Posts Tagged: Medellin

10
May

2012

Another CPT for Colombia – The Bogota Metrocable?

Metrocable Line J in Medellin. Sources suggest that Bogota will see its first CPT system within 1-4 years. Image by CUP Projects.

Not to be outdone by its compatriot, Medellin, news reports coming from Bogota, Colombia indicates that the country’s capital is now seeking to build a Metrocable system of its own.

The cable car is expected to operate in the districts of Ciudad Bolivar and San Cristobal – both of which are located southwest and southeast of the city. From a cursory analysis, it appears that Ciudad Bolivar suffers from poor transport connections and is one of the poorest regions in the city.

Preliminary plans show that the system will run 3.4km in length with a capacity of 2,400-3,200 pphpd.

The Bogota Metrocable is estimated to cost $125 billion pesos ( USD ~$70 million) and will run at speeds of 5 m/s. This is nothing incredibly special nor different from the existing systems such as Medellin but its great to learn that the technology continues to make headways. If anyone has any additional information on this system, we’d love to hear from about it!

 



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27
Jan

2012

Weekly Roundup

Just some dude climbing on a cable 3491m long. No biggie. Grimselwelt Mountains, Switzerland. Image from Dailymail.co.uk.

It’s been a busy week here at the Gondola Project. So let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights from around the world of Urban Gondolas, Gondola Transit, and Cable Propelled Transit.

 



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02
Jan

2012

Should An Escalator Be Considered Public Transportation?

The Independencias I Connection Pathways, the world's first escalators for "Public Transport." Photo - AFP.

As we’ve argued before, Medellin is quickly becoming the poster child for multi-modal transit planning and the city’s latest public transit addition only solidifies that reputation.

Last week, the BBC reported (not to mention many, many others) that the city has opened a six-segment, 130m long system of escalators that rise 384m up into Comuna 13 – the same barrio served by Linea J of the Metrocable.

The escalator trims walking times for residents from up to 30 minutes down to 5 for the area’s 12,000 residents and was installed at a cost of approximately $7m. The system is free for all users.

I’d rather not wade into the chorus of people debating whether this is a good or bad development (and if you think there aren’t people virulently against this system, feel free to check here and here for examples of the ideologically-driven narrative against the escalators).

Instead, I’d like to focus on the system’s curious positioning specifically as public transport. As Medellin Mayor Alonso Salazar said during the system’s inauguration ceremony, “we used to see escalators in shopping malls, but Medellin will be the first to use it as public transport.”

Salazar’s comments are certainly arguable. There are no shortage of examples of outdoor escalators that aren’t considered “public transport.” So what then makes these specifically “public transport?”

My knee-jerk reaction is to say “well, of course, they’re public transport!” After all, they’re transporting members of the public in a way that improves the lives of area residents. But that might just be the emotionally-driven part of me reacting to the feel-good story this system inspires (and Mayor Salazar deftly exploits).

The flip side of the argument is this: Like roads, sidewalks and highways, the escalators are nothing more than pieces of outdoor mobility infrastructure that are usable by the general public without a specific fare or user fee. Furthermore, they’re presumably not operated or maintained by Metro de Medellin – the region’s transit agency.

So again: What makes them public transport? Are they public transport? I honestly don’t know and would love to hear your opinions.



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03
Nov

2011

More White Cards

The Gondola Project has been dedicated to exploring cable systems for a couple years now, and have amassed a large amount of information throughout this site. That is why yesterday we introduced our most recent CUP endeavor — WHITE CARDS, a new (and we hope more succinct) learning tool for cable.

Devised from the idea of a White Paper, an in depth research document often used to explain a technology or analyze policy, the WHITE CARD is meant to be a quick introduction and analysis for the various CPT systems. Since they’ve been published under Creative Commons, with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 license, they can be downloaded, emailed, printed, etc, (just not bought, sold, changed or cut/copied).

That being said, in today’s news we are releasing the second pair of WHITE CARDS from our Major CPT Systems series. You can find them and the full list of available cards here, or from the “Learn About Cable” menu in the header. There are only a handful now, but over the next few weeks we will be growing and expanding the list.



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14
Oct

2011

Weekly Roundup: 12 Urban Gondolas in Makkah?

Could the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia be the next place Urban Gondolas appear? Image via Arabian Business.

  • Various media sources have been reporting that Makkah, Saudi Arabia has plans for 12 Urban Gondola systems throughout the city (here, here and here, for example). While that’s certainly exciting news, it’s not exactly true. The study that led to these reports explored only three routes with multiple technology and route configurations. The number of lines studied was actually only 3. (Full Disclosure: CUP acted as a special advisor on this study but has no vested interests in the project. It was conducted by Dr. Amer Shalaby of the University of Toronto Cities Centre. You can learn more about this study here.)
  • London Assembly member John Biggs has asked Mayor Boris Johnson for further details about the London Thames Cable Car deal. We have questions about the deal, too but question the political motivations behind Mr. Biggs’ actions. After all, he’s been vehemently against the Cable Car from the beginning as you can see here and here.
  • Unfortunate news: A stray bullet during a gang fight in Medellin’s Comuna 13 killed a passenger riding Linea J of the Metrocable.
  • Lastly, CUP’s interview on the CBC gained significant attention throughout Canada, spawning multiple online conversations and stories about the topic (here and here, for example). It also led to a massive jump in readership throughout the week. So that’s a good thing.


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30
Aug

2011

Medellin to Build Two Urban Gondolas – Integrated Into A Light Rail Line!

Metro Medellin's planned LRT/Tram line (in green) and two new Metrocable lines (in Purple and Pink).

Metro de Medellin is in no rush to slow down.

The transit agency of this Colombian metropolis has been expanding their public transportation system at breakneck speeds for the past 15 years and things just continue apace.

The agency recently released plans for their Corredores Verdes (Green Corridor) Light Rail/Tram plan. Their approach is a three-pronged strategy to connect the western district of the city with downtown and includes:

  • An ~ 5 km long LRT/Tram system with 8 stops that terminates/originates at the central San Antonio Metro station. The connection to San Antonio will allow easy transfers to both Linea A and Linea B of their impeccably-operated elevated metro system.
  • Two Urban Gondola lines (Metrocables) serving hillside barrios. The lines will be ~ 1.5 km long and have three total stations each (two terminals and one intermediary station).

Of particular note is Medellin’s approach to ticketing along the route. If the agency’s promotional video is to be believed, the LRT system will adopt a technique created and popularized by Curitiba’s famed BRT system.

Rather than have LRT drivers deal with ticketing, on-vehicle ticketing agents or a policed honor-system, enclosed station platforms will be equipped with turnstiles allowing for people to pay their fare prior to queueing for the tram. This approach speeds boarding and increases efficiency dramatically:

Curitiba's BRT system - the first to pioneer enclosed platforms at street level with ticketing and turnstile features. Image via Wikipedia.

Medellin's planned LRT system appears to borrow the ticketing approach used by Curitiba. Image via Metro de Medellin.

Metro de Medellin is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the most innovative transit planning bodies on the planet and this project should only solidify that reputation.

The agency is a poster-child for multi-modality and non-conventional thinking. With Medellin’s recent acquisition and expansion of the Metroplus bus service combined with the addition of the LRT/Tram, this agency will soon seamlessly blend four separate technology modes (Metro, LRT/Tram, Urban Gondola and BRT) in order to provide public transportation for 2.5 million people.

This is how you do multi-modality:



 



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23
Jul

2010

Things Spread Quickly

Last month CUP conducted a study of all planned, conceived or under-construction cable systems in South America.

Our findings shocked even us: Almost 5 dozen systems are in the works on that continent and that number doesn’t even include Brazil (because of the Portuguese language issues – as in, we don’t speak Portuguese), the largest country and economy in South America.

The idea has spread at a remarkable rate, starting with one very humble system in Medellin, Colombia, which opened only half a decade ago.

Once this crosses the divide into the English-speaking world, all bets are off.



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