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On Saturday Bolivian President Evo Morales inaugurated the latest and one of the most difficult parts of the innovate transporation system in La Paz.
Bolivian President Evo Morales inaugurated the latest cable car line within the La Paz transportation system, making the Silver Line the tenth route in the capital’s innovative cable car network. The Silver Line will transport users directly between La Paz and the city of El Alto perched high above the Bolivian capital.
"A new cable car line, the Silver Line, is for the people of El Alto,” Morales said at the infrastructural inauguration. “Congratulations, this is one project for the people of El Alto," said the Bolivian leader to crowds at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Silver Line completes what authorities are calling an "integrated metropolitan ring" of 33 km of cable car lines that extend between parts of La Paz and El Alto carrying passengers over the mountainous cities that both lie over 4,000 meters above sea level.
Construction on the cable system began seven years ago and now 1,396 gondolas carry 150,000 users per day around the two cities.
The Silver Line is particularly unprecedented within the network because its 2.62 km of cable was constructed along the highly inhabited mountain side between La Paz to meet El Alto that sits 700 meters above the capital. Experts also say the new line will connect some of the riches and most affluent areas of La Paz with the poorer neighborhoods of El Alto.
This newly inaugurated line is expected to transport some 3,000 people per hour in each direction in a trip that will take eleven and a half minutes.
Cesar Dockweiler, Executive Director of Mi Teleferico who oversees the network’s operations said at the inauguration: "In no part of the world are there 32 kilometers of cable (with) … 1,324 cars that can transport more than 13,000 people simultaneously like the system of La Paz and El Alto."
Added Dockweiler: "It is the only mass and public transport cable system in the world. It puts Bolivia in a privileged place in the solution to urban mobility.”
The manager said Saturday that the entire system has “reduced public transport accident by 30 percent, (reduces) pollution and helps save gasoline."
Spokesperson from the Austrian firm Doppelmayr that designed the system told the Associated Press that this form of transportation reduces pollution and offers users more safety and comfort than other forms of public transport.
"Our respect for the effort and commitment of the workers for their work, … and commitment to the homeland," said the president Saturday.
The Silver Line connects the existing Red, Blue, Purple and Yellow lines.