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Group raising hopes for waterfront gondolas

Could a system of gondola lifts successfully carry visitors along the city's waterfront? The group Citizens for Regional Transit wants to explore the concept during a public meeting this afternoon at Hallwalls.

President Doug Funke  says gondolas could provide its users an aerial view of a resurgent city at a relatively low capital cost.

"They run $20 million to $30 million," Funke said.

"If you compare that to a bridge which would cost $100 million to $200 million, depending on design and location, it's a potentially attractive we should be looking at."

Funke sees the system running from near First Niagara Center to the state park at the Outer Harbor. Unlike cable cars, gondolas would have different speed capabilities between posts, making for a more personalized transportation alternative.

Today's meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 1:30 p.m. at Hallwalls.