Gondola Constructability Study

Standout Features

McLaren Engineering Group completed a transportation feasibility study for an aerial gondola that could connect the Albany-Rensselaer Train Station to downtown Albany, NY. This gondola could provide a new, reliable, and efficient transportation option for commuters, visitors and tourists. The McLaren team found that a Capital District Gondola is technically feasible with minimal environmental impact. As a result, it received strong support from local stakeholders.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

McLaren found that a new gondola could connect the 825,000 people arriving and departing each year at the Albany-Rensselaer Train Station to three important destinations: downtown Albany, the Capital Center and the Empire State Plaza. The Albany train station, ninth-largest in the Amtrak system is on the eastern side of the Hudson River in Rensselaer. The State Capitol building and its 11,000 workers are located on the western side of the river, along with central Albany, a convention center, the New York State Museum and many other attractions. Total ridership was projected to be in the hundreds of thousands of people each year. As a result, this could boost local sales and tax revenue.

Additionally, the study garnered widespread news coverage throughout the region as the community rallied around the concept. The gondola would have the ability to function 16 hours a day, seven days a week, in most weather conditions, and accommodate 3,000 people per hour per direction. Gondola cars would arrive every 12 seconds traveling at a speed of 14 miles per hour—bringing people from the Rensselaer Train Station to downtown Albany in just over four minutes. Above all, the firm made a difference by conceptualizing the idea and communicating the gondola’s positive effects on the region for economic development and tourism.

This project was awarded the Engineering Excellence Platinum Award in Category A: Studies, Research and Consulting Engineering Services by the ACEC New York in 2020.

To learn more, read about the Capital District Gondola Feasibility Study.