Bogota’s solar-powered gondola gives slum dwellers a lift

The cable car connects inhabitants of a disadvantaged district with better economic opportunities in a climate-friendly way By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA, June 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Sweeping above sprawling slums in the upper reaches of one of Bogota’s poorest hillside shantytowns, Yobana Bonella sits comfortably in a solar-powered gondola ferrying thousands of residents up to their homes, leaving almost no carbon footprint. With two solar panels atop each cable car, the system called "TransMiCable" transports about 20,000 residents a day living in the southern neighbourhood of Ciudad Bolivar, up and down the mountain in under 15 minutes and for less than $1 per journey. The 3.5-km (2-mile) TransMiCable, launched in December, has not only more than halved journey times but is helping cut traffic congestion, air pollution and planet-warming emissions. "I’ve really benefited from the TransMiCable because it saves time," said 38-year-old nanny Bonella, riding a red cable car on her way home from work. "Each wagon has solar panels which I think is nice – it helps to conserve the environment." Lacking a train or metro system and with electric cars yet to take off, fume-belching buses clog up Bogota’s streets. Expanding the availability of fast, clean-energy […]

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