Urban Cable Transit Systems:
Easy to Build. Easy to Ride.


Wire One Austin:
An Urban Cable Mass Transit Vision
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Wire One is a vision to use urban cable over South 1st Street to create a meaningful mass transit line in the center of the city, and the backbone of a future system to grow. Wire One can add entirely new capacity equal to running 100 buses per hour. Boarding is continuous, with cable cars coming every few seconds, speeding over traffic and slowing to unload. With an enjoyable, quiet ride, this urban cable line would serve as a complement and amplifier of all other forms of transit.

What's it like to ride the Wire?



Riders wait on the platform above the street just a few seconds before the next car arrives, nearly silent. It slows as it approaches the platform, the doors part, and familiar faces from the neighborhood smile to each other. They step into the clean, cool car. It’s brightly-lit, with expansive windows offering a view of the neighborhoods below. Passengers stow their bags and grab seats. There’s an outlet for every person on the car. It’s tempting to browse the web, but most riders opt instead to watch the city pass by — the panoramic view of Austin is spectacular.

The car glides quietly above the treetops, passing over vibrant neighborhoods of people going about their day. It’s quiet on board; the sounds of the street below are hushed. The car is at its full capacity of ten riders with their belongings — including bicycles, strollers, or wheelchairs — yet it feels nothing like the crowded, loud buses below. Some riders read, while others laugh and chat. It is private and communal at once.

Adding Capacity



On this congested route, Wire One glides over traffic and other obstacles.

The Wire One Route

Transportation for locals, commuters, students, & visitors

An H-E-B trip during rush hour, Chilaquiles at Polvo’s, farmers markets, the Alamo Ritz, First Thursday, DK Sushi, Evangeline’s, the Obama Torchy’s. Hit your haunts without driving or parking.

Building Wire One



Cars. 10-person, climate-controlled cars with room for bikes, wheelchairs, and of course people.

Towers. Bridged towers carry people right over the traffic. The tower bases will not block sidewalks.

3 Kinds of Stations



Local Station. A small elevated platform doubles as a pedestrian walkway over a neighborhood street.

Plaza Station. The pedestrian center combines arts, retail, and green space in a community gathering place.

Park & Fly Station. A parking center for commuters who drive in and transfer to the Wire and other urban transit.

Station Attendants. A friendly face manning each station assists riders, like the friendly neighborhood crossing guard.



Who Will Benefit?



Anyone who has ever been trapped behind a bus on South 1st Street on the way to work or spent too long looking for parking at their favorite restaurant will benefit from Wire One. Commuters paying $180 a month for parking downtown or who would just like to see fewer cars on Mopac will benefit. Whether going downtown or getting to school, we all know how to use South 1st Street, so we all know how to use the Wire. This line will make a meaningful difference to all of Austin and serve as a model for future lines north, east, and west.

Urban cable is a smart transit solution for Austin, easy to build and easy to ride. And we can make it happen, starting with the Wire One pilot route along South 1st Street, then branching out to future success.

If you’d like to follow the effort, like the Wire One Facebook page to receive the latest updates.

Paper

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Urban Cable: Past Mistakes & Future Strategies

A report with research and insight into successful urban cable implementation strategies for urban transportation planners

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Video

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The Subway in the Sky in La Paz, Bolivia

The New York Times investigates how urban cable in La Paz has connected two disparate communities, eroding the barriers between them

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Article

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10 Urban Cables Lines Changing the Way People Move

As US cities consider urban cable transit solutions, Curbed looks at examples of successful systems around the globe

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