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New Proposed Aerial Gondolas Could Create Beautiful New Transit Option in Seaport

Seaport’s recent growth has prompted developers to propose a new aerial gondola transport system based in the district that would connect to Boston’s South Station. The gondolas could carry up to 15,000 passengers a day, not only providing unparalleled views of the district, but also alleviating peak traffic congestion into and out of this increasingly bustling section of the metropolis. City officials and other development agencies have been receptive to the idea, although no official permits have been issued.

This lack of permitting is partially due to the fact that the exact route and the precise height of the proposed gondolas have not yet been determined. Some have suggested placing the gondolas along Summer Street in a line terminating between Marine Park and South Station. The state is also currently in the process of approving a new city master plan, which upon completion would more clearly delineate where and when the gondolas could be constructed. Generally speaking, the addition of public transit can help boost real estate values adjacent to access points, meaning those apartment buildings, condos, retail and other commercial ventures close to the gondola terminals would see an increase in their listing prices and rental rates.

Pending the specific route, the gondolas themselves would likely be composed of cable cars that could fit a maximum of 40 passengers at one time. This more permanent method of transport has been deemed to be preferable to alternative modes of transport from Seaport, such as water taxis and shuttles. The specific hours of operation for the gondola have also not yet been formulated, although it is likely that the gondolas would run more frequently during traditionally heavy transit times.

Although the total estimated costs of the project have not been announced, the developers that proposed the project are currently prepared to pledge $100 million dollars toward the gondolas. Should the project manifest, it would be an example of public infrastructure being partly underwritten by a private developer, a trend that has become increasingly popular in major U.S. cities.