While the city continues to develop ways to quicken commutes between Manhattan and the outer boroughs (like the soon-to-be-launched NYC Ferry), the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) has taken matters into their own hands and created an idea for an aerial gondola. Similar to the East River Skyway proposal, which would transport passengers across the East River to ease the inconvenience of the impending L train shutdown, the gondola would take commuters in the sky from the borough to Bayonne, NJ where they’d connect to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and ultimately the PATH. As WYNC learned, starting this week and for seven days only, the gondola will be touring Staten Island on the back of a flatbed truck to boost support from officials to fund the project.
With subway plans stalling and bus service failing, planners are turning their sites to alternate modes of urban transportation such as ferries and aerial gondolas. The latter has picked up steam over the past year thanks to the East River Skyway, which would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, and it looks like the transit-starved folks over on Staten Island have taken note. Earlier this year, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation launched a conceptual design competition for an aerial tramway that would better connect the borough to surrounding areas. As Untapped tells us, the winning proposal is a line that runs parallel to the Bayonne Bridge from Elm Park to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in Bayonne.
With public meetings about the impending L train shutdown beginning this week, much of the conversation is centered around alternate ways to shuttle people between downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. One solution is the East River Skyway, an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, bringing commuters over the river in just 3.5 minutes. The proposal from Dan Levy, president and CEO of CityRealty*, first surfaced in 2014, then referencing the Brooklyn development boom that will bring tens of thousands of new residential units to the borough in the coming years. But now with a possible years-long shutdown of the L, along with skyrocketing subway ridership, the Skyway is drumming up support from investors, DNA Info reports.
Levy told 6sqft, “We’ve completed some preliminary engineering and design work around the cars and the stations and how they could meld with their respective locations — and more broadly the city skyline. Given their high visibility we want to be context sensitive.” He also revealed that, although the project would cost up to $134 million (per estimate from engineers), an unlimited monthly pass would cost only $25.
These are the facts: NYC subways still run on 1930s technology, the delays are getting longer, and there’s no stopping the residential development boom happening not only in Manhattan, but also in Brooklyn. If you’ve commuted from Brooklyn to Manhattan (and vice-versa) during rush hour you know that the subway ride is a nightmare. That’s why we need the East River Skyway, an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, bringing commuters over the river in just 3.5 minutes.
The project is being led by Dan Levy, the president and CEO of CityRealty* and a Williamsburg resident, who noticed while skiing how quickly gondolas moved and how comfortable they were. He has spent several years investigating the technology and completed preliminary studies to see what it would take to adapt a similar system to meet the needs of New York City. What he found was that implementation would be relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable.
There’s no stopping the Brooklyn development boom, but getting to and from the borough from Manhattan will increasingly become a nightmare with thousands of new residential units hitting the market in the coming years. If you’ve commuted from Brooklyn to Manhattan (and vice versa) you know that the subway system is already taxed. But as more and more homes are added throughout the borough, it’s surprising that no plans have been made to alleviate the transportation stress that will soon come with it. Until now.
Today, Dan Levy, the president and CEO of CityRealty*, will present his proposal for the ‘East River Skyway‘, an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, bringing commuters over the river in just 3.5 minutes.