18
Feb

2016

La Paz: Purple Line Starts Construction, Silver Line Announced

Post by Nick Chu

In just 22 months, La Paz urban gondola network, Mi Teleférico (My Cable Car), has surpassed 40 million riders. That’s an average of about 1.8 million passengers per month, or 60,000 per day.

By comparison, that’s more daily riders than many LRT systems in the USA, including New Jersey’s $2.2 billion, 27km (17mi) Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.



Perhaps this isn’t all too surprising since the 10km long cable car network (3 lines: Red, Yellow, Green) has a total capacity of 18,000 per hour (both directions) while providing 12 second headways. For many riders, the US$0.40 urban gondola line ride has reduced travel times by up to 60 minutes, making it an attractive and cost-effective alternative to the chaotic bus system.

To better understand how deeply integrated the system is in people’s lives, the cable cars are often used to fulfill a variety of social objectives. For instance, the cable car recently served as a platform to promote awareness on HIV prevention.

While it is already considered the world’s largest network of urban gondolas, the president quickly announced plans for phase 2, thereby adding 6 more lines (totalling 20.3km, and 23 stations).

So far, these plans have been moving along at near break-neck speeds. Large shipments of ropeway equipment continue to arrive in the city from Doppelmayr’s Wolfurt headquarters. Based on online reports, the Blue Line and White Line are nearing completion with the Blue Line scheduled for operations by the first half of 2017.

CABLE CARS GALORE

And just this week, two major announcements were made.

A new cable car, the Silver Line (Linea Plateada) was announced while construction works for the Purple Line (Linea Morada) began.

Silver Line

The Silver Line will integrate with 4 cable car lines — the Yellow Line, Red Line, Purple Line and Blue Line. Image from Mi Teleferico.

Once designs are complete, construction of the Silver Line (2.6km, 3 stations, 11 minutes, 39 cabins, US$60 million) could start in 2017 and be operational by 2018/2019. The cable car will effectively unify and integrate 4 separate lines (Yellow, Purple, Blue and Red).

If this wasn’t enough excitement and activity for one week, the President took part in laying the foundation stone for the Purple Line (4.4km, 3 stations, 189 cabins).

Purple Line

Purple Line notice. Image by Mi Teleferico.

Unlike the cable cars found in phase 1, the Purple Line will feature higher specs and has been dubbed, the “Express Line”. Compared to existing travel times along this corridor, the Purple Line is projected to cut commutes by more than 20 minutes.


Due to phase 1’s popularity (Red, Yellow, Green), it was found that greater capacities were needed to meet passenger demand. As such, the Purple Line has been designed with maximum speeds of 6m/s (5m/s in phase 1), capacity of up to 4,000 pphpd (3,000 pphpd in phase 1), 9 second headways (12 seconds in phase 1) and cabin spacing of 54m (60m in phase 1).

Once again, as we can see in the Purple Line, ropeway technology has demonstrated its ability to push the envelope and respond to the rapidly changing demands in the urban market.

 

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Comments

  1. Roosevelt Island Tramway How come this not mentioned in your site or maybe I missed it?
  2. I've been fascinated with the La Paz project. Great forward thinking by their local government! I do struggle to find English language information about it though. I try to keep the Wikipedia page updated, but it involves a lot of Google translations!
  3. @ Ala: we've followed it here and there. here's a system dossier if you'd like to take a look. http://gondolaproject.com/2015/07/27/system-dossier-roosevelt-island-tram/
  4. @Charles: I agree. It's not always easy understanding the translated materials. I'm amazed at the sheer size and scale of their network (and of course, the speed of implementation!).