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High-tech gondolas could be coming to a North Texas city

The Regional Transportation Council for North Texas and select cities will work together to decide where in DFW to build these.

DALLAS — Anyone wanting more public transportation options around DFW may have something to look forward to as cities will soon begin discussing the possible implementation of Google-developed high-tech gondolas in congested areas around the metroplex.

While developed by a team at Google in 2019, that team left and commercialized their creation under the company Swyft Cities

The company says its advanced gondola system provides efficient, comfortable and sustainable mobility and helps reduce costs for places like real estate developments, universities and airports. 

The Regional Transportation Council for North Texas will invite cities next week to pick their most congested areas for the autonomous gondolas to be built. These cities and the RTC will then work together to determine where in DFW the first Swyft Cities project will be built. 

These vehicles are self-propelled, unlike traditional gondolas, with advanced guidance systems, which the company says leads to faster trips. 

The company says their gondolas combine an autonomous cabin with lightweight, fixed cable infrastructures that moves passengers at a lower cost and with fewer carbon emissions than traditional transportation alternatives. 

Gondola stations are about the size of traditional bus stops, the Swyft Cities website says, which can be either on the ground, elevated, or built alongside upper levels of a building. Cabins wait for passengers and immediately begin traveling along fixed cable guideways. 

The cabins can navigate through turns, serve a number of routes and bypass stops.

Swyft Cities says its projects are low-cost, reducing infrastructure costs by as much as 20 times, with less material uses to lower carbon and daily energy use. 

It's not yet known when or where these would be built if it is ultimately decided to bring the gondolas to North Texas.

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