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.