每日跟讀#539: Near Mexico City, Cable Car Lets Commuters Glide Over Traffic
Coasting above Mexico City’s infernal congestion is normally a prerogative of the well-heeled, who take helicopters or pay to use the upper deck of two-tier highways to avoid the chaos below.
In October, however, thousands of residents of this ragged industrial suburb began getting to work or school in brightly colored pods that glide along the city’s first commuter cable-car route.
The Mexicable, a seven-stop line that runs just over three miles through a furrow of poor hillside neighborhoods, is part of a growing constellation of cable cars around Latin America that links marginalized communities to their cities’ metropolitan hearts.
In Ecatepec, the largest and most dangerous municipality in the 21 million-strong expanse of greater Mexico City, the Mexicable has brought new visitors, shorter commutes, a burst of street art and a new sense of inclusion in city life, residents said.
“It’s great,” said Marco Antonio Gonzalez, who used to spend an hour in a cramped bus to get from his home in San Andres de la Canada, the Mexicable’s final stop, to his job at a warehouse in the center of Ecatepec. He now has a smooth, 17-minute cable ride over dun-colored rooftops, half-bald soccer pitches and narrow streets strung with glittery bunting.
The new transport system has made him proud. “People never build something as impressive as this in a neighborhood like ours,” he said.
Ecatepec stretches north from the tip of the capital’s subway network into steep hills where square cinder-block houses are stacked like Lego pieces. Many who use the cable car also catch a bus and then a subway to reach jobs — at restaurants, homes, offices or construction sites — in more affluent parts of town.
Nancy Montoya, a housekeeper who lives in Esperanza, near the sixth Mexicable stop, said she saved about two hours per day using the new system — time she spends doing homework with her children or buying groceries.
Over the past 12 years, gondola systems have been built in cities that include Cali and Medellin in Colombia; Caracas, Venezuela; La Paz, Bolivia; and Rio de Janeiro. There are plans to build systems in half a dozen other Latin American cities, according to the Gondola Project, which tracks cable car programs worldwide.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/309111/web/
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