Rio to Open Urban Gondola System This Year – The Complexo do Alemao Teleférico

Post by Steven Dale

An under-construction corner station of the Teleférico do Complexo do Alemao in Rio de Janeiro. Image via Intelog.

With virtually no attention from the English-speaking world, Rio de Janeiro is about to become the third major city in South America to open a Cable Propelled Transit system.

Located in the Complexo do Alemao group of favelas in northern Rio de Janeiro, the system appears to have been spurred by social mandates similar to those that launched the Medellin Metrocable and Caracas Metrocable. That Rio is the host of the upcoming summer Olympics and Brazil the host of the upcoming World Cup, this system is certain to get more attention and notice in the near future.

Built by the Leitner-Poma group, the system has some impressive stats:

  • 3.4 km long
  • Two terminals and 4 intermediary stations – a total of six stations, the highest yet for an Urban Gondola system.
  • Three (possibly four) turns/corners
  • Line capacity of 3,000 persons per hour per direction (pphpd)

Route of the Teleferico do Complexo do Alemao. Image via Piniweb.

Apparently the system is already in the testing stages and is set to be operational by the end of this year.

A recent Google search for this system returns absolutely no information in English, though the number of articles and references in Portuguese is enormous. If any readers of The Gondola Project speak Portuguese, please post any relevant links or information in the comments section (Google’s translation service is useful, but native speakers would be far more useful).

As more information and details come up, we’ll be sure to make them available.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.


  1. Is that a rail line in the bottom at the picture? If this system is a feeder line from a rail line to a nearby urban center then this makes a lot of sense (given the length and capacity).
  2. Hope to make you happy: those are rails. :) http://maps.google.de/maps?rlz=1C1GGGE_enDE400DE400&q=Avenida+dos+Democr%C3%A1ticos,+1959+-+sl,+304Rio+de+Janeiro&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=de&tab=wl The circle the line is making bothers me a little. I think connecting the last part to those rails wouldn't be so bad.
  3. The line: http://urutau.proderj.rj.gov.br/seobras_imagens/EditaImprensa/imagensNoticias/Teleferico%20Alemao%20e%20ruas.jpg The gondola station above the rails: http://odia.terra.com.br/portal/rio/fotos/10/01/06_teleferico280x195.jpg
  4. Very interesting. Just a guess, but Rio will count as a somewhat more credible test case to a good number of English-speakers.
  5. Jeffrey Bridgman
    BRT was pioneered in South America, and now cities around the world are interested in it. I'd say using it, but the term BRT has become twisted in North America and really doesn't provide the benefits of the original BRT systems in South America since there is so much compromise Perhaps CPT will catch on elsewhere too, but thankfully, it will harder to compromise on things since CPT has to be segregated from traffic and will not suffer from not being provided a dedicated ROW.
  6. This was a project by the architecture office of Jorge Mario Jauregui (http://www.jauregui.arq.br/) as part of the PAC (Accelerated Growth Plan of President Lula). His office did the large-scale urbanization projects in the favelas of Manguinhos and Complexo do Alemao. (The Manguinhos Project is currently in a MoMA NYC exhibit called "Small Scale Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement.") While it is an interesting urban project, the problem is that transportation was not as important an issue as others (violence and policing, corruption, basic drainage and sanitation, political rights, education) and the project went way over budget. However it is easily visible from many areas of the city and thus easily shown off by politicians in an election year.
  7. Google does have a translate tool-bar, where urls can be entered adn a passably redable translation is produced. It's thrilling to see us finally wield the power of technology to share exciting developments across languages. Here is the link to the government's page - translated to english: http://translate.google.ca/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=pt&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.emop.rj.gov.br%2Fnoticia_dinamica1.asp%3Fid_noticia%3D111 Another city that has used cable cars as part of it's public transportation network is Medellin in Colombia, where it links communities (usually lowe income), situated on the slopes of the valley that the city is located in with the downtown and other parts of the city. Jeffry makes a great point - hopefully this is one concept that won't have to suffer the de-evolution, inconsistencies and resulting identity crisis that has plagued North American attempts at BRT.
  8. McMullen, I agree about the google translate feature. It is, however, lacking at best. I ask readers to submit their own information as it will hopefully be more reliable. As for Medellin: Did you check out the photo essay we have here? You can access it from the Most Popular widget on the right hand side of the screen. It's called Medellin/Caracas Part 1.
  9. I'm from Brazil and I'm astonished about the cost of this project. According local press it cost was roughly USD 430 million! I'm looking for other project's costs around the world in order to compare, any hint? I think the teleferic idea itself is great as a transportation solution, but in this specific case It doesn't solve the main Rio's problem: urbanization. Instead of looking for urban solutions for the slums the government is just consolidating it's misery.
  10. @ Ricardo, Thanks for this. Do you have a link/reference to that project cost? We have very little information about this system. At that price, the system would be around +- $125M USD per kilometer, which is unheard of for a cable transit system. My assumption then is that much of the additional cost has gone into stations. Are the stations similar to what was built in Caracas? IE: They're community centres and hubs hosting other activities rather than just transit?
  11. Hi Steven, Yes, the stations are social services too. Check out the youtube videos below. You can see some (badly) translated news here: http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.estadao.com.br%2Fnoticias%2Fgeral%2Clula-sera-passageiro-em-teste-de-teleferico-no-alemao%2C654551%2C0.htm&lp=pt_en&btnTrUrl=Translate Squid = our president's nickname. German = the slum's name River = Rio de Janeiro And here: http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.estadao.com.br%2Fnoticias%2Fgeral%2Cem-testes-teleferico-do-alemao-sera-aberto-em-marco%2C653502%2C0.htm&lp=pt_en&btnTrUrl=Translate YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-cFI6Qr2wY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmQThr_bLHk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZOmhkrQHEY Regarding high costs we should remember Brazil's UN corruption ranking position is 69 (from best (1) to worst (178)) Hope it helps. Regards!
  12. @ Ricardo, Those videos help a huge amount. I never actually thought of searching for it via "PAC Alemao". I was always searching for Alemao gondola, teleferico, cable car, etc. Do you have any idea what just the gondola itself cost? Given past installations, I can't imagine it cost more than ~ $60M USD.
  13. The cost was aprox. $74M USD ($125 BRL) http://bit.ly/dLM7Dr
  14. There are some pretty good photos at http://bit.ly/fVbFpw. There are some newspaper articles too that look like they could be interesting if I knew Portuguese.
  15. @ Sean, Regarding the cost of the Rio system . . . do you know if that was the gondola system itself, or the entire project? For example, the gondola component in Caracas was only $18M, but the entire project cost was around $300M for the community centres/stations. And thanks for the previous link. (We really need some Portuguese speakers around here).
  16. Cool project. Too bad it's on the far north side of Rio and not near any of the touristic areas. Here's the latest government update I could find on the project: http://www.brasil.gov.br/noticias/arquivos/2010/12/17/pac-instala-teleferico-no-alemao. Highlights from the article: - Expected ridership per day: 30,000 - Should open in March 2011 - Total travel time (end to end): 19 mintues - Previous travel time: more than an hour - 3.5 km long, circulates at a rate of 5m/s, 30 m above ground - One end will link up with the train station at Bomsuccesso - A ticket will cost less than R$1 - Will have 152 gondolas, that can fit up to 10 passengers each - Capacity of 3,000 passangers per hour - Total project cost (including housing construction and other buildings/amenities): R$725 million
  17. What a great idea for cities to have these systems high up in the tree tops. I would love to travel on of these Gondola's.
  18. Welcome James, you're not the only one. We'll see what the future will bring. :)
  19. Good afternoon Thank you for the invitation to add information about The teleferico has been inaugurated. You can see it in Youtube: http://youtu.be/1EMO8nskyTg[img]http://youtu.be/1EMO8nskyTg[/img]
  20. Anybody has some feedback about this project ? I read a little Portuguese. Thanx. :)

Leave a comment

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.