Boston May Be Stepping Outside The Box

As reported in Boston Curbed, private developers and public officials are still considering a 1-mile-long aerial gondola system between South Station and the Seaport District that could carry the passenger equivalent of 40 city buses per hour. A recent route alteration shows the idea’s continued viability, at least as an idea.

Millennium Partners and Cargo Ventures—which are developing a 12-acre project at Boston’s marine industrial park that would include the gondola’s Seaport terminus—have agreed to alter the route so that cable cars wouldn’t pass directly in front of rooms at the planned 1,054-key Omni hotel across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

At the same time, Millennium has been talking to city and state officials about the gondola. And South Boston’s Congressman, Stephen Lynch, has apparently become intrigued by the idea. He told the Globe’s Jon Chesto that the gondola could ferry “the equivalent of 40 buses per hour, while reducing vehicular traffic and eliminating carbon emissions.”

Millennium is also willing to pay the approximately $100 million in construction costs for the South Station-to-Seaport system—and to consider helping extend it to residential areas of Southie near L Street, if that has any merit and support. As it stands now, the gondola would run 30 to 50 feet above Summer Street. But things are still tentative regarding the requisite official approvals. The route alteration for the Omni hotel, though, means the best idea of 2017 is still alive and well in 2018.