I’m not going to take “I’ll have to look into this further” for an answer from the mayor’s office on this one. Former mayor Paul Soglin claims to have been interested in the idea since 1976, when he and a team of city planners considered building an aerial transportation device to get people across Lake Monona. 34 years ago they considered that and it doesn’t sound any less absurd today.
The only thing I learned definitively about the technology from Soglin’s post is that it is expensive. The only example of a price tag was a system being built for the Oakland airport –– $500 million. Another disadvantage is that it doesn’t offer the opportunity to be incorporated into a larger system of public transportation, as passenger rail could be. Yes, theoretically there could be a nation-wide system of aerial-ground transport, but that is even less likely politically and economically than a meaningful investment in high-speed trains.