San Francisco — A gondola connecting downtown Oakland with Jack London Square and the proposed site of a new Oakland A’s waterfront ballpark would serve more than one million passengers per year and generate $685 million in economic benefits for the city over 10 years, according to an analysis released today by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
“A gondola provides a unique and important transportation solution for better connecting Oakland’s growing downtown and waterfront,” said Jeff Bellisario, Vice President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and lead author of the analysis. “A gondola can serve as a major magnet for economic development, support the Oakland A’s exciting vision for a waterfront ballpark, attract tourists and other visitors and reduce commute times for thousands of workers.”
The gondola would be privately funded and built and would be open to the public. Traveling between Washington and 10th streets near the Marriott City Center and Washington and Water streets near Jack London Square, the half-mile aerial ride would provide an important connection between two areas of the city that currently are separated by two freeways and a rail line. It would be just the third of its kind in the United States, joining the popular Portland Aerial Tram in Oregon and the Roosevelt Island Tram in New York City.
According to the Economic Institute analysis, the gondola would serve more than 1 million riders per year at full capacity and bring an increase of 50,000 visitors to Oakland. A breakdown of the estimated $685 million in economic benefits includes:
· $403 million increase in taxable sales;
· $265 million generated from building and operating the system; and,
· $17 million in savings from shorter commute times.
The gondola, which would transport riders between the downtown and the waterfront in an estimated 3.5 minutes, is also expected to spur new residential and commercial development and support the equivalent of 46 full-time jobs.
About the Bay Area Council Economic Institute
The Bay Area Council Economic Institute is a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education that works to foster a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley. The Economic Institute produces authoritative analyses on economic policy issues affecting the region and the state, including infrastructure, globalization, energy, science and governance, and mobilizes California and Bay Area leaders around targeted policy initiatives. Learn more at www.bayareaeconomy.com.