Peru’s housing and construction ministry will build two aerial cable car lines to improve mobility in the impoverished areas of north Lima.
The first line will connect the Independencia and San Juan de Lurigancho districts in north Lima. The second line will serve the mountain shantytowns in the El Agustino district just east of downtown.
Both lines will require a total investment of $84 million. Bidding for the $51 million North Lima line will begin in October. Construction will begin next year and the line will open in 2017.
The North Lima line will connect the Naranjal station of the Metropolitano bus rapid transit system to the San Carlos station of the Lima Metro light rail train station. Passengers will be able to travel 3.8 miles served by five stations in 25 minutes. The same trip currently takes one to two hours.
The $33 million El Agustino line will take 15 minutes to cover four stations spanning 2.4 miles from the Cuartel Barbones military base to a final station between Nicolas Ayllon avenue and the Via de Evitamiento highway.
Peru’s government estimates 84,000 of Lima’s poorest residents will benefit from the transportation network, for which the fare will cost between $0.50 and $0.60. Most of the shantytowns do not have electricity or plumbing.
“We look forward to the project with great enthusiasm,” says Pascual Dominguez, a local community leader in the Independencia district. “We know that it’s going to make our days easier, since right now we have to climb over 200 stairs every day. We also hope [the cable car] will bring us more security.”
Studies have shown that the opening of Metrocable stations reduced crime in Medellin’s hillside slums. Medellin’s Metrocable was Latin America’s first cable car network in 2004. Its success in improving mobility for the city’s poor was quickly replicated across the region. Lima will join the cities of Medellin, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas and La Paz in featuring a cable car network to serve mountainous neighborhoods.
Cable cars also bring foreign tourism to districts which otherwise attract few visitors. Medellin’s Metrocable and Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf, which offer an inexpensive bird’s eye view of the area, are consistently rated among the most popular things to do in each city.