Since Medellin sparked the modern renaissance of Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) systems fourteen years ago with the opening of Line K, the City’s urban cable car network has been growing at a steady and measured pace.
In the northwestern district of the City this week, Medellin broke ground on the USD$99 million (COP 298 million) Line P. With the Mayor present, crews began levelling soils at construction sites and started locating temporary power grids.
Unlike the previous generation of urban gondolas, Line P will feature some upgrades from the previous aerial lifts. The maximum speeds on the 2.8km system has been upped by 1 m/s (3.6km/h) to 5.5 m/s (19.8km/h) and the system capacity has increased by 1,000 pphpd to 4,000 pphpd (spread over 138 cabins).
With a travel time of 11 minutes, the system is expected to decrease commute times by 75% and benefit 420,000 residents who live in some of the most disconnected, disadvantaged and violent neighbourhoods — Commune 5 (Castilla) and Commune 6 (Doce de Octubre). The system will have four stations spread out in the community to maximize coverage and benefits to residents.
Once Line P is completed in July 2019, Medellin’s Metrocable systems will total 14.7km in length, thereby cementing its position as the second largest urban gondola network in the world after Mi Teleférico in Laz/El Alto, Bolivia.
But before Line P is finished, the City’s fifth urban gondola, Line M, is expected to enter commercial services in August 2018. With the continued expansion of the City’s transit network, Medellin is actively fulfilling the goals that it set for itself as part of its 2006-2030 transit master plan.