29
Sep

2018

La Paz Officially Opens 8th Urban Gondola — The Purple Line

Post by Gondola Project

Purple Line spans 4.3km and connects El Alto and La Paz. Image from Mi Teleferico.

Thousands of people in La Paz and El Alto lined the streets on September 28 to celebrate the official opening of the Purple Line (Spanish: Linea Morada). After system construction began back in February 2016, the highly anticipated urban gondola is now finally ready. The cable car’s inauguration marks the city’s 8th urban ropeway and is considered one of the network’s most important lines for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it represents a sizeable technological upgrade because the Purple Line operates at higher speeds (6m/s) and capacities (4,000 pphpd) than most of the existing lines (e.g. Red Line, Green Line, Yellow Line, Blue Line, Orange Line and White Line). Improved performance capabilities will lead to faster travel times and therefore, hopefully lower wait times during peak travel times.



Secondly, the Purple Line represents the commitment that the government has made modernizing its public transit network, reducing traffic congestion and sparking economic development. Since the system’s western terminus, 6 de Marzo, is located immediately next to the international airport, it will provide users with a direct rapid transit connection to the city center.

Socially, the entire Mi Teleférico network has transformed the way people travel throughout the city. For instance, the cable cars have been instrumental to improving mobility for the less fortunate as 80% of its riders earn less than US$300 per month (Bs2000). In addition, its preferential card provides mobility-impaired riders with a 50% discount on all travel.

Image by Mi Teleferico.

Lastly but most importantly, the Purple Line represents a symbolic and physical unification of El Alto and La Paz — a metropolitan region of almost two million inhabitants. Historically and to this day, El Alto is a poor, and rapidly growing area that is considered the most populous indigenous city in the Americas. As it sits 4000m above sea level and overlooks La Paz, residents of El Alto have had to face long commutes into La Paz for work.

But thanks to the Purple Line, travel times from El Alto into La Paz will only be 8 to 16 minutes (depending on which station a passenger finally disembarks from). One of the strange quirks about the Purple Line is that the line is designed and operated into two separate sections. In other words, unlike the other gondola lines with a mid-station where riders can remain in their cabins to continue to journey to the next station, Purple Line riders must unload from one section of the gondola line at the Faro Marillo mid-station before transferring to the other section at the same mid-station.



In any event, Mi Teleferico staff does not believe this minor inconvenience will have any effects on ridership as the Purple Line is expected to the network’s busiest line with more than 80,000 estimated daily passengers. This is approximately 2 to 4 times the ridership amongst existing urban gondola lines in La Paz — and compared other North American transit lines, the Purple Line may have a higher passengers per mile ranking (30,000 passengers per mile) than any LRT in Canada and America.




Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

Leave a comment

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.