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Fly me to the palace – perhaps later to the moon

A continuing challenge for Monaco is the high number of visitors to the Principality who need to move around from attraction to attraction without creating pollution and without clogging the streets. The Principality has set itself an ambitious goal – how to go from the Exotic Garden to Palace Square in the space of five minutes, without using a car or public transport. And unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s flight into space Monaco will do it cleanly.

The Principality is working on clean mobility, and visitors will be able to fly via a gondola that will link the Exotic Garden to the Palace Square, via Fontvieille.

Serge Telle, Minister of State (head of the Monegasque government) and Jean Castellini, Government Counselor, Minister of the Economy and finances are including plans for this exciting development in the budget for 2018 – and a clean environment is an integral part of that planning.

A safe, relaxing gondola relay

The Jardin Exotique high in the northwest of Monaco is at one of the main gateways into the Principality and where there is to be a new 1800 vehicle car park. But the question arose how to get people on the streets of Monaco from this parking lot without expanding the bus service on what is already a congested route.

For example, it would be of extraordinary benefit to move people “cleanly” from the Jardin Exotique to the Palace passing by the Fontvieille shopping Centre. With the land space in the Principality so limited the creative solution is literally to take to the air. When the land sets limits, Monaco goes through the air, quite simply.

A zip-wire from the Jardin Exotique to the Palace? Isn’t that just for daredevils? No, not a zip-wire but a safe, relaxing Gondola relay suitable for every visitor to the Principality.

But how? And if we are talking by air, and specifically via gondola then we are probably talking about major pylons to support the “flyway” and these themselves would eat into a lot of space.

Eggs are good for us – yes?

The designers have come up with  creative solution to limit the number of pylons by creating smaller gondolas in the shape of an egg. To make up for the smaller carrying capacity of these gondolas there would be a greater number of rotations around the flyway.

The Gondola system will be integrated in the parallel plan to redevelop the Fontvieille Shopping Centre. Two bids from developers are in the running. Both bids for the Shopping Centre redevelopment include the Gondola flyway which was included in the bid specifications. There will be stations at the footbridge in Fontvieille, at the Jardin Exotique and for the Palace, near the children’s garden by the Castel-roc. Included in the proposal would be a pedestrian footpath to the hospital from the exotic garden.

Delivery in 2021

With the projects tabled earlier this week, a decision could reasonably be made within six months for commissioning in 2021, according to government advisors.

It should take about 6 months for the consultative and decision making process to conclude. Everything should be sealed in the 2018 budget.

And then “Fly us to the Palace” will no longer be just a dream.

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