Germany discovers urban cableway

Asia, Africa, America – it seems that urban cableways have lately been the topic of discussions almost everywhere. But in Germany and Austria, the countries so well-known for their winter cableways, these apparent cable-borne traffic redeemers have so far been ignored. With plans for an urban cableway in Munich becoming more concrete, however, other German cities are starting to consider this skysoaring form of public transport as well.

The currently planned route will lead from the Waterfront Bremen via Speicher XI and to the Europahafen. Screenshot: Google Maps

Faced with slow road traffic during peak hours and the expense, or impossibility in many places, of underground expansion, urban planners are increasingly keen to utilize the third dimension. The sky seems to be the only solution and cableways have their nger on the pulse of the matter. Cableways are not only cheaper to build compared to other means of public transport, they also score with their high reliability.


And if we look at exhaust emission values, they leave the others miles behind. While not everyone is yet convinced about the qualities, the number of new cableways that have been proposed in Ger- many clearly con rms that interest in the “gondola” is growing.

Plan up for examination

Residents of Cologne have been comfortably soaring across the Rhine for years. Bremen now also wants to bet on this form of mobility. That is – if things go in accordance with the plan of the city councilor for economy, Ekkehart siering. He submitted a plan to relieve traffic in the Bremen’s quarter Überseestadt in early February.


And while just a few years ago, a proposal like that would have been swiftly brushed aside, his plan is now being taken seriously. In practice, this means that he plan will come before the members of the city government for examination, for which purpose a feasibility study will be commissioned this spring.


Among other aspects, the study will examine an ideal routing between the currently planned stops at the tram depot Gröpelingen and the Europahafen. Siering estimates the costs of the project including stops at around 75 million euros.

Not a replacement for trams

Even if the representatives of the CDU, SPD and the Greens are not averse to the idea of making an air connection to Überseestadt, there are still many questions that need to be clari ed by the feasibility study. The possibility to bring bikes onboard and details regarding the cableway’s connection to other means of transport remain to be discussed.


The FDP sees a cable car’s added value in its attractiveness for tourists rather than in its potential to resolve the current traffic issues in the Hanseatic city. Trams have been repeatedly the subject of discussion, too. The Bremen Straßenbahngesellschaft (Tramways Company) considers a combination of cableway and trams to be a good solution to the current trafffic situation. tm