Ankara’s large ropeway

It’s truly amazing – out of all possible transport means out there, it is the cable car that appears to be developing most at the moment. So the cable car, right. Why would that be of any surprise? Well, did you believe 10 years ago that gondolas tied to a rope could present themselves as a viable means of transport for urban mobility? The kind of gondolas that you embark on when you want to ascend to the top of a mountain during your skiing holidays? Yes, those ones. To us this development did not go unnoticed. A while back, we reported about the London Emirates Air Line, erected for the Olympic games in 2012. Then, we wrote about how mega cities in South America are heavily investing into this transport technology in order to reconnect the “lost” favelas with the inner city. Now, we present to you the largest urban cable car line on the Eurasian continent. This time the city is Ankara.

Eurasia’s largest ropeway: the facts

The Turkish capital has had traffic problems for ages. Not the occasional traffic jam during rush hour, but complete stalemate for most of the day in and around the city centre. Named the GD10 project, Leitner Ropeways, an Italian company made the bid for what is supposed to become Turkey’s latest mobility flagship. The company started off installing gondolas in the European Alps. However, in recent years, it has implemented ropeways in many cities around the globe – for example in Frankfurt, New York, and Honk Kong. Let’s turn to some facts about Ankara: in total, the system will cover more than three kilometres and connect the neighbourhood Sentepe with the metro station Yenimahalle - a key point of Ankara’s urban life.[1] This distance is enough to incorporate four stations people can hop on and off from. Judging from the first pictures rendering four halts, the cable car line in Ankara could enrich the face of the whole city. There will be 104 cabins each transporting a maximum of ten people. This results in a capacity of 2,400 people per hour that can be moved in both ways across the very centre of the Turkish capital.[2]

How might the development look like?

According to information provided by the company itself, the Ankara cable cars will run around 60 metres above the ground.[3] This is quite a substantial height. But maybe we all should become comfortable with the idea of travelling above the city. The advantages are obvious with less space being cramped by cars or other transport means while keeping greenhouse gases down. Is this the beginning of a new urban transport era? Various earlier science fiction films see the future of a city life in the sky, it all faces up. Maybe the cable car is only the starting point...

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