Cable cars may be feasible for parts of Metro Manila: ADB transport official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2019 06:26 PM

A cable car moves past residential flats in Tung Chung on Hong Kong's Lantau Island, China. Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters/File

MANILA - Cable cars may be a feasible form of public transport for parts of Metro Manila, an official of the Asian Development Bank said Tuesday. 

Jamie Leather, ADB Transport Sector Chief, said a cable car system can skip the need to buy large tracts of land, which he said often delays the construction of big-ticket infrastructure projects especially in urban areas. 

"If you build a cable car you don't have to build on the entire thing. You're just putting 2 or 3 pillars, and the entire thing can travel over," Leather said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. 

He added that a cable car system can be rolled out faster than other mass transit systems. 

Urban planner Steven Dale, founding president of Creative Urban Projects Inc, said cable car systems can be built within just 1 to 2 years

"It's often easier to implement or quicker to implement primarily because of the land requirements, smaller land requirement," Leather said.

The Department of Transportation has been undertaking a French government-funded feasibility study on building a cable car system between the cities of Marikina and Pasig.

Leather said this could improve connectivity between the two areas while alleviating traffic congestion.

He noted that cable cars have been used extensively as urban transport in parts of Latin America. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The ADB official added that cable cars also make sense for parts of Metro Manila prone to flooding. But Leather also cautioned that it may not be feasible for areas with high numbers of commuters like EDSA. 

Ruediger Zander, Senior Railway Specialist at ADB, also said cable cars may not work for the whole of Metro Manila but "could work for one corridor" or complement existing mass transit systems. Such transport systems require a lot of feasibility studies though, he said. 
 
"Implementation may be fast or relatively fast, but nonetheless there are a lot of studies to be done," Zander said. 

Dale, meanwhile, reiterated that while cable car systems can be built faster, it requires a lot of feasibility and design studies and several permits "before you can get a shovel in the ground."

"This takes more time than the actual construction," Dale said.

- Report from Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News