12
Oct

2018

La Paz Cable Cars Named World’s Most Spectacular Public Transit System

Post by Gondola Project

The Yellow Line was one of the first three cable cars to open in 2014. Image by Dan Lundberg.

Mi Teleférico, the world’s largest network of urban gondolas, is continuing to capture the public’s imagination. This week one of the UK’s top newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, described La Paz’s ropeway system as the world’s spectacular transit system.

With eight lines now operating throughout the city, the 27.2km network is estimated to transport over 250,000 passengers per day — that’s 30,000 more riders than America’s busiest LRT system, the Metro Rail in Los Angeles.

The Telegraph’s correspondent, Chris Moss, gave readers a fascinating first-hand account of how the cable cars have transformed the way locals travel in the city. He notes that the three cable cars connecting to the historically marginalized city of El Alto has promoted greater integration between the two communities. In effect, some residents have become tourists in their own cities, venturing into areas that were once deemed too dangerous and/or too remote.

The Red Line was La Paz’s first urban ropeway and was the first to link to El Alto. Image by David Almeida.

Irpawi Station (pictured above) is the Green Line’s eastern terminus. It will be connected to the upcoming Gold Line by 2020. Image by EEJCC.

While Moss floated above La Paz at 18km/h, he amusingly described how he felt like a godly being, watching down on the poor souls stuck in the city’s narrow and congested roadways.

Thanks to the incredible success of the system, transportation specialists are flocking to the city to learn about how urban gondola technology could transform their rapid transit network. System operators even interviewed a traffic engineer last week from Zimbabwe who gave the system a rave review.

The potential to use cost-effective and quick-to-build urban ropeways in developing African cities is a massive opportunity that’s still untapped.

Smart Dumba, traffic engineer from Zimbabwe, tours the cable car system. Image from Mi Teleferico.

In addition, delegates from Germany, including the Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Development (Wolfgang Tiefensee) arrived in La Paz last week to personally witness the urban gondolas. This may be a sign of things to come in Western Europe as many cities are now actively exploring the feasibility of building urban cable cars.

Next year will be another momentous one for Mi Teleférico as two more cable car lines, the Brown Line and the Silver Line, are scheduled to open. The massive construction project will culminate with the opening of the Gold Line in 2020.



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