Hanoi rejects cable car line over Red River

By Doan Loan   July 19, 2018 | 08:22 pm PT
Hanoi rejects cable car line over Red River
A cable car line in Vietnam's famous Ha Long Bay. French firm POMA has proposed to build a five-kilometer cable car line that runs across the Red River in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress
Vietnam’s capital city has said no to a cable car across the Red River, saying such forms of transportation are not a priority.

The POMA Group, a French ropeway transportation firm, proposed to the city administration last month a project for a cable car line to serve as a new mode of public transport, connecting Long Bien Bus Station in Hoan Kiem District with Gia Lam Bus Station in Long Bien District.

Authorities of Hanoi's Department of Transport said that the project did not align with the city’s general planning, in which types of public passenger transportation like cable car are not prioritized in its development plan until 2030.

With a capacity of 25-30 passengers per car, the line could carry 7,000 passengers per hour, according to the French firm.

The cable car line would be suspended 50-100 meters (164-328 feet) above ground by supporting towers and would run over five kilometers (three miles), including 1.2 kilometers over the Red River.

However, some transport experts voiced their opposition to the project, saying it would be impossible to reduce traffic congestion with such a low transport capacity of 7,000 passengers each hour.

The project would also require huge investments and frequent maintenance, while ticket fares would be high, discouraging commuters from using the cable car, they claimed.

In January 2017, a company in Ho Chi Minh City had 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.

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 building metro lines, but these projects have suffered several delays for various reasons including site clearance.

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