The success of the cable car in Latin America

The Economist published today another article about the success of the cable car in Latin America where they explain that the following factors are key for its success:

  • Landscape of the cities (hilly)
  • Fast construction time (the mayors can cut the ribbons within their legislative)
  • Little displacement of people
  • Positive development effects in the respective regions (less criminality) – but this has not been proven yet.

I think however that a few key technocratic reasons have been omitted in this article:

  • Low construction costs per passenger capacity
  • With high capacity cabs manages 6k pphpd – depending on the design even more
  • High flexibility to adjust to passenger demand by addition/reduction of cabs
  • Reshaping the city by creating multimodal hubs with stations

This is of course also limited by the obvious disadvantages:

  • Acceptance by inhabitants due to privacy issues
  • “high-tech” system that requires training to operate and maintain
  • Construction projects that are prone to direct or indirect corruption

Overall, cable car as a solution for public transport in urban areas with geographic challenges will certainly play is a major role. In principle, they are not the only solution, but they become more and more mature and should be considered as a suitable approach to the challenge.


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