Planning a Passenger Ropeway for a University Campus

A passenger ropeway was planned and designed for the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona campus. The project fulfilled the requirements of a capstone senior design course in civil engineering for ten, supervised undergraduate students. The lift would take persons from a central campus location to an upper terminal adjacent Kellogg House, used for special events, and parking facility. The ropeway length and elevation change would be 500 m and 50 m, respectively. The ropeway would be an alternative to a circuitous and potentially hazardous walk either up or down the hill, although walkway improvements would supplement the project. A daily passenger demand of 5,820 persons was expected, with 10% riding during the peak hour. A low-cost system was preferred, so the team elected to use fixed-grip, two-person cabriolet (“open-air” gondola) carriers. A survey indicated equal preference for chairs and gondolas, but Kellogg House management preferred enclosed carriers. A total of 56 carriers would be needed, operating at a speed of 1.5 m/sec. A total of 49 similar, small-carrier ropeways exist worldwide, although only three are not purely recreational. Three intermediate towers would be needed to minimize cable sag. The alignment traverses bedrock overlain with conglomerate, so the footings could be facilitated with a high load-bearing pressure. The proximity of the San Andreas and numerous smaller faults places the proposed ropeway in seismic risk zone 4, the highest in the U.S. The ropeway would therefore need to be designed to withstand a high seismic shear force. The ropeway cost would be about $5.6 million, with an annual operating cost of $547,500. Funding might be obtained from transportation enhancement programs, student fees, and parking charges.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Cottrell, Wayne D
    • Adodo, Efe
    • Chavez, Victor Hugo
    • Chung, Andrew Minwoo
    • Freese, David
    • Hyder, Rashed Alam
    • Leano, Engelbert
    • Lewis, Steven Lee
    • Maldonado, Cindy Alejandra
    • Mayo, Harry Louis
    • Perez, Efrain Guzman
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2010


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154364
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-4058
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 12:05PM