System Dossier

02
Mar

2017

System Dossier: Shin-Kobe Ropeway (新神戸ロープウェー)

 

The Shin-Kobe Ropeway. Image by Flickr user Valeri-DBF

The Shin-Kobe Ropeway. Image by Flickr user Valeri-DBF.

The maritime city of Kobe is highly regarded as one of Japan’s most attractive cosmopolitan cities. For many centuries, Kobe has acted as an important port for the Kansai region and was one of Japan’s first ports to open for trade with the West. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many, but the city is the source of the popular cuisine dish, Kobe beef.

A popular tourist site situated to the north of the city along the Rokko mountain range is the Nunobiki Herb Garden – home to 75,000 unique types of herbs. Connecting tourists to the garden from the city is accomplished by a 1.5 km urban gondola system.

Built initially in 1991, the gondola was upgraded to an MDG system in 2011 by Nippon Cable. Before the upgrade, the system was operated by Kōbe City Urban Development (神戸市都市整備公社) but is now owned by Kobe City and managed by Kobe Resort Services (神戸リゾートサービス ).

 

View of mid-station. Image by Flickr user Henry Lau.

The base station of the Shin-Kobe Ropeway is conveniently located 5 minutes from the Shin-Kobe train station. From there, the gondola makes an intermediate stop at Kaze no Oka station, which is located at the bottom of the Herb Garden. From Kaze no Oka, passengers can access hiking trails leading to Mount Maya and the Nunobiki waterfalls.

Lastly, the cable car reaches its destination of Nunobiki Observation Deck where tourists can experience scenic views of Kobe (and even the distant Osaka if visibility allows it). A fascinating feature regarding the ropeway is the medieval Tudor design of each station. While this is an architectural style not often seen in urban cable cars, the design fits in appropriately to the garden’s naturalistic and serene ambiance.

The Ninokobe Herb Garden Observatory Deck. Image by Flickr user Manish Prabhune

The Ninokobe Observatory Deck. Image by Flickr user Manish Prabhune.

All the gondola’s 69 cabins are composed of glass around all sides allowing for panoramic vistas of the garden and city at day or night, making the trip up to the destination just as exciting as the actual destination. The ropeway has been a premiere attraction in Kobe for nearly 3 decades now and demonstrates once again how urban gondola technology can enhance visitor experience and satisfaction.


Year opened (upgraded) 1991 (2011)
Length (km) 1.5
Trip Time (minutes) 6.5-10
Stations 3
Capacity (pphpd) 1,800
Speed (m/s) 4
Fare both ways (Yen) 1,400
09
Feb

2017

System Dossier: Constantine Cable Car (Télécabine de Constantine)

Constantine Cable Car. Image by Flickr user Bilouk Bilouk

Constantine Cable Car. Image by Flickr user Bilouk Bilouk

The mountainous terrain of Algeria poses a unique challenge for urban planners and developers. To solve this problem, several Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) systems have been built in Algerian cities throughout the country. These include ropeway systems in Algiers, Skikda, Tlemcen and Constantine. The installation of these gondola networks has been crucial to improving traffic flow and mitigating vehicular congestion.

In particular, Constantine has experienced great success with its urban cable car. Known as the City of Bridges, the municipality has built numerous overpasses to improve connectivity throughout the city’s challenging terrain. However, with rapid growth in the city, many of the existing bridges became overwhelmed. After much contemplation by city officials, the plan to construct the Constantine Cable Car (French: Télécabine de Constantine) was finally conceived in late 2006, and by June 2008, the system opened to the public.

Constantine Cable Car. Image by Flickr user Bilouk Bilouk

Constantine Cable Car. Image by Flickr user Bilouk Bilouk

With the arrival of the gondola, 100,000 residents in the city’s northern quarters were benefitted alongside 5,000 hospital workers.

The Constantine Cable Car is an MDG system built by the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group that transports passengers across the Rhumel Gorge. The system was designed with thirty-three 15-person cabins and an initial capacity of 2,000 pphpd. However, the capacity is expandable to 2,400 pphpd should passenger flows increase in the future.

The cable car makes 3 stops along its 7-minute journey: Terrain Tannoudji, Ben Badis Hospital, and Place Tatache. Since opening, the cable car has been an incredible success carrying 4.5 million passengers in its first year of operation and reaching 12 million passengers by 2012. This urban gondola is another example of how a CPT system can effectively enhance and complement a city’s existing infrastructure network.



Year opened 2008
Length (km) 1.63
Trip time (minutes) 7
Capacity (pphpd) 2,000 (expandable to 2,400)
Speed (m/s) 6.0

 

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13
Jan

2017

System Dossier: Teleférico Metropolitano (Santiago Cable Car)

Teleférico Metropolitano of Santiago. Image by Wikipedia user Sfs90.

Parque Metropolitano – located in the Chilean capital of Santiago – is the fourth largest urban park in the world encompassing over 700 acres of land. Attractions, such as the Japanese botanical gardens and the National Zoo provide opportunities for leisurely fun and relaxation. Adding to the park’s appeal is the Teleférico Metropolitano, a cable car system providing transportation throughout the park allowing riders to experience its luscious gardens and pools from an aerial perspective.

Originally constructed in 1980, the Teleférico Metropolitano operated for 29 years before mechanical failures prompted the gondola’s indefinite suspension. However, through public financing, the gondola was ultimately re-opened in 2016. This upgraded cable car line is an MDG system, which is common amongst modern cable car systems. The gondola’s O&M contract was awarded to Chilean tour and excursion agency, Turistk — the same company who operates Funicular Santiago and the city’s Hop-On, Hop-off buses.

A round trip takes approximately 15 minutes and passes through 3 stations: Oasis, Tupahue, and Cumbre – all newly renovated for the re-opening of the cable car. The name of the station Cumbre translated to English means Summit. This indicates the station’s location on top of the Cerro San Cristóbal – a hill overlooking the city and site of the Virgin Mary Statue. Since opening in late November, the cable car has attracted over 80,000 riders in a month. It’s safe to say that many locals and tourists are happy that one of Santiago’s great icons is back!



Year opened (new) 2016
Length (km) 2
Line capacity (pphpd) 1000
Stations 3
Speed (m/s) 5
30
Nov

2016

System Dossier: Yenimahalle Teleferik (Ankara Gondola)

The Yenimahalle Teleferik. Image by Steven Dale.

The Turkish capital of Ankara demonstrates effectively how cable propelled transit (CPT) can efficiently complement an already existent public transit network. The MDG 10-passenger gondola lift from Leitner ropeways connects the hillside towns of Sentepe and Yenimahalle with Ankara’s metro system. Installed in 2014, the cable car system was extended in 2015 making it the longest urban gondola on the Eurasian continent at 3.2 km. Like many other situations seen in South America, this innovative means of transportation provides an alternative solution to combating the high traffic volume experienced in dense neighbourhoods.

Approaching Station Two of the Yenimahalle Teleferik from Station Three. Image by Steven Dale.

An incredibly fascinating quality about the Yenimahalle system is its relationship with the surrounding urban environment. With limited land space, developers had to devise a creative approach to each station’s design and location. The initial station, which is integrated with the metro, is built above a four-way intersection! One of the stations occupies a traffic island, while another straddles the road, allowing traffic to flow underneath. The clever placement of each station exemplifies CPT’s ability to flexibly adapt into a high-density, metropolitan setting.

Street level of the Yenimahalle Teleferik, Station Four. Image by Steven Dale.

Another point worth discussing is the impact the cable car has had on the city. Seen throughout multiple vantage points, the cable car has effectively become a noticeable attraction to the city. Passengers can be observed riding the gondola for leisurely purposes just as much as for commuting purposes. On the gondola, riders can enjoy the panoramic views of the city at day or night. Additional features built in the system such as heated cabins and LED lighting only add to the ridership experience.



For a more fulsome review of the Ankara system, follow the links below.

ANKARA SERIES

Read Part 1 – Intro

Read Part 2 – Explore

Read Part 3 – Photos

Read Part 4 – Station 1

Read Part 5 – Station 2

Read Part 6 – Station 3

Read Part 7 – Station 4

Read Part 8 – Conclusion



Opened 2014
Length (km) 3.2
Stations 4
Capacity (pphpd) 2400
Ridership (monthly) 360000 (phase 1)
Fare Free

 

Ankara Cable Car Yenimahalle Teleferik / System Dossier
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08
Nov

2016

System Dossier: Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car (Hong Kong)

Image by Flickr user Alexander Savin

Over the last half century, Hong Kong has established itself as one of the world’s leading financial centers and is continually ranked as one of the best places to start a business. However, there is more to the city than just stocks and skyscrapers.

This dynamic and vibrant metropolis is a fusion of many cultures. Evidence of the city’s colonial roots is seen throughout – seamlessly mixed with Chinese tradition. From the exciting world-class shopping and cuisine to the scenic views of the city’s iconic skyline, it’s no surprise that Hong Kong is such a desired international destination.

Image by Flickr user Angiele Mae Opura

Adding to its appeal, the Ngong Ping 360 cable car was opened in 2006 and has been one of Hong Kong’s most popular excursions (attracts over 1.6 million riders annually). The Leitner-built Bicable Detachable Gondola (BDG), transports passengers from Tung Chung station to Ngong Ping Village located on Lantau Island.

Tourists and locals alike can easily access the cable car by taking the MTR’s Tung Chung Line – a rapid transit system – to Tung Chung. From the rail station, passengers can purchase a separate fare and board the cable car. For an additional cost, riders have the option of upgrading their experience by boarding one of the VIP “Crystal Cabins”, complete with glass floors.

screen-shot-2016-05-17-at-5-46-43-pm

Image by Bridgette Lo

The initial portion of the cable car’s journey is a short crossing of Tung Chung Bay to Airport Island Angle Station – where the gondola makes a 60-degree turn. The gondola then proceeds to ascend over Tung Chung Bay again to Lantau Island where the gondola reaches its terminus station, Ngong Ping.

During this 25-minute journey, riders can enjoy panoramic views of the North Lantau Country Park, the South China Sea, the Tung Chung Valley, the Tian Tan Buddha statue, Hong Kong International Airport, Nei Lak Shan, and surrounding terrain and waterways. At Ngong Ping Village, tourists can indulge in a variety of shopping and dining experiences. Of course, one must not forget to check out the international cable car gallery, which exhibits cable car replicas from all over the globe.


Length (km) 5.7
Stations 4 (2 boarding & 2 angle)
Year Opened 2006
Line Capacity (pphpd) 3500
Speed (m/s) 6.0
One-way Fare (HKD) 130 (Standard)

 

 

 

Ngong Ping 360 / System Dossier
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19
Oct

2016

System Dossier: Mi Teleferico (La Paz-El Alto Cable Car)

Image by Flickr user Inhabitat

The Bolivian city of La Paz provides a model as to how cable propelled transit can be incorporated successfully into an urban environment. The sprawling metro was subject to a highly inefficient transit system unable to handle growing user demand.

Additionally, the chaotic traffic on the roads produced harmful noise and air pollution. Working together, the federal and municipal governments found an effective solution to curtail this pressing issue.

The publicly financed La Paz-El Alto Cable Car, known as Mi Teleferico, has been a wild success. The Doppelmayr built system, completed in 2014, consists of 3 MDG (monocable detachable gondola) lines, which cover a total distance of 10km. Navigating the mountainous terrain, the service reduces travel time significantly between the two cities.

Image by Flickr user David Baggins.

Image by Flickr user Inhabitat

In the system’s first two years of operations, it transported an incredible 43.2 million passengers with a daily record of 162,000 riders. In the year of 2015, Mi Teleferico has generated a profit of $21 million.

The incredible popularity has led project planners to expand the number of lines by 7; increasing the length of the network by more than 20 km. Mi Teleferico demonstrates how gondola systems can be an effective way to improve transportation in a busy metropolis.



LineLength (km)StationTravel Time (min)Capacity (pphpd)Speed (m/s)
Red (Linea Roja)2.43103,0005
Yellow (Linea Amarilla)3.9413.53,0005
Green (Linea Verde)3.7416.63,0005

Mi Teleférico / System Dossier
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12
Oct

2016

System Dossier: Telecabine Lisboa (Lisbon Cable Car)

Image by Flickr user Morgaine

The World Fair or Expo’ presents the opportunity for cities to develop and improve their national brand through their exhibitions. Cities see a large influx of tourists eager to see and learn about the country and what it has to offer. In 1992, the maritime city of Lisbon, Portugal was awarded to host the 1998 World Fair. The Parque das Nações (English: Nations’ Park) was selected as the site to display an innovative, modern perspective of historical Lisbon.

It’s theme of “The oceans: A heritage for the future” was conveyed through the development of an Oceanarium as well as the construction of both Vasco Da Gama Mall and Tower. The newly redesigned waterfront was ultimately completed by the construction of a gondola to connect the two venues.

Image by Flickr user Aapo Haapanen

The Telecabine Lisboa (Lisbon Cable Car) is a Doppelmayr built, MDG (monocable detachable gondola) system that leisurely glides over the Parque Nações. The cable car, which is not integrated within Lisbon’s public transit network, travels 1.2 km along the Tagus River connecting the Vasco Da Gama Tower in the north to the Oceanarium in the south.

During the Expo, the gondola provided an efficient means of transportation between the two attractions. Today, however, the cable car operates as its own complimentary attraction that presents both tourists and locals with panoramic views of the Parque Nações and surrounding areas. Though Expo ’98 is long over, the Telecabine Lisboa continues to provide visitors with a fun and memorable experience.



Length (km) 1.2
Stations 2
Year Opened 1998
Cabin Capacity 8 (reg)
Fare (euro) 3.95
Trip Time 8-12 minutes
Maximum speed (m/s) 4
Line Capacity (pphpd) 2,000










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System Dossier / Telecabine Lisboa
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