System Dossier



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.


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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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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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

Photo Essay:

System Dossier / Telecabine Lisboa
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System Dossier: Emirates Air Line

Image by Transport for London

London, England is home to a wide variety of world famous landmarks. Many destinations such as Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben clock tower are steeped with incredible historical significance. Other attractions, however, add their own modern flair and character to the city. This includes the popular Emirates Air Line cable car.

In 2012, the Big Smoke was at the centre of the sporting universe. Fans and athletes of all nationalities arrived at the British capital to experience the Games of the XXX Olympiad. This presented a perfect opportunity for the city to launch the cable car attraction.

Image by flickr user clive darra.

Transport for London (TfL) partnered with Emirates to construct the United Kingdom’s first urban gondola. The cable car was completed in less than a year, just in time for opening of the Games on June 28th, 2012. The cable car built by Doppelmayr is an MDG (monocable detachable gondola) system that is situated in the Royal Borough of Greenwich – located on the eastern side of the city. This area contains many exciting tourists attractions such as the Cutty Sark and local history spots like the National Maritime Museum.

The Emirates Air Line transports passengers roughly 1 kilometer across the Thames River at a maximum height of 90 meters between its two stations: the Royal Docks, and the Greenwich Peninsula. From the Royal Docks, passengers can visit Newham City Farm, the Museum of London Docklands, and the ExCeL convention center. The Greenwich Peninsula is a 5-minute walk from the O2 Arena and North Greenwich subway station.

A one-way trip over the Thames River takes approximately 10 minutes; however, after 7 p.m., the run extends to around 13 minutes allowing passengers to indulge in the breathtaking views of Canary Wharf and the London skyline. The system attract over 1.5 million passengers per year and is one of the few, if not only transport line in London which generates a profit.


Length (km) 1.1
Year Opened 2012
Ridership 1.5 million
Line Capacity (pphpd) 2,500
Fare Price (£) 4.50 (1-way, adult)
Trip Time (minutes) 10
Maximum speed (m/s) 6.0
System Dossier
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System Dossier: Telefèric de Montjuïc (Montjuïc Cable Car)

Telefèric de Montjuïc cars in Barcelona, Spain

The Catalonian capital of Barcelona, Spain is one of the major cultural and economic hubs in Europe. The bustling metropolis is replete with historical sights and landmarks keeping tourists busy for days.

One of the most famous locations belongs to the Montjuïc – a wide, shallow hill providing a panoramic vista of the city and the sea.

The top of the hill is the home to Castle Montjuïc – a fortress that dates back the 17th century. Montjuïc is also the site to the Palau Nationale, built for the 1929 Expo as well as the host of several venues for 1992 Olympic Games.

P1110098 Barcelone et le Telefèric de Montjuïc

The Telefèric de Montjuïc is a publically funded, cable propelled transit system that links the city to the top of the Montjuïc by climbing 84.5 meters on a 750-meter run lasting for approximately 8 minutes. The system is operated by Transport Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), however, a separate fare must be purchased as the system is not integrated within the Autoritat del Transport Metropolia (ATM).

The cable car was built in 1970 but was upgraded in 2007 to increase capacity. The Leitner built MDG (monocable detachable gondola) system has three stations. Starting at the Parc de Montjuïc, the gondola glides over the Jardins de Mossen Cinto Veraguer up to the Mirador.

At Mirador station – which interestingly means sea-view – the gondola makes a 90-degree turn. The gondola then further ascends another several hundred meters until it reaches Montjuïc Castle at the top of the hill.


Length (km) 0.752
Stations 3
Year Opened 2007 (refurbished)
Line Capacity 1,495
Fare €8
Ridership (annual) 1.3 million
Maximum speed (m/s) 5

Photo Essay:

Montjuïc Cable Car / System Dossier
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System Dossier: Yeosu Cable Car (여수해상케이블카)

Yeosu Cable Car. Image by 문화체육관광부.

Yeosu is a charming maritime city (pop: 300,000) on the southern coastline of South Korea. Roughly translated from Korean as “good water”, Yeosu is surrounded by 317 islands and is famous for its coastal beauty. Since hosting the 2012 World Expo, it has become a growing tourist destination.

To enhance the city’s appeal, the Yeosu Cable Car was built in 2014 by Poma and was estimated to attract one million passengers in its first year. It’s Korea’s first water crossing ropeway and, somewhat surprisingly, Asia’s fourth (Singapore, Hong Kong and Nha Trang have their own respective “seafaring gondolas”).

Outside of Korea, the system appears to have had little exposure and attention. However, a quick glance reveals several design elements worthy of further discussion.

To begin, the cable car connects two main areas, Jasan Park (Yeosu mainland) and Dolsan Park (Dolsando Island).

Jasan Park is a popular sightseeing spot with views of Yeosu Harbour and Odongo Island. It also has a memorial of national hero Yi Sun-sin, one of the world’s greatest naval commanders. The park is opened year round, free.

From Jasan Park, the 1.5km long cable car crosses over a small section of Turtle Bridge (photo), before climbing to heights of nearly 100m via two large lattice towers. These tall towers were probably required to allow ships to safely pass beneath because Namhae Sea (Gamack Bay/Yeosu Strait) remains an active port.

Aside from technical requirements, the tall towers undoubtedly add to the ride’s overall thrill and excitement. 100m up, passengers enjoy spectacular views of the water, Namhae island and the city.

Once arriving at Dolsando Island, visitors are treated to more spectacular vistas of Yeosu city, the coastline and Dolsandaegyo Bridge. The bridge was built in 1984, and is Korea’s longest cable stayed link (450m). Brilliantly illuminated at night, the bridge is a tourism big draw around the clock.

Cities aspiring to build their own cable car, should take note. It’s clear that system proponents did their design homework. The cable car incorporates many elements found in successful recreational ropeways:

It even took a page from a rare ticketing feature we only know exists in the Langkawi Cable Car. That is: “premium cabin tickets” for 5-8 of your friends which allows you can to skip the entire line. Sure it’s capitalistic, but if you have a large group, the US$5 extra per person seems reasonable. It’s unlikely to be used significantly, but a valuable option to have.

For this rapidly developing nation, the Yeosu cable car appears to satisfy the growing demand for more domestic attractions. Visitors can get to the ropeway by bus and taxi from 9am-10pm (M-F/Sun) and 9am-11pm (Sat).

Length (km) 1.5
Stations 2
Year Opened 2014
Cabin Capacity 8 (reg); 5 (crystal)
Fare $9-19
Trip Time 13 minutes
Maximum speed (m/s) 5


Installations / System Dossier / Yeosu Cable Car
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System Dossier: MÍO Cable (Cali, Colombia)

MIO Cable (Leitner Ropeways)

MÍO Cable. Image by LEITNER Ropeways.

With 2.3 million residents, Cali is the third most populous city in Colombia. Coincidentally, in September 2015 it became the third Colombian city to implement a Cable Propelled Transit line (after Medellin and Manizales).

This 2.0km transit system, named MÍO Cable (English: My Cable), is fully integrated with the city’s public transportation network and directly serves the 120,000 residents of Siloé. Siloé is one of Cali’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods and because it is situated on hilly terrain, it was nearly impossible to implement traditional rapid transit solutions cost-effectively.

Since MÍO Cable opened, travel times to the central bus station, Cañaveralejo, has been reduced to just 9 minutes from 35 minutes in the past (a 74% reduction in travel time!).

LEITNER Ropeways was the manufacturer of this urban cable car. It is the sixth ropeway that the company has built in Colombia.

The system began operations in September 2015, but residents were welcome to ride free of charge until November. Since the promotional phase ended, riders pay a fare of USD $0.60 (COP $1,700). Residents can travel conveniently throughout the community as the system is operational for 18 hours a day (5am – 11pm). During its first week of commercial operations, the system already transported 16,000 residents!

Length (km) 2.0
Stations 4
Year Opened 2015
Capacity 2,000 (up to 3,000)
Fare $0.60
Trip Time 9 minutes
Maximum speed (m/s) 5
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MIO Cable / System Dossier
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