La Reunion

The island is ready for two cableways!

The intercommunal agency CINOR has prepared two proposals for cableways entitled “Bellepierre – La Montagne” and “Chaudron – Bois-de-Nèfles” respectively.

With the spectacular view, the project developers expect the cable car Bellepierre – La Montagne to play an role as a tourist attraction.

Bellepierre <> La Montagne

The first cableway should run through the west of Saint-Denis and provide access to the city hill of La Montagne. The population in this part of the city has grown by 9 percent over the last few years and now stands at 13,300. With an additional 2,250 housing units on the way, local traffic will grow by 15 percent by 2021, to 14,000 vehicles per day – yet another reason to build the cable car, according to the planners. Running in intervals under 5 minutes, the 1.3-kilometer-long cable car should connect the hill with the lower station, Bertin-Hopital, where passengers can easily transfer to the regional bus network.

The first cable car provides access to the city hill of La Montagne.

As the view of the plateau is quite spectacular, the project developers expect the cable car to also play an important role as a tourist attraction. Thanks to the local residents’ aerial photos and on-line commentaries, they managed to design a system that not only minimizes privacy intrusions and avoids private land, but also reduces the numbers of supports pillars to just four. The installation is designed as a triple-cable circulating gondola and involves an investment of 30 to 35 million US dollars. If everything goes as planned, CINOR will be able to launch it between 2020 and 2022.

Chaudron <> Bois-de-Nèfles

The plans for the second cable car, Chaudron – Bois-de- Neflès, are much more advanced: they were introduced already back in 2016. At 2.5 kilometers in length, this circulating gondola should connect five stations inside the city. To accommodate the estimated 6,000 to 7,000 users per day, 46 cabins are planned, each with ten seats.

The installation will be warmly welcomed not only by the approx. 15,000 students of the University of La Réunion, but also by the 53,000 residents living in the affected neighborhoods of Moufia (15,000 inhabitants), Bois-de-Nèfles (9,000 inhabitants) and Chaudron (29,000 inhabitants). This project is especially important for the rapidly-developing city neighborhood of Bois-de-Nèfles with its planned new high school and several new business parks.

The University of La Réunion is also be connected to the cableway.>

Although the project does not rank among the world’s largest urban cableway networks, with its five stations it compares to the large systems operating in La Paz (such as the Blue Line or the White Line). From the planners’ point of view, the cable car has become indispensable as the population is suffocated by traffic and faces serious traffic jams due to the steep and narrow mountain roads.

With a 13-minute aerial gondola ride, the proponents hope that the traffic situation will significantly improve and the gondola will attract an average of 6,100 passengers per day. In addition, the cable car will be integrated into the regional transport plans and interconnected with other means of public transport.

The cable car Chaudron – Bois-de-Nefles provides access to the city neighborhoods of Le Chaudron, Moufia, Bois de Nèfles and Bancoul. Photos: Telepherique-urbain.org

To secure support from local residents, CINOR spent four months in 2017 soliciting feedback from interest groups, gathering over 1,000 responses and engaging in discussions with more than 350 local residents. The survey results showed that 85 percent of the respondents favored the cable car. Consequently, a construction contract in a total value of 53 million US dollars was officially awarded to the French manufacturer POMA at the end of 2017. By the end of 2019 the company will have paved the way towards the launching of the system and will also operate the cable car as a member of a consortium. ts

The second cable car with its five stations leads through the city.