China's first urban passenger cable car officially retires

15:22, March 01, 2011      

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On, Feb. 28, the last day of Jiling River Cable Car's runing, a Chongqing citizen is taking photograph for it. (Photo by Chinanews/Meng Huan)

After 29 years of use as an important transportation channel, Jialing River Cable Car, China's first urban passenger cable car, finally ended its historical mission on the last day of February this year.

The main regions of Chongqing are divided into four parts because the city is crisscrossed by the Yangtze River and Jialing River. So, crossing rivers has become a special challenge for Chongqing citizens when they go outside their region. Up until the 1970s, only one bridge was available for Chongqing residents to cross the Jialing River, and lots of people had to take ships to cross it.

On Jan. 1, 1982, the 740-meter-long Jialing Cable Car officially started running and relieved the pressure in river-crossing transportation to a certain extent. According to the statistics released by Chongqing Cable Car Company, the average rate of passengers transported by the Jialing Cable Car was about more than 12,000 person-times every day, and the maximum could be 25,400 person-times. Because of that, Jialing Cable Car was also called "air public bus" by Chongqing people.

On the basis of the successful experience of the Jialing passenger cable car, the Chongqing government invested to build another cable car above the Yangtze River.

The passenger cable car is not only a special channel for Chongqing to transport passengers but also an important method of sightseeing, and many tourists who come from outside Chongqing want to see the beautiful scenery of Chongqing in the air by taking the cable car.

However, there are four bridges above the Jialing River now and the cable car has lost many of its passengers. Because it is blocking construction of another two bridges that are being built, the Chongqing government has decided to demolish it for the sake of the city's development.

After hearing that the cable car will be demolished, many citizens paid a visit to the cable car to take one last ride and say goodbye to it.

On Feb. 28, the last day that the cable car ran, many people, including some cable car operators, still lingered outside the closed gate after it stopped running.

Mr. Peng, a Chongqing citizen who took the cable car to work everyday for the last 29 years, said he never expected that the cable car would retire before he did.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


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