Tampa Bay weighs competing aerial transit projects

Last week, the Clearwater City Council gave its go-ahead for the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) and metropolitan planning organization Forward Pinellas to study a gondola system in the city. The concept — backed by St. Petersburg developer Darryl Leclair — is still in its early stages, but planners say it would use a two-mile cable car line to connect downtown Clearwater to the beach, with the potential to expand across the Tampa Bay region into cities including St. Petersburg…

This city council backing comes nine months after the body passed a resolution to support the exploration of a pod-based aerial transit system from BeachTran Clearwater. Using technology from California-based skyTran, BeachTran would zip four-person pods between Clearwater and the beach at up to 100 mph along a maglev track, using a solar-powered system. BeachTran has said the pods could also carry cargo, and that this system could be expanded regionally.