VIDEO. From the Half Moon Bay City Council Priority Setting Session on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023, from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the Ted Adcock Center.
City Manager, Matthew Chidester, offers a way to fund the initial exploration of the aerial gondola by way of a grant. Council member, Debbie Ruddock, and retired staff from the California Coastal Conservancy (CCC), said that a big part of the CCC’s mission is not just access along the coast, but access TO the Coast. And their strategic plan, as part of Division 21’s enabling legislation, prioritizes innovative transportation to the Coast. Ruddock suggests that the goal of the grant would be to determine permitting “project killers” as a start to a larger feasibility study (see Tampa study below).
Have a listen to the aerial gondola discussion which percolated throughout the day.
Imagine the Coast Skyway:
“From the Coast to the Trains to the Planes”
Would You Like the City of Half Moon Bay to Explore a Coast Skyway Aerial Gondola ~ Downtown to CalTrain Hayward Park?
OWN VOICE. The Coast Skyway Exploration team is a group of Coastsiders who have been working for more than six months to research and gather opinions on the possibilities of an aerial wire rope gondola lift (or Aerial Gondola) over Hwy 92.
From the beginning, Peter von Bleichert’s article aspired to an Aerial Gondola that would go from Half Moon Bay to CalTrain. From there, people could get on the train and then get to the San Francisco and San Jose Airports where people could further access transit hubs as part of the Seamless Transit movement. His presentations to the City Council and the Rotary Club gathered attention.
Facts that Drive the Coast Skyway Aerial Gondola Exploration Team
- City/County Association of Governments (CCAG) has said they will build no new roads, as reported by Half Moon Bay Council member and CCAG representative, Harvey Rarback.
- SamTrams has always been challenged by a lack of east/west roads.
- Aerial Gondolas are cheaper and safer than roads (see FAQ below)
- Dopplemayr-Graventa has expressed interest in the project to Peter von Bleichert and potential help with grants and funding.
- SCJ Alliance has offered a Concept Design Study that would include station locations, towers, and tech specs, and recommended stakeholder consortium. (Peter von Bleichert)
- CalTrain wants to expand ridership.
- Young drivership is falling. In 2018, approximately 61% of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, down from 80% percent in 1983. The number of 16-year-olds with licenses decreased from 46% to 25% in the same period.
- The City of Half Moon Bay’s visitor serving business model makes money through the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and Sales Tax.
- Electric gondolas are GREEN. The accelerating climate change crisis makes it imperative that we shift as fast as possible from internal combustion vehicles to zero-emission mass transit alternatives. Moreover, clean infrastructure is a heavy priority for both federal and state spending.
- High-capacity gondola lines are proven, popular technology that is providing reliable, economical, zero-emission, and super-cool mass transit in countries all over the world. Why not have San Mateo County lead a wave of adopting them in the U.S.?
- Jackie Spier said “that’s an intriguing idea” and suggested Hayward Park as a good landing station, in the City of San Mateo.
- Asking City of San Mateo for a Letter of Interest (LOI)
- Anna Eshoo, pledges to work with the City to ID Feasibility Study Funding for the Coast Skyway Gondola
Coast Skyway Aerial Gondola Exploration Team has included:
- Deb Harter Williams
- Tony Basso
- Peter von Bleichert
- Michelle Dragony
- Mike Ferreira (past Mayor)
- Joyce Logan
- Richard Lotti
- Ed Love
- Gopi Matel
- Matt Oja
The Team asks a lot of questions of a lot of people. Here are some people we talked with:
- Harvey Rarback (HMB City Council)
- Debbie Ruddock (HMB City Council)
- Deborah Penrose (Mayor 2023 HMB)
- Matthew Chidester (HMB City Manager)
- Maziar Bozorginia (HMB City Public Works)
- Ray Mueller (San Mateo County District 3 Supervisor)
People we want to talk with:
SFPUC’s Steve Ritchie, Assistant General Manager of the Water Enterprise.
SFPUC’s Tim Ramirez, Manager of the Natural Resources and Lands Management Division.
Groups and Interests
We will continue work to get more Letters of Interest with interested parties.
- Medical Access: Village of the Coastside, Senior Coastsiders
- Tourism: Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Surfers/Beachgoers to avoid traffic and parking
- Minimum Wage Workers: ALAS, Coastside Hope, Puente
- Team Traffic: Boys and the Girls Club, Cougar Boosters
The Tampa FAQ answers a lot of the questions about aerial gondola development. It will give you an idea of scope and public outreach.
Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA), has just completed the Tampa Bay Area Pinellas Gondola Feasibility Study Final Report to include Technical Validation, Economics & Financing and Public Engagement.
So, Would You Like the City of Half Moon Bay to Explore
a Coast Skyway Aerial Gondola ~
Downtown to CalTrain Hayward Park?
>>> Questions/Comments to
Deb Harter Williams at CoastSkyway@gmail.com <<<
You can also comment to the City of Half Moon Bay City Council