Quote:
Doesn't make sense, but some quick research supports your contention.

Since only 4 people can get on the lift every 6 seconds, only 4 people can get **off** the lift every 6 seconds. It doesn't matter how fast the chairs move between the stations. So just on that basis, a faster chair doesn't put any more skiers on the hill at once.

Example:

Let's say you have a HSQ that takes 5 minutes to reach the top of a run, and a FGQ that takes 10 minutes, and it takes two minutes for someone to ski down. Each lift loads one chair of four people every six seconds. Assume there is a huge crowd of people who want to ski, so there will always be a wait for the lift.

With the HSQ, nobody is on the hill for the first 5 minutes. At the 5-minute mark, the first skiers start reaching the top. 2 minutes later, the first skiers are just reaching the bottom. During those two minutes, (120 / 6 * 4 = 80) skiers got off the chair and onto the hill. From then on, every time four skiers reach the bottom, another four get off at the top, so there will always be ~80 skiers on the hill at a time.

With the FGQ, nobody is on the hill for the first 10 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, the first skiers start reaching the top. 2 minutes later, the first skiers are just reaching the bottom. During those two minutes, (120 / 6 * 4 = 80) skiers got off the chair and onto the hill. From then on, every time four skiers reach the bottom, another four get off at the top, so there will always be ~80 skiers on the hill at a time.

No difference. If you have a chair that gets people up the hill in 1 second, there will still only be ~80 skiers on the hill at a time. (And a much longer line at the bottom.)

With no line, the HSQ can end up putting more people on the hill on average. People spend more time sitting in the chair and less time skiing on the fixed-grip. But when all the chairs are always full, there is no difference. (Another way of thinking about this is that it doesn't take as many skiers to keep all the chairs on the HSQ full all the time.)

Also... that example assumes that everyone just gets off the chair and skis straight down at the same speed. If you have a bunch of slow skiers, or people who stop for minutes at a time on the way down, a faster lift **might** actually end up putting somewhat more people on the slopes. The 'fast' skiers might be able to ride up and get back on the hill while the 'slow' ones are still on their way down. But if that doesn't happen very much, the length of the chair ride doesn't really change the number of people on the hill at a given time.