Plano looked into a similar model with JPods. In 2022, the RTC launched a new policy called the Transportation Infrastructure Certification Program which encouraged local governments to look into emerging technologies that might ease traffic congestion. However, the plan was only discussed and never voted on.