Urban Application of Aerial Cableway Technology

WSP USA evaluated aerial cableway technology as an innovative first- and last-mile connection to regional transit in urban areas. 

The results of the study are featured in a white paper summarizing the items transportation agencies should consider when exploring the cableway option.

This white paper was researched and written by Christopher Wahl, lead planner; and Dave Schumacher, senior planning manager.

The Mi Teleferico cableway in La Paz, Bolivia provides commuters with a way to overcome the city’s steep topography and traffic congestion.


Urban applications of aerial cableway technology have been successfully integrated into transit networks in numerous cities around the globe. Interest in aerial cableway technology has grown considerably in the United States in recent years, and initial feasibility studies have been completed in several U.S. cities, including a recent study conducted by WSP in San Diego.

Aerial cableway systems can be integrated into urban environments seamlessly to offer an additional mobility option, increase transit ridership and reduce congestion. Internationally, extensive aerial cableway systems have evolved and carry large volumes of commuters as a viable alternative to traditional urban transit methods such as buses and rail.

Many of these benefits have been realized in systems already in operation, including Mi Teleferico in La Paz, Bolivia, and Metrocable Medellin in Medellin, Colombia. Medellin’s Line K transports more than 40,000 passengers per day between residential areas and the city center, reducing some commute times from more than an hour to about 10 minutes.

In this white paper, WSP summarizes the benefits and items for consideration of aerial cableway technology; outlines the project development process; and addresses advantages, costs and challenges associated with developing aerial cableway systems in urban environments.

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