Bogota Mayor Enrique Peñalosa on Thursday inaugurated a mass transit cable car service connecting the highest points in the capital’s low-income neighborhood of Ciudad Bolivar.
It is estimated that the huge public works project will benefit some 700,000 residents.
The system, known as TransMiCable, will open for public use on Saturday and will have 163 cabins - or cars - that will be able to transport up to 3,600 passengers per hour, the municipal government said in a communique.
In addition, the service will create 332 jobs and will be open to the public from 4:30 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday and from 5:30 am to 9 pm on Sundays and holidays.
The fare is set at 2,300 pesos (70 cents).
Peñalosa said that “to maximize the positive social and economic impact of TransMiCable” authorities have built “complementary infrastructure” at the cable car stations including a leisure center, a day center for the elderly and sports facilities.
Area resident Alfonso Linares told EFE that thanks to the service he will be able to make a trip that used to take him between 60 and 90 minutes in just 10 minutes.
In addition, he said that the service “beautifies the city” in a sector where the very humble homes are crammed onto the slopes of the Andean hills and where crime is an ongoing problem.
Thanks to TransMiCable, Linares said that cafes and bakeries are being opened in areas where before “you didn’t see anything.”
A similar mass transit cable car system, called Metrocable, is already operating in Medellin, Colombia’s second city.