Flims Laax Falera ski area in Switzerland is home to a revolutionary style gondola system that will launch this December. Think of it as dial a gondola.
The FlemXpress gondola is available on demand and transports skiers and boarders direct to the gondola station of choice without stopping.
The year round FlemXpress will go from Flims to Foppa and Startgels (from base to mid mountain) this coming season then will offer six stations including Segnes, Nagena Sura and Cassons by next season.
Simply rock up, choose your destination and an on-call gondola will arrive to transport you. Traditional gondolas run continuously meaning many cabins remain empty and all cabins slow as skiers and boarders are picked up from different access points.
The FlemXpress gondola cabins are “parked” and on call for when needed, saving up to 50% of wasted energy. When a cabin arrives it parks and remains stationary until all passengers are onboard. Then takes passengers to the chosen station, bypassing all others.
‘With a conventional gondola lift, around 90% of the cabins travel empty. With FlemXpress, at least one person will be present in the cabin and the gondola goes wherever you want it to. That makes our gondola lift much more sustainable than it has been possible up until now,” says Roland Bartholet CEO of Bartholet Maschinenbau AG, the company responsible for the new FlemXpress.
The Ropetaxi technology which makes this possible was specially developed for this project by the Weisse Arena Group and the company Bartholet Maschinenbau AG. Like with any gondola lift, the gondolas move on a cable throughout the journey. However, in the station, the cabins move autonomously on rails by way of their own drive system. If any gondolas are unoccupied, they will not be on the line. This innovative technology allows guests to comfortably board the stationary cabin with their luggage or sports equipment and thus makes the gondolas accessible to all.
Cabins will feature phone charging stations, 10 seats, ski and board transportation (5 riders and bikes in summer).
It’s all in keeping with Laax goal to eliminate all carbon emissions by 2030.