New Urban Gondola Opens: Portugal’s Teleférico de Gaia

Post by Steven Dale

The new Teleférico de Gaia in the Porto-region city of Vila Nova de Gaia. Image via Nabicicleta.

So apparently last week the port wine-producing city of Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal is the latest city in the world to open an urban gondola transit system. Similar to the Complexo do Alemao Teleférico in Rio de Janeiro, this one opened without a peep from the English-speaking world.

As such, we know virtually nothing about it.

All we do know comes from a few youtube videos and the english translation of the original portuguese wikipedia entry:

  • Very short – only 562 meters in length.
  • Clearly a basic MDG system (see videos below)
  • Based upon cabin design, more than likely a Doppelmayr-built system (see videos below).
  • Tourist-oriented.
  • 2 stations.
  • Estimated capital costs of €10 M. This seems like an absurdly high number for an MDG that’s so short. At the same time, most of the cost is in terminals, so one could reasonably assume that the system would cost ~ €10M whether it was 250 meters, 500 meters or 1,500 meters long.

Any info anyone can find about this would be appreciated.







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  1. Have you seen the length and the topography? Honestly? I'd like to hear the reasons for this installation. From here it looks a shuttle bus service would have done it too. There's a big and empty road next to the water and a great viewing spot could be done by architecture probably even better. Ironically recently (2 days ago) Portugal asked the European Union for financial help.
  2. Here's another video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgjbMvj-UiI&feature=related looks like it connects to a Bombardier-esque light rail train too at 3:36...though I can't be certain there is actually an LRT station there from the video (but it would be weird if there wasn't one near the gondola and soon after the bridge)
  3. Yes there is a station for the LRT metro at the top in Jardim do Morro http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=&q=porto+portugal&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Oporto,+Portugal&ll=41.13749,-8.614526&spn=0.013284,0.029225&z=15 Doesn't sound like the gondola is integrated with the transit system though from the wiki sites which is unfortunate because it does sound like it connects the bridge over to Porto with the market at the bottom by the water.
  4. You can find an interesting article about it here (Portugese language): http://www.jn.pt/paginainicial/pais/concelho.aspx?Distrito=Porto&Concelho=Vila%20Nova%20de%20Gaia&Option=Interior&content_id=1774027 They had to take away land from the owners (confiscated) and the Court doubled the indemnity from € 336,000.- to € 650,000.-, and now they want to pay "on a voluntary basis" for "violated airspace" above two houses. So the costs are exploding ( and I understand, why the State of Portugal is bankrupt - too much corruption and too little planning... ). On Portugese Wikipedia: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telef%C3%A9rico_de_Vila_Nova_de_Gaia The Teleferico de Gaia connects the Public Garden "Jardim do Morro" with the Metro.
  5. ...the conclusion is: Urban gondola transit systems are easier to build at undeveloped countries through barrios, favelas and wild built-up areas (Medellin, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Panama, Bogota,...). where nobody makes any claims. At developed countries you have to plan the lines above public streets and above rivers. Perhaps some Railway Acts permit faster construction.
  6. Not quite right Guenther, in general though I'd agree: Medellin for instance has a big road underneath and the Portland tram is running above private property - and you wouldn't describe Portugal as an undeveloped country, would you? The point about claiming is right though: people are aware there is no other better option (like doing it on the ground - you would have to remove houses) so they have to deal with the option: do you want it or not? And they'd probably say: Better than nothing. Yes! Norms and standards of course are other good reasons. Imagine the escaping above a favela or above those roofs in the video. Most important factor is the people living with the situation. And for what I can say the responsibility within the population is often connected with the connection to media and people's way of thinking, followed by authorities and organizations being aware of what happens within their area. So while lots of cities, especially in the undeveloped countries are often a mixture of all kinds of architecture and urban-test-fields for everything it is clear why it is easier there "to do something" - and I don't really see that as an advantage, but that's how it is. Btw: it's 9 Euro for a return ticket...
  7. Further translated information: Minimum quota: 0 feet - (Low Season - Next to City Market in Cais de Gaia) Cota average: 49.6 meters Maximum height: 57.2 meters - (High Season - Next to the Hill Garden on Avenue of the Republic) Travel Time: 5 minutes Average speed: 4 m/s Number of passengers per cabin: 8 Number of cabins: 12 Fees: 9.5 euros (round trip) and 6 euros (one way) Time: Continuously between 08:30 and 18:00 (winter) or 20:00 (summer) Source: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telef%C3%A9rico_de_Vila_Nova_de_Gaia
  8. Took a ride on this gondola system a few weeks ago - it's short but sweet with good all round views from the tourist point of view. http://theonlinetraveljournal.com/porto-2/aerial-sightseeing-over-porto/ I believe Telef (Tranportes Por Cabo E Concessoes S.A) are the company behind its construction.
  9. Just some corrections: Fees: 8 euros (round trip) and 5 euros (one way) Time: Continuously between 10:00 and 18:00 (winter - from october 10th) or 20:00 (summer - from april 9 th) Thks
  10. FYI on a writeup at: http://www.archdaily.com/215953/gaia-ropeway-cablecar-guedes-decampos/