Why is the Bolivian cable car a good solution for the environment?

Teleferico La Paz

Yellow line of the La Paz cable car - Bolivia

The cable car is a sustainable transport method that has been implemented in several cities in Latin America as an alternative to public transport systems, in places where the topography does not favor conventional modalities and the costs of public transportation systems increase with the slopes.

Whereas cableway systems have been used in some cities in Latin America as a modality in some segments of the city, in the city of La Paz - Bolivia the cable car system has been adopted as the central element of mass transportation.

This transport system, which aims to cover more than 20% of the daily needs of urban transport has been adopted as a public transportation system, assumed by the State owned company "My Teleferico", when much of public transport is still in the hands of unions and small private transporters.

A transport network by cable car has several environmental and urbanistic benefits:

- A first obvious advantage for users is that the cable car does not need to compete with other means of transport through the existing routes in the city, that is, it does not compete for a terrestrial space such as the bus lines with dedicated routes or the metro;

- There is an additional benefit from the urban perspective and is that the cable car will probably be modifying the urban space, ordering and even compacting the city even more;

- The use of clean energy is emphasized by the Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing of Bolivia, although when using energy from the grid, it is subject to the energy mix of the electricity grid that in Bolivia is generated by 60% gas natural;

- There are other environmental benefits emphasized by the authorities and by the company "Mi Teleférico" as the reduction of transport noise and other pollutants attributed to transport such as NOx, CO and SO2;

- There is not yet an evaluation of climate benefits, such as the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions avoided by the cable car network;

Like all infrastructure work, the cable car is not free from negative or not so positive side effects.

- Some stretches of the cable car, such as the section of the white line that crosses a major avenue in the city of La Paz, have been strongly criticized by the residents of the city;

- The cable car has undoubtedly modified the air landscape of the city in some segments and has removed privacy to many properties and private homes;

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