Palm Springs Aerial Tramway stopped due to mechanical issue

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was shut down for about two hours Friday due to a mechanical issue and started running again at about 3:45 p.m.  

The issue was identified as one of the cars was docking into the Valley Station at the bottom of Mount San Jacinto at around 1:24 p.m., spokesperson Greg Purdy said. 

“Everything is computerized and when it docked there was some indication that they needed to investigate, so that’s what they did,” he said. “And then they run several test trips to make sure it doesn’t trigger again.”

He said that because the issue was discovered when the tram was docking, no one was stranded suspended in a tram car.  However, there were “hundreds of people” at the top of the mountain. 

He also explained the decision was made at 1:30 p.m. to not sell any more tickets to people wanting to go up the mountain for the rest of the day, because tram authorities did not know how long it would take the issue to be resolved and wanted to be cautious in case the issue was triggered again. He added that the cause of the issue was still being investigated and he could not offer further specifics. 

Getting all of the people currently on the mountain would take 9 or 10 trips, but Purdy said the tram would continue running for downward trips until its scheduled closure time at 9:30 p.m. to ensure no one who was hiking is stranded. 

Paul Albani-Burgio covers breaking news and the City of Palm Springs. Follow him on Twitter at @albaniburgiop and via email at paul.albani-burgio@desertsun.com.

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