Berke: Sir Richard Branson Ready To Sponsor Miami Beach Skylink

Virgin cable cars could soon be transporting commuters and tourists between Miami and Miami Beach if mayoral candidate Steve Berke has his way.

Berke, who proposed the cable car idea last week, says that he has been in contact with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, who has expressed enthusiasm about the plan. Branson has offered to buy the naming rights to the system, according to Berke.

A similar system known as the Emirates Air Line was built in London ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at a cost of about $95 million. Emirates signed a 10-year, $57 million deal for naming rights to the cars, which run .62 miles.

Branson owns a small condominium in South Beach, registered under his wife’s name.


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Berke’s The Man. Great idea. I think running it over the cruise port will keep the nimby’s at bay. Connecting to the beach at South Point Park seems safe too. Crossing Government Cut should be fun especially soaring high above cruise ships passing underneath. May I suggest the Miami terminus be in that vacant spot behind AAA/Bongos where some Cubans want to build a museum to themselves. The Skylink won’t need all that space which means the rest of the land could be made into a tree shaded park.


This is great! I have friends come to town all the time, and after a few days of clubs, etc. they ask me: “So now what?” It would be really great to say, “Well, we take the world-class Virgin cable car to Miami, check out the art scene, and ride it back in the evening to enjoy more of South Beach!”

Nobody in the world wants ANOTHER $30 cab ride… but that’s what you’re faced with for the way to Miami. This is EXACTLY what SoBe needs.


How about a simple bus or bike ride?


A tourist attraction? Absolutely, would be very fun! A convenient, reliable, all weather mass transit link between SoBe and the mainland? Not quite….We NEED baylink, both would be amazing!


Sweet. They have these things going between mountain tops with winds more than 100mph. No trouble at all with storms. You just ground it during hurricanes. Doing the math, should be able to get across the bay in about 15mins. Way faster than any rush hour traffic. Also, based on others around the world, should be able to carry 2,500 people an hour. Win, win, win!!!


Great idea,but still need Baylink with stops at Watson Island and another one for Palm and Hibiscus Islands,which would be more practical for the locals,especialy if it went all the way to the convention center,with the stops along the way.The cable system would be awesome for the sightseeing ,but the practicality of the system with just two stops is questionable.


The Skylink planned strictly as a tourist attraction makes complete sense.


OK, I highly doubt the type of locals that live in Palm and Hibiscus Islands would use Baylink


this is really cool but with no connectivity in downtown, Watson island and the convention center seems then we would have to build systems for that and people prefer one seat type transportation where they can get on and at one location and off at their destination. thats what makes Bay Link so functional it circulates in downtown Miami and then goes to South Beach and does the same there connecting major neighborhoods and points of interest as well as major transportation hubs to the airport and the rest of the county and with All Aboard Florida and possible Tri-rial connection to palm beach county it would make south beach connected to the region

I agree we need a BayLink (preferably monorail) but that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars (most of it coming from the Feds and State coffers). Building SkyLink, as described, won’t cost taxpayers anything. Although it can’t replace rapid transit, it would be foolish to cast it aside because it isn’t an optimal solution for getting to and from the beach and the mainland.


It connects South Point Park to Port Miami and on to Bayfront Park.

I don’t know why people think this is so out of the realm of possibilty. It is already in place in Portland and Medallin. It is something that could be implemented much more quickly than running a Light-Rail. Everybody that visits the region would insist on taking a ride on it, and even more would use it to get to South Beach. I would actually like to see it extend into the fabric of the city, using the FEC RoW to actually attach directly to the Transportation Center.


Listen up. This isn’t just some novel “tourist attraction.” At first I thought it would be a slow impractical alternative mode of transport. But I finally saw the actual presentation Mr. Burke made, and he said the trip will take 17 minutes. This is perfect.
Go onto Google Map and get for directions from Bicentennial Park to South Point Park. This is what you get.
By car: 15 minutes [WITHOUT traffic]
By public transport: 30-40 minutes
By bicycle: 21 minutes
By foot: 1 hour, 54 minutes

So the Skylink should get you there almost as fast or faster than it would by car. And definitely in half the time it would using public transportation. So this would be a valuable means of transportation. Building Baylink in addition to this is redundant and unecessary.


Should be fun in a storm…


Always a pessimist in a crowd


this is a waste of money. please provide a better link for the people who live here, and not something that only tourists and maybe a few locals would ride.