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The town of Telluride Colorado has taken an interesting approach to the conundrum of public transportation to connect the town of Telluride with Telluride Mountain Village, the base of the resort, and home to many restaurants and shops. It built a public gondola connecting the two villages (actually there are three gondolas, including one that stops at a free public parking garage) that run from 7AM to midnight, and that anyone can take for free. The gondola is open 275 days each year during peak seasons. When the Gondola is not in operation, public buses transport people between the town and the village. They provide noise and air pollution-free travel with a view. Gondola towers are low profile, which keep them operational on windy days, and which keeps them out of sight and doesn’t interfere with mountain views.
On the Gondola it takes about 12 minutes (with one no-wait transfer) to get from Telluride Mountain Village to the town of Telluride and visa versa–significantly faster than taking the bus. The gondola s funded by the Town of Mountain Village tax payers, and the Town of Mountain Village manages its daily operations. Check it out next time you are in Telluride. The skiing is worth the drive from Denver, or take a direct flight to Montrose, CO.
The long term plan: to connect Telluride with neighboring Silverton Mountain via gondola, though right now it seems more a dream than an imminent possibility