Medellin announces construction of new cable car line

Medellín (Photo: Julian Castro)

Medellin Mayor Anibal Gaviria on Thursday announced the construction of a third cable car line that will expand the city’s public transport facilities to the northwest of the city.

“We are going to construct the cable to Picacho, an old dream of the northwest of Medellin,” Gaviria told reporters.

The new line will be the fifth to connect impoverished neighborhoods located higher up the hills of Colombia’s second largest city. Medellin currently has two cable car lines.

The existing lines connect slums in the northeast and the west of the city to the metro lines going through the Aburra valley in which Medellin lies.

The mayor said the cost of the construction is expected to be $90 million, of which 40% will be paid for by the city government and the remaining 60% by the operator of the city’s metro system.

Ramiro Marquez, the director of the metro system, told press that the line will be little more than one and a half mile long and consist of some 94 cabins.

“We calculate that this ‘Metrocable’ will be used by some 45 thousand people daily,” said Marquez.

According to the mayor, the construction of the new cable cart line should be finished within two years.

Medellin, the only city in Colombia with a metro, has increasingly expanded access to its mass transit system since 2007 when the first cable car line was opened in the northwest of the city.

Since then, a second one was opened to connect the troubled Comuna 13 to the metro. A mass transit bus line was additionally added in 2012, while a second bus line that aims to decrease traffic to the center of the city is currently under construction.

Workers are also constructing a light-rail connection to the east of the city with cable cart connections to the neighborhoods up the western hills.

Medellin’s expanded metro services

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