Cable car dreaming

Imagine Cebu with cable cars, but Weekend readers are split on the idea

By Karl Aries Emerson F. Cabilao, UAP

 

TRAFFIC has long gone crazy in the metro that motorists and commuters are going nuts also. The combined feelings of helplessness and anger usually send our personal stress-o-meters even higher considering the stuff that we have to do in school or in the office and we’re spending what are supposed to be productive minutes yet getting stuck on the road.

Cable-carAs usual, suggestions have cropped up like the usual flyovers-as-band-aid-solutions, road widening schemes and number coding of vehicles using the streets. But then again, one must realize that the sizes of our roads, which have remained quite the same for decades now, cannot cope up with the rising number of vehicles plying them. It is tantamount to a 30-something yuppy wearing a shirt or dress that he/she wore when he/she was just a 13-year-old youngster. There are just too many vehicles already on land.Then there is the suggestion of using a mode of public transport that does not use the ancient and undersized roads that we have. No, we’re not talking about sleek, space-age cars that zoom through space but cable cars.

Inspired from the story of the city of La Paz in the South American country Bolivia, where cable cars have become one of the most accessible means of public transport, government leaders of Cebu were presented with the idea. News reports have stated that cable cars could help ease traffic from Mactan Island to mainland Cebu and vice versa. Today, let’s read what these readers think about this proposal.

“I personally do not think that cable cars would be a good solution to alleviating the traffic problems in the city. Infrastructure-wise, I do not think that Cebu is ideal for cable cars, and underground subway systems seem more efficient to me because they are faster and constructing it would not disrupt the city’s daily flow as compared to a cable car. Building a cable car honestly seems a bit impractical and illogical, so I’m going to have do disagree on this idea.” — Issa Perez, blogger

“In this time of heavy traffic, any type of transport that doesn’t use the road is a valuable option. Given a huge budget and swift construction, cable car system is feasible. However, I don’t think it’s going to be implemented in the next five years. Government should look for a quicker alternative.” – Borgie Cabigas, TV host/car salesman

“That does nothing for the metro’s thoroughfares. If it is intended to ply the routes of the proposed BRT and LRT systems, I doubt it would be popular with the crowds given the already questionable existing ground level infrastructure and construction practices. I wouldn’t want out-of-place amusement park thrills on a daily basis.” — Michael Karlo Lim, financial advisor/food writer/multi-media endorser

“Gondolas and cable cars are already being used as Mass Transportation alternatives to MRT and LRT in many cities in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Turkey, among many others, due to the fact that the former would be cheaper to build and maintain than the latter in the more hilly neighborhoods as compared to the subways and railways. Having personally boarded cable cars that are used not just for Tourists to get around but also as Mass Transportation systems in other countries, I think it is indeed a very sensible application. It is highly feasible, hence should be viewed as an appropriate technology given that the numbers are right in our local context: as to economic feasibility, efficiency, terrain. Cebu, being quite narrow as an island and mountainous in the middle, might consider having gondolas and/or cable cars as alternative transportation modes, as our circumferential roads are now threatened by the risks of flooding due to climate change. We need transportation experts to affirm this. A comprehensive transportation study on alternative mass transportation systems that are appropriate to Cebu’s local context will be timely as we are now experiencing extreme congestion being one of the threats and impacts of a highly rapid urbanization.” — Donna Belle Pongase, architect/urban planner/university instructor

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