Bolivia’s “Subway in the Sky” to Triple in Size

Bolivia’s “Subway in the Sky” to Triple in Size

The biggest cable car system in the world is getting bigger.

A cable car runs between La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

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Bolivia’s already extensive cable car system will soon triple in size, according to Reuters. Commuters in La Paz will have nine skyway lines when the expansion is complete. There are currently three routes at 10 km (6.2 miles), and this latest project will bring the system up to 30 km.

The Andean city of 1.8 million has long struggled with chaotic transport. Minibuses and taxis with handwritten signs in their windscreens pick up passengers randomly along winding, congested routes.

But in the last two years, aided by growing state revenues from natural gas and mining, President Evo Morales’ leftist government has built a cable car system it sees as the cornerstone of a modern transport network: a subway in the sky.

According to Reuters, the current three lines cost $234 million to build, and adding six is projected to cost $450 million. Mi Teleferico, the state company that operates the cable cars, did not say when the project would be completed, but they did say that when finished, the system would likely service about 27,000 passengers an hour.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Tags: transportation spendingcommuting

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