LE MONDE (France), DW-TV (Germany) EFE
From London, Barcelona, and Rio de Janeiro, the list of cities worldwide that are being enticed by the allure of suspended cable cars is growing, heralded as a cheap, green and safe means of transport suspended above the normal rush of urban traffic.
Although the cable car systems of Barcelona and London, inaugurated this year for the Olympic Games, are intended for tourist purposes, city developers have began to champion the cost-effective transport system for everyday commuters.
One kilometer of cable costs half as much as it does for a street tram, reports Le Monde; and although it doesn't have the same flow rate as metro systems, some models can take up to 8,000 travelers a day. It is also an eco-friendly means of transportation, producing no CO2 gases.
In the Colombian city of Medellin, noted for its steep hillside towns, cable cars have been welcomed as a way to ease the clogged streets and to raise residents out of poverty, providing them with an efficient way to commute to work. The project has been so successful that the city is planning to construct a fourth cable car line.
In 2011, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated a 3.5-km long cable car system over the Complexo do Alemão, one of the largest and most notorious series of favelas, as the hillside slums in Rio de Janeiro are known.
The cable cars allow the residents of the Complexo do Alemão to bypass the steep, curving alleyways that are controlled by drug dealers.
The cable car system now attracts 10,000 visitors each day, and those living in the slums are entitled to a free round-trip ticket each day.
France is also looking to develop cable car systems across the country, as a simple resolution to connect tram lines that are separated by geographical hindrances, such as rivers or hills.
Brest, in the west of France, will be the first to welcome the cable cars in 2015, followed by Toulouse in 2017, as well as similar plans for Créteil in the Parisian suburbs.