The beautiful city of Medellin has an efficient metro system that runs north-south along the valley, but for many years the neighborhoods in the surrounding mountains found it difficult to get to the public transportation routes. It was difficult for buses to get up the steep roads leading up to the barrios in the hills, and it would take residents hours to get down to city to work or study. These transportation difficulties increased social problems in these communities.
But in 2004 a new, ingenuous new cable car system came into use. It is part of the public transportation service from the neighborhoods in the mountains surrounding the city to the metro system in the valley.
This cable car carries tens of thousands of passengers each day in a system that has changed the lives of those who live in these neighborhoods, giving them access to work and study opportunities they didn’t have before. The trip to the city that once took hours now takes just 15 minutes. This is the cheapest cable car ride you’ll ever take, included in the basic metro fare of just one dollar. There are four stations that head east up the mountains, providing amazing views of the city in the valley and the surrounding green hills. It’s clean, safe, fast and fun; you can stop at each station along the way, check out the view, then continue up the mountain on the next car.
This system has had such success that it inspired other cable cars in South America, such as the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which is also used to serve communities in the mountains.