French firm proposes cable cars to tackle Hanoi's traffic congestion

By Anh Duy   June 30, 2018 | 05:24 pm PT
French firm proposes cable cars to tackle Hanoi's traffic congestion
French firm POMA has proposed to build a five-kilometer cable car line that runs across the Red River in Hanoi.
The proposed line would be up to 330 feet above ground and run over three miles across the Red River.

Hanoi is considering a new proposal to ease the city's traffic congestion with a new cable car line that would run across the Red River.

The line as proposed by the POMA Group, a French ropeway transportation firm, would serve as a new mode of public transport connecting Long Bien Bus Station in the central Hoan Kiem District with Gia Lam Bus Station in the neighboring district of Long Bien.

With a capacity of 25-30 passengers per car, the line is expected to be capable of carrying 7,000 passengers per hour, according to the investor.

The cable car line would be suspended 50-100 meters (164-328 feet) above ground by supporting towers and would run over 5 kilometers (3 miles), including 1.2 kilometers over the Red River, one of the biggest in Vietnam.

At a meeting with Hanoi authorities, the investor said that the line would be unaffected by ground traffic and can transport people across the river in just a few minutes, Tien Phong newspaper reported.

If approved, the line would be built in 12-24 months. The investor however has yet to give a cost estimate for the project.

Hanoi has tasked its transport department with researching the project.

Some experts however have voiced disagreement with the proposal as a cable car line would be too costly for a public transport mode. It might also affect the Red River's landscape, they said.

In January 2017, a company in Ho Chi Minh City also proposed building a one-kilometer cable car system at a cost of $24 million to Tan Son Nhat as an answer to paralyzing traffic jams often seen around the international airport. But officials dismissed the idea as unrealistic and the company later said that it gave up the plan.

Vietnam's largest cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh often suffer severe traffic jams, which are mainly blamed on the rise of individual vehicles and undeveloped public transport.

Hanoi, the city of more than seven million people, has more than five million motorbikes and nearly 500,000 cars. The numbers in the 13-million-strong HCMC are around eight million motorbikes and more than 600,000 cars. Both cities are carrying out grand metro line projects but most have hit delays.

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