A gondola would be the cheapest long-term option and would have the least environmental impact. It would reduce congestion, be weather and avalanche resistant, protect the watershed, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities while increasing tourism revenue.
The gondola will cost $550,000,000, about the same as widening the road and buying additional buses. A gondola’s operation and maintenance would be paid by users. The gondola offers several revenue streams to support its long-term operation, instead of relying on taxpayer dollars alone. This could include public-private partnerships for things like capital investment, day-to-day management, etc. On the other hand, UTA’s bus operating costs are subsidized 85% by all Utah taxpayers using the 1% sales tax collected and distributed to UTA by the State, which is how the bus system operation and maintenance in Little Cottonwood Canyon would be paid for.
A gondola can preserve the canyon for future generations because it solves the congestion that exists now and offers a way to control access in the future. Doing nothing keeps us on the same unsustainable trajectory. A gondola creates options for policymakers about how many cars and how many people are allowed – so that the question of users can be addressed in the future, but we clean our air and stop damage immediately. For example, during peak needs a 30-passenger cabin could arrive every 30 seconds and move those visitors off the road at a rate of 3,600 people per hour. During lower demands or times where visitor limits might be considered, the operator can adjust the number of cars offered. The gondola can be used to limit the number of cars traveling the dangerous canyon.
For more information visit https://gondolaworks.com.