Without much fanfare or media attention outside of Venezuela, another urban CPT system has opened — the Cabletren Bolivariano. This system is a 2.1km bottom-supported cable liner that’s located in Petare, an administrative division within the greater Caracas area.
If Google Translate is accurate, it appears that only half of the system is currently operational. As per phase 1 plans, 3 of the 5 stations are in service while the other 2 is expected to be up and running by 2014.
Despite its function as a short feeder line, the system is estimated to benefit up to 120,000 residents. Some additional key stats for the Cabletren are:
- Line capacity: 3,000 pphpd
- Train: 232 passengers
- Ticket: 1.5 bolivars ($0.25 USD)
- Operations: 5:30am – 10:00pm
- Trip Time: 6 minutes 44 seconds
- Max Speed: 47km/h
- Average Speed: 19km/h
Strangely, most of the news articles I’ve read online fail to describe in much detail what and where this CPT system connects to. However, luckily after a bit more digging, I stumbled on the official Metro Caracas map.
Based on the map, it seems that the Cabletren will one day function as a connector between 4 different transit lines: Linea 1 (existing), Linea 5 (under construction), Sistema Caracas Guarenas-Guatire (under construction) and Metrocable de Petare Sur (planning).
In addition to linking these various rapid transit lines, careful observers will notice that the Cabletren’s Petare II terminal is situated only one station west of the Metrocable de Mariche’s local and express lines. Assuming that the Petare Sur and Mariche “local” cable lifts are built in the near to mid term, the cable liner will essentially function as part of an incredibly robust and integrated CPT network.
Being the inquisitive soul that I am, I decided to add up the system lengths for all existing and proposed cable cars.
- Cabletren (existing): 2.1km
- Metrocable de Mariche Express (existing): 4.8km
- Metrocable de Petare Sur (planning): 4.8km
- Metrocable de Mariche Local (planning): 4.8km
So assuming I didn’t add this up incorrectly, this means that within the Petare area alone, it will be home to over 16km of cable car lines! And in turn, what this suggests is that in the near future, the title of “City with Largest Network of CPT” may be handed over from La Paz to Caracas.
These recent developments in Caracas are undoubtedly very exciting and time will tell if these CPT systems can effectively mitigate/solve some of the major transport challenges in the city. And as cable systems become larger, more complex and form bigger rapid transit networks, decision-makers worldwide should definitely pay close attention to understand the ongoing evolution of CPT technology.