An Aerometer for vehicular chaos in Guatemala City

An Aerometer for vehicular chaos in Guatemala City

Contrary to the example of other Latin American cities in which the cable cars link inaccessible areas with nerve centers and counteract the topography, the Guatemala City Aerometro will begin on existing vehicular routes and in which chaos is unleashed daily.

The Municipality of Guatemala City celebrated at the end of March the agreement and signature on the right of way of the first two lines of the project with the Directorate General of Roads and the Municipality of Mixco (of the metropolitan area), which places the Aerometro at the doors of the tenders and, subsequently, the construction.

However, these initial lines of electric transport by aerial cable will be developed on top of usually congested avenues and, contrary to the use that has been given to them in other countries, it will not serve, initially, to bring people living in high places closer together. ravines of the city.

For the urban architect Carlos Barillas, senior consultant of the Inovaterra Group and former Housing Minister, the first route of the Aerometro, which will follow the path of the Roosevelt road to the Trebol and then go to the Plaza España on Montúfar Street "it would seem an offer policy that does not have feasibility ".

He says it because he is surprised that he does not follow the example of Medellín's Metrocable that "helped break up the topography and connect people very quickly from the communes in the mountainous area to central locations", besides "putting eyes on areas of very high crime rates and begin to generate prevention ".

Other sources of inspiration that were "ignored" by the Municipality, according to Barillas, were the Mexicable or the Cablebus project in Mexico City or the Bolivian Mi Teleférico, which work or are designed to join difficult access points with the conventional transport system or central areas.

But the Aerometro, which will initially have an extension of 8.9 kilometers, that would "pay" the vehicular traffic "canceling the central ridges of the Roosevelt road and thereby eliminating the possibility of supplying public transport with Rapid Transit Bus systems ( BRT, in English) with exclusive lanes that reach to move 40,000 people per hour ", while the cable car could move about 24,000 passengers per hour, according to the mayor's office.

In addition, in places where there are residential buildings, the passage of the cable could generate "an effect of disability of the ground, because the buildings around it lose their value when passing the transport in front of the departments of the people", explains Barillas.

Added to this is the uncertainty of project execution, recalls the former vice minister of the Ministry of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing, because "it has already happened on two occasions that nobody bet on the tender for the Villa Nueva cable car (another metropolitan municipality), despite that he was betting to break into the topography. "

Barillas assumes that it will be very complicated for there to be "serious bidders" who "dare to build under that model" based on the concession because "the private would have to maintain the infrastructure and recover the investment with the operation".

But to recover the investment "the cost of the ticket should be high and I see it difficult for the Municipality, which maintains a subsidy to the Transmetro (a type of BRT) that allows users to charge 1 quetzal (12 cents) per trip and not 8 quetzales (more than 1 dollar) that is the real price ".

Instead, the expert states that the State usually pays for distance traveled per unit and for each cabin that arrives from one point to another, regardless of the number of people traveling within each cabin and thus employers can set the "low" cost from service.

However, the spokesman of the Municipality of Guatemala, Carlos Sandoval, assures that this project will be "only the beginning" and will be "an alternative" to "the vehicular load that already exists".

According to Sandoval, who is also a candidate for deputy for the conservative Unionist party, the Aerometro "will be the largest linear project in Latin America, which will represent 12,000 passengers per hour, by sense" and will be extended later with other lines, "with sectors such as ravines and connect zone 7, with zone 2 and 18 with 6 ", for example.

Two years and four months after having started planning the project, the Guatemalan cable car that will see the automotive bottlenecks from above, once awarded – the date for the bidders is still uncertain – "will take 18 to 24 months to build." Emiliano Castro Sááenz


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