Video: Caracas Metrocable, Skyhigh Savior

Post by Steven Dale

A strong report on the Caracas Metrocable by Global Post. Unfortunately, the report makes the mistake of conflating the price of the cable line itself with that of the community-based infrastructure that’s co-located in the stations. This is a problem I previously highlighted and suspect will continue to dog the system. Nevertheless, try to keep in mind that the actual gondola transit system in Caracas was less that 1/10th of the cost of the entire project. That’s an important distinction.

Interestingly, one critic of the system says it currently only transports 1,000 people per day (at time 3:20). That seems highly unlikely to me, but I’m not ruling it out as there are no shortage of examples of transit systems experiencing drastically low ridership. Anyone who can find confirmation/refutal of that number, please post a link in the comments section.

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  1. This article says the system moves over 3,000 people per day (published this january) http://www.patriagrande.com.ve/temas/venezuela/caracas-metrocable-san-agustin-ha-transportado-un-millon-de-pasajeros/
  2. Others seemed to have reported 5,000 daily weekday riders, jumping to 6,000 on the weekend... (as of 2010) http://ciudadccs.info/?p=118522
  3. I see your point that this can cause a false assumption that gondolas are expensive, but this report isn't really about gondola technology. It's about a particular system which was very expensive, whatever the reason; and they did mention several times the other facilities which have been built at the stations, and thus pushed up the price. I am dubious of that 1000 people per day figure. Just based on the number of people seen in the cabins it must be much higher. The man who gave that figure tried to compare a single five station line to an entire four line 48 station system, which makes me question his grasp of the facts.
  4. @ Erik, I totally agree with you. I think the issue is twofold: Firstly, transit-planning is such a politicized act and; secondly, politicians, policy-makers and planners often have no troubles playing fast-and-loose with facts if it suits their needs. If one were interested in scuttling a proposed gondola system, all they'd have to do is jump up and down and scream "Look at Caracas! It cost $150 million per kilometer!!!!" And let's not pretend that won't happen.
  5. @ Rose, Right now it's impossible to actually know how many riders are using the thing. Would be best if someone just went and counted.
  6. @ Rose, Even at 3,000 - 5,000 people, that seems highly underutilized, doesn't it?
  7. mr dale, i'd like to apply for the position of Official Counter