â€œWe kind of got into an interesting discussion on why we have a fixation on rail-based transit,â€ McDaniel told Wired. â€œJared used to work at ski resorts up in Colorado. He said, â€˜Well, you could just use ski lifts.â€™â€ Suddenly, a side project was born. â€œItâ€™s grown beyond that once people started crunching the numbers and seeing how feasible it was,â€ McDaniel said.
It just so happened that McDaniel and Ficklinâ€™s home city had just debated whether to install a little more than five miles of light rail at a cost of $550 million â€“ around $100 million per mile.
â€œPutting in an aerial ropeway, weâ€™re talking a fraction of that,â€ McDaniel said. â€œA gondola can be put in for $12 million a mile. Itâ€™s a fraction of the cost because youâ€™re not looking at eminent domain or rights of way, and youâ€™re not disrupting local businesses or cutting out vehicular traffic.â€