• Nov 18th 2008 at 8:00AM
  • 7
Now that winter is coming, some people are getting ready for cable cars rides at ski resorts. But what if a city used cable cars as for public transportation? Such is the case in Medellín, in Colombia, and its Metrocable system. There are currently two aerial cable car lines which are fully integrated into the mass transit system, which has two metro lines. The mobility problems in the Colombian city, with poor neighborhoods up in the mountains that surround the city, resulted in this unusual solution, and it turns out aerial cable cars have lower building costs than other options and Metrocable is using solar electricity for some of the electricity needed for the gondola rides. Motor power is still supplied from a regular thermic plant, though. Find a complete video (in Spanish) after the jump.



[Source: Soitu (video), Metro de Medellín]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      I grew up in this city. One important factor that is not mentioned is that over 80% of the country's electricity is Hydroelectric, natural gas and others provide the remaining 20%.

      The metro system, including the metrocable run on electricity, the feeding buses run mainly on diesel fuel but natural gas has been growing in acceptance.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Telluride, CO put in a system like this to connect their two base areas a couple years ago. It's a Gondola system (like here) and it doesn't actually go up a hill, making it strictly an in-town transport system.

      Also, NYC famously has a tramway to Roosevelt Island, it's featured in Spiderman.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I live outside of Chicago. There's no way I would go into the city and risk getting into one of these cars.
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is a really good idea. I live in Chicago and the L train system is in deep need of a major overhaul. But how do you rebuild something like this (or build new lines) when everything is above ground?

      I wonder if something like this could serve as a temporary mode of transport as the rails are updated and modernized...
      • 7 Months Ago
      Very interesting. Never thought of that as a transportation option. Certainly has some drawbacks but offers some huge advantages in a city: no land/right of way to attain, basically silent running, gondolas run constantly so in non-rush times there would be no waiting for 10+ minutes for next train/bus, etc
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Very interesting."

        I'm still trying to get my head around it.

        "no land/right of way to attain"

        There's no way I'm going to put up with one of those things hanging over my house.

        "no waiting for 10+ minutes for next train/bus, etc"

        Depends on how long the line is. They're not able to adjust for demand. This part could turn into a real nightmare.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Its an intereresting idea - as a photographer I squirm to think of what it would do for skylines ... does it use less energy than other forms of transport such as Subways? I suppose it would make sense if it did, it does seem pretty "lightweight." I also wonder about the safety - though all transport has its hazards.