Forget traffic: High-tech gondolas may be in Plano’s future

Rendering courtesy Swyft Cities.
High-tech gondolas may be the new way to travel in West Plano's shopping districts. If Plano is chosen, development will take 2-3 years.

DFW is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States. And with that comes traffic. Lots of traffic. And Plano is no stranger to it.

In an attempt to remedy this issue, The City of Plano has applied for a high-tech gondola system, a project that is sponsored by The Regional Transportation Council for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Plano has been the most vocal city to apply for this project.

Other North Texas cities have until April 10 to apply. Swyft Cities, the gondola company created by ex-Google developers, will review submittals from multiple jurisdictions so that multiple projects may be chosen.

While the gondola track could expand in the future, the project only funds a pilot, which would only span a few miles. One location possibility is between the Shops at Legacy, Legacy West and Legacy Town Center, which would provide Planoites a way to get from shop to shop without having to drive on the Dallas North Tollway. Swyft Cities says that the gondola systems could also connect to existing DART stations, connecting public transportation.

The cars will hold three to four people, are heated and cooled to keep passengers safe in all conditions and can be called using an app.

Once the initial approvals and permits are secured, Swyft Cities estimates the engineering, design, financing and build phase to take two to three years.

Mock-ups of the Swyft Cities system can be found on their website.

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