13 Jun 18

Cable cars, closing the connectivity gap in Latin American cities?

Reducing commuting time, traffic congestion and air pollution at the same time; many Latin American cities have found a welcome mobility solution in suspended cable cars. 

Killing commuting time

Many overpopulated Latin American cities have to cope urgently with traffic congestion that is no longer sustainable. To put an end to endless commuting times and the waste of time and money of employers and companies, several Latin American cities have installed and are installing a brilliant mobility solution: the suspended cable car. Sweeping above street level, cable cars both avoid traffic congestion and do not contribute to it.

Since Medellin (Colombia) introduced the cable car in 2004, many other Latin American cities have followed, from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) until the highest and longest cable car network of the world in La Paz (Bolivia).

Efficiently connecting

Mostly, cable cars connect difficultly accessible neighbourhoods to the city centre, especially the less wealthy ones on top of the hills. However, it is not only about connecting the unconnected, mostly less wealthy and even dodgy neighbourhoods to the centre.

La Paz (Bolivia), for example, implemented the cable car strategically between the city centre and the suburb El Alto, where many people and companies have recently settled, looking for a more profitable environment than in the old city centre. The flux of employees between El Alto and LA Paz is enormous but complicated due to the curvy roads. The use of the cable car now reduces the commuting time from 1 hour to 10 minutes, and transports 3,000 people every hour between both locations.

Cheap, fast, and overall connecting, cable cars can fill the mobility gap in the hilly and dispersed cities (of Latin America) and offer a solution for the often inacceptable commuting times.

Image: cable car in Medellin, Colombia

Authored by: Fien Van den steen