Madagascar Introduces Cable Cars In The Capital City

Madagascar's capital has a new means of public transport as the first cable car rides over neighbourhoods of Antananarivo, carrying President Andriy Rajoelina, city officials, and project contractors.

Capable of transporting up to 75,000 passengers daily, the cable cars aim to alleviate congestion in Antananarivo, which hosts a population exceeding 3 million.

“Removing 75,000 passengers daily at bus level and 2,000 cars from Tana road level will significantly reduce carbon emissions and enhance mobility,” said Gérard Andriamanohisoa, Secretary of State for New Towns and Housing at the Presidency.

The construction, funded by a 152 million Euro loan from France, spans 12 kilometres and underwent safety tests throughout June.

“We have installed numerous sensors in stations and along the line to detect and prevent issues proactively, ensuring passenger safety. Additionally, generators are in place to maintain operations during power outages,” explained Guillaume Rannaz, technical manager at Poma, the project contractor.

However, at nearly one Euro per ticket, many Malagasy find the fares prohibitive, which are six times the price of a bus ticket.

Some residents express discontent, prioritising essential services like water and electricity over the cable car project.

“We lack water and electricity. When water flows, it's often muddy, yet we still pay bills. Why not tackle these social issues first?” questioned Henry Razafimanantsoa, an Antananarivo resident.

President Rajoelina defends the project vigorously, despite criticisms of increased national debt to France, Madagascar's former colonial power.

“We must dare to transform and develop our country. Critics rarely take action. We faced similar criticisms with the Eiffel Tower's construction. Today, it's a symbol attracting tourists to France,” Rajoelina affirmed.

The government plans to offer subsidized fares for students and pensioners, with the cable cars scheduled to commence public operations in 2025.

Last updated on July 11th, 2024 at 12:10 am

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