Dear Editor:

After hearing the discussion of a proposed cable tram from San Mateo to Half Moon Bay, I’m even more excited by the prospect. As much as we complain about tourists, they are a source of money and interest in our small town. In addition, particularly our young and old residents would be relieved of our imperfect bus system.

I am personally very interested in a project like this to increase foot traffic in Half Moon Bay, without increasing automobile traffic. This could be great on many levels, providing a much-needed alternative for local weekday traffic and evening and weekend “tourist” traffic.  

The idea of sufficient parking at a Crystal Springs station, preferably beneath solar panel encrusted carports, would allow bicyclists, hikers and other Peninsula residents to use the station, including a restaurant or two, cable tram, etc. Imagine friends gathering at the Crystal Springs complex after work on a summer day. Watching the tram dip in and out of the giant wave of fog while enjoying a beverage. Then the group could all share a gondola on a spectacular ride up to Skyline for a hike, then head east or west for dinner.

In addition, the link to College of San Mateo would really tie the coast to San Mateo in a positive way. The San Mateo hills have relatively high population density which could really benefit from improved transit links. We would all benefit from easier paths to the downtown San Mateo area and our new electrified Caltrain. It seems this tram could eventually extend out to central Foster City, really transforming the Central Peninsula. 

I have traveled through much of Europe and always enjoyed trams when I have used them. These trams are visually interesting, very low polluting and a joy to ride. Their efficient design keeps operation and maintenance costs very low. These trams are very robust and much less likely to suffer storm damage than our local roads.

As for construction, the footprint of the pylon towers is very low and speaking as a member of a local building trade union, this is a project well within the ability of local skilled tradespeople. This is an iconic project like the Golden Gate Bridge, and as such it would draw visitors from around the world. This type or system, in conjunction with easy car and bike share options would really open up all sorts of activities on the Central Peninsula. 

Tony Basso

Half Moon Bay

Recommended for you

(5) comments

Scott McVicker

Do you remember SSTs? SuperSonic Transports (airplanes) were (for some) considered "good ideas." The financing was found, several teams did their best, prototypes were constructed, some proved better than others, and, for a time. commercial travel by SST was available. The concept eventually died out. In the end. it just did not pencil out. The ticket price could not be justified.

A similar fate awaits the Peninsula to HMB skyway. A-A-Ahh now, don't you dare dream of a government-funded project which would pick the Public purse. If YOU are so convinced that this would be a deal, get to work on your fundraising. Somewhere along that path you will encounter someone who will make an estimate of the per passenger cost...and this faceted crystal fantasy will come into contact with its expected hard surface.

The wise man has the power to reason away...almost anything.

John Charles Ullom

Cute idea. Won't work. We already have a bus that does the same. I am often the only person on that bus. The problem is the Pacifica Ocean and its beaches. A Tram is not the answer.


When people come to Half Moon Bay they are often going to the beach. When people go to the beach, they often have lots of stuff (coolers, picnic baskets, blankets, BBQ's, sand toys, surfboards, water toys, etc). How are these people going to transport all of this stuff on the tram, then to the beach after they exit the tram? Also, if this were a solution to morning commuters, which is our most problematic year round traffic, how will they continue their commute once over the hill on a tram? Their car would presumably be in Half Moon Bay. A bus maybe? I don't know, but I do know a slow moving tram over the hill, then a bus ride will take too long for most, they'll just use their car.


The project would for sure include integration with SamTrans bus routes, as well as with the corporate "white buses" operated by Google, Meta, Apple, Genentech, etc., which could easily add a stop at Crystal Springs to accommodate all Coastside employees. This in addition to being a standard carpooling terminal that would vastly simplify carpooling with colleagues who travel up and down 280 to work, but would never schlepp over the hill to pick up riders. As for weekend beachgoers, gondola cabins currently used all over the world are plenty big enough to accommodate the wagons people take to the beach, and the plan already mentions external racks for surfboards and bikes. All of these details are simply implementation decisions, and can be addressed as the system is designed.

John Charles Ullom

When was the last time you took public transportation over the hill? Thought so.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

More Stories