Innovative, vital multi-modal transportation link will provide the Capital Region with economic, tourism and environmental benefits
McLaren Engineering Group announced today the launch of a transportation feasibility study for an aerial gondola that would connect the Albany-Rensselaer Train Station to downtown Albany – providing a new, reliable and efficient transportation option for commuters, visitors and tourists.
The study will be managed out of McLaren’s downtown Albany office by Peter Melewski, National Director of Strategic Planning. Currently, McLaren is self-funding the study and assembling a team to execute it. The team includes Doppelmayr, the world’s leading manufacturer of ropeway technologies for gondolas, which has a nearby Ballston Spa, NY, office.
“The gondola will provide a much-needed transportation link across the river for commuters, visitors and tourists,” says Malcolm McLaren, President and CEO, McLaren Engineering Group. “The Albany train station, Amtrak’s 9th busiest, is physically isolated from the capitol and downtown businesses. An aerial gondola system will provide a unique, cost-effective transportation mode that will benefit the entire region.”
“I want to thank McLaren for undertaking this study for a new and innovative link between the train station and our Capital City,” says Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “Cities around the country and the world have used gondolas as a cost effective way to solve transportation challenges and this is the first step in determining whether it is the right solution for Albany.”
Gondola systems, comprising a series of cable cars, can be constructed at a fraction of the cost and time frame required for traditional rail systems. No bridges or tunnels are necessary, and a well-designed system can be up and running within two years. Additionally, cable cars can cross obstacles easily, are safe for passengers, offer views of the city and are environmentally friendly with no emissions.
“This is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ projects that will gain significant momentum as it is better understood,” continues McLaren. “We expect this project to generate considerable excitement and draw supporters and funding sources from the public and private sector.”
“We commend McLaren for its vision and commitment to seeking innovative solutions. We look forward to reviewing the findings from the feasibility study,” says Mark N. Eagan, CEO, Capital Region Chamber.
“The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) is exploring new and expanded ways to improve mobility throughout the Capital Region so this study is well-timed,” said Carm Basile, Chief Executive Officer, Capital District Transportation Authority.
About McLaren Engineering Group
McLaren Engineering Group features eight engineering divisions, staffed with nearly 200 employees in 10 offices. Founded in 1977, McLaren has successfully completed over 12,000 projects, from inspection to design to construction management. Headquartered in West Nyack, NY, McLaren has offices in New York City, NY; Albany, NY; Lehigh Valley, PA; Middletown, CT; Baltimore, MD; Roswell, GA; Orlando, FL; San Luis Obispo, CA; and Oran, Algeria. www.mgmclaren.com.
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