Solution for traffic problems.

urban cable transport for future mobility

Looking beyond our own horizon always unveils a view of positively reasonable alternatives. As much as anywhere else, this is true for urban planning, more specifically with regard to the fight against the ever-increasing road traffic that seems impossible to win. Megacities in South America and Northern Africa as well as Asia show how cable transport lines have a calming effect on surface traffic. This is a good reason to transfer these findings to the situation in Europe.

The German traffic scientist Heiner Monheim has been advocating the integration of cable transport systems with the public transport networks in our cities. They are particularly well suited for individual adaptation. “Urban cable transport systems unfortunately do not meet much awareness in debates on transport policies in Central Europe“, he says. “Although there already are rudimentary discussions going on in many cities, the breakthrough we expected to follow the Koblenz installation is only happened on paper as yet.”



Ordu is among the busiest trading cities in Turkey. The lower station of the LEITNER ropeways eight-passenger gondola line relieving surface traffic since mid-2011 is located at the beach. Photo: LEITNER ropeways

High performance cable transport systems have all it takes to solve pressing issues in urban mobility.
“They offer a low-cost innovative partial system within a public transport network that can be implemented quickly”, says the traffic expert from Trier, Germany. “They can be used to extend rail lines or to bridge topographic or architectural obstacles. Be it steep grades, rivers, industry sites, railroad lines or highways – with a cable line, an appropriate solution can be found.”


Cable transport lines are also suitable for leisure parks, exhibition centers, airports, university campuses, research centers or hospitals with no rail access. They can bridge the distance to the nearest train station. While at around 22 kph (13 mph) they are comparatively slow, travelling speed is relatively high as there are no crossings or congestions.



Innovative cable transport systems offer many advantages in urban applications. They can cross residential areas, rivers and existing transport infrastructures with ease, floating above all existing traffic jams.Foto: DOPPELMAYR

It all speaks in favor of cable transport


“Even the important cost question speaks in favor of urban cable transport systems”, says Monheim. “Investments requirements for the lines are a lot lower than for trams and much lower yet when compared with underground rail. Construction requires much less space and volume. Permanently installed infrastructure is reduced to towers, cables and station structures so the required construction time can be very short.”

Another benefit of cable transport systems are their comparatively low maintenance costs. Energy consumption is low and so is the head count. Cable transport systems usually run in fully automatic operation, controlled by a central system and need only a few service staff to assure smooth processes in the stations and in the operation center.



Since the Berlin IGA (International Horticultural Exhibition) opened doors on April 13, 2017, a LEITNER GD10 gondola is transporting passengers barrier-free along a 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mi) stretch across the 100 hectares (247 acres) of the exhibition grounds, crossing the Wuhle valley, Kienberg hill and the “gardens of the world”.Photo: LEITNER ropeways/Dominik Butzmann

Architectural landmarks


As all parts of cable transport systems can be individually designed, they can be integrated with any city’s individual identity by urban planners and developers. They can also become new technical landmarks. “What also speaks in favor of cable transport systems is that contemporary cable transport technology allows the installation of stations along the line, turning at towers and implementing curved routes.” Government support of cable transport systems as “special design trains” should in any event be pursued. “All it takes is to integrate them with public transport networks and their rate structure”, says Monheim.

The Koblenz gondola, built for a gardening show in 2011, is an outstanding example. It now runs in regular operation as the fastest way to get to the inner city from the upper parts of Koblenz.ah