Area of Application
What do the cities of New York, Hong Kong, Manizales, and Perugia have in common? All three of these cities have solved a very specific mobility problem with the help of a cable-drawn passenger transportation system. In Hong Kong (China, 7 million inhabitants), the issue was opening up a nearby recreation area in the most protective way possible; in Manizales (Colombia, 380,000 inhabitants), an inexpensive but highly efficient intraurban means of local transport was sought; and in Perugia (Italy, 160,000 inhabitants), the historic town center was connected with a modern means of transportation.
Urban cableways are currently experiencing a renaissance:
- They are relatively inexpensive to build,
- They require small numbers of personnel (automated systems),
- They make a high frequency of departures possible (such as one car every minute in Perugia),
- They shape the face of the cityscape (city marketing).
A series of advantages in ecological terms:
- They are emissions-free,
- They make possible a reduction in energy usage when passenger numbers are small,
- They provide for a recovery of braking energy,
- They make an active contribution to waste avoidance, since their useful life consists of several decades and only easily recyclable parts that are subject to wear and tear have to be periodically replaced.
In terms of history, cableways are among the oldest forms of mass transit systems (1862 in Lyons, 1873 with the San Francisco Cable Car). The cable-drawn passenger transportation systems of today have only the basic technical principles in common with these forerunners. Today’s designs are safe, reliable, and fully automated transport systems that specifically take into account the new principles of urban development (a small scale, a mixture of functions, and ecology).