We jet setters try to avoid public transportation when there's a more baller option to consider. But there a few things that might convince us to endure — even get excited about — the indignities of mass transit. Namely, champagne.
Picture it: You're rushing to get from one side of the River Thames to the other, with no option but to hop aboard the rather odd cable car that is London's Emirates Air Line with nothing to amuse yourself for the 10-minute journey. Well, Transport for London wants to remedy that sad scenario and so have applied for a license to serve alcohol to passengers. Under the proposals, which were approved by Greenwich Council on Tuesday, champagne can be served from 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. every day from bars on platforms at each end of the 300-foot-high crossing. London's Evening Standard reports that the license also allows the operators to show movies, play live music, and host karaoke and disco nights at the south terminal. "We will be reviewing the offer of a premium experience for customers seeking a unique hospitality package," said Danny Price, head of Emirates Air Line.
But not everyone is so enthusiastic. Local resident Robert Leftwich asked, “Is it really sensible to allow inebriated people to ‘fly’ 300 feet up in the air, with doors on the cabins? Inevitably at some point someone will try to make a jump for the river below." His near neighbors Trevor Jones and Joanne Roughton went for a different, rather imaginative, angle in stating their opposition, saying: “The proposals will lead to people becoming drunk in a residential area, fighting and acts of damage, drugs, and potential sexual acts in and around our home.”
But Tony Vaughan's objection takes the prize for dramatic effect: “The music will probably be the usual cretinous cacophony. We don’t want roaring stag (bachelor) nights and shrieking hen (bachelorette) parties, particularly not in the early hours. I’m 69 and will be in hell soon enough. I don’t want a foretaste.”
Launched in 2012 by Boris Johnson, London's most, erm, colorful former mayor, the Emirates Air Line hasn't exactly lived up to its potential. Despite having the capacity to carry 2,500 passengers an hour in its 34 gondolas, only around 4,000 people use the system per day. Presumably it is hoped that alcohol, music, and karaoke will lure many more aboard.
Ironically, Boris Johnson banned alcohol on the rest of London's public transit system eight years ago.
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