Proposal submitted to bring aerial gondolas to Albany, Rensselaer

Local

New gondolas may soon be gliding across the sky from Albany to Rensselaer.

Two years from now, the skyline from the Rensselaer Rail Station to the Times Union Center may not look as clear as it does now.

“It’s really unique,” Capital District Gondola Exec. Dir. Tom Madison said. “There’s no other place in the United States right now that has this type of aerial ropeway transportation system.”

Madison said he’s been working on the project for nearly two years.

“There’s a lot of connectivity between these two communities that’s constrained by the river,” he said.

Madison said the plan is to have 26 gondolas transporting passengers from the Rensselaer Rail Station to the Times Union Center. On Monday, Madison submitted an application to the Rensselaer Planning Commission with a detailed overview of the project.

It comes in at an estimated $25 million price tag.

“This is all been developed completely with private funding to date, and our intentions are to put up to 80 percent of the total project cost is private fund,” Madison said.

The application also states that the company estimates about 900,000 riders annually.

“The cabins that we’re specifying for this project can hold eight passengers comfortably,” Madison said. “You can also fit a couple of standing passengers in as well.”

Bicycles, too, according to Madison. The application states the new green transit system will also generate about 250 new jobs in the Capital Region.

Each cabin will take about five minutes for a passenger to get from the rail station to the TU Center.

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