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Can a Cable Car Cure Hanoi's Traffic Conundrum? This French Company Thinks So.

A French firm has proposed a new cable car system to span the Red River in the nation’s capital.

The five-kilometer long line will whisk passengers across the iconic river at a rate of 7,000 commuters per hour at a height of 50–100 meters above ground. The plan was put forth by the POMA Group, a French ropeway company, in response to frequent gridlocked traffic on the bridges that cross the river.

While the details of the plan have not yet been reviewed by Vietnamese officials, Tuoi Tre reports that the line will connect the Long Bien Bus Station on Tran Nhat Duat Street in Hoan Kiem District and the Gia Lam Bus Station in Long Bien District. No projected costs for the project or funding specifics have been released, but the firm claims if approved, construction would take 12–24 months. Vu Van Vien, director of the Hanoi Department of Transport said, "The department has no specific opinion [on the plan] now, because we have to listen to the detailed plan first.”

This is not Poma’s first foray into Vietnamese tree-top transportation. They previously installed the gondola system at the sacred Tay Thien Monastery in Vinh Phuc Province. Vietnam is currently undergoing a glut of cable car construction. Phu Quoc Island is now home to the world’s longest cable car, while more have been built or proposed for Sapa, Cat Ba Island, Quang Ngai and elsewhere.

Not everyone is convinced that cable cars are the solution for the country’s tourism and transportation needs. A proposed system to service Saigon’s overcrowded Tan Son Nhat Airport failed to gain approval while ongoing debates surround planned construction for a line leading into Vietnam’s esteemed Son Doong cave system.

[Photo via Lift Blog]

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