Clearwater asks residents if aerial gondolas should be considered to reduce traffic

"Hey Tampa Bay! Want a fast and fun way to get to Clearwater Beach?"

It’s the question posed in a colorful video from people looking to bring more mass transit to the Tampa Bay Region. 

"We want people to tell us what they think about the possibility of building an aerial gondola in the Clearwater area to better move people from downtown Clearwater to Clearwater Beach," says Chris Jadick of TBARTA, the Tampa Bay Regions regional transit authority. 

The gondola would be similar to systems now in use in Portland, Oregon and New York City. It’s estimated that it would take about 12 minutes to travel from downtown Clearwater to Clearwater Beach. 

Some believe it could be a solution to the traffic and parking snarls at Clearwater Beach. Clearwater’s mayor says it’s not just a spring break problem. 

"It used to be that we had about 60 really bad days a year. Now we’re probably up to 120 or more," says Mayor Frank Hibbard. He’s not on board the gondola option. Hibbard says it would be expensive to build and possibly expensive to ride. Nobody knows yet what either cost might be. 

Hibbard also believes that if too many people are able to get to the beach, none of them will enjoy it as much. 

"There’s there’s a reason why Walt Disney World has a limitation on how many people they’ll let in the park," says Hibbard. 

Still, many believe if there were fewer cars, more of us could enjoy a trip to the beach.

"It’s a first step feasibility study, not a plan to develop a gondola," says Jadick. "It’s really the fist step in any project such as this"

Through the end of August you can take the online survey and tell them what you think. To take the survey, visit