Montpellier cable car for SNCF stations and the airport is gaining pace

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Brest cable car

A cable car in Montpellier to reach the SNCF stations and the airport is a project which is gaining momentum.

The Brest cable car, which crosses the famous harbour, was a first in France in an urban environment. It’s been running since 2016.

The Montpellier cable car discussions have been taking place with candidates for municipal elections, such as Patrick Vignal and Rémi Gaillard, who would seriously consider the cable car as an option to fly over traffic jams and connect the SNCF stations and the airport.  It’s a fashionable idea, but not new.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Montpellier (CCI) have been talking about the project since 2014, and they have agreed that the project is technically feasible.

Benoit Joguet, director of studies at the Agence Transmobilité de Marseille, explains the main constraint, it is the number of stops. “We cannot multiply them endlessly, but on three points, such as the two stations and Montpellier airport, a cable car is quite feasible.”

The budget is apparently difficult to assess, but a cable car is more economical than a tram; five times cheaper in fact, according to the agency Transmobility.  It costs five million euros per kilometre for a cable car against 25 million on average for a tram.

2030 has been discussed as a launch date in Montpellier.

Toulouse has been building its own since September 2019.  “Téléo” will be three kilometres long between the Oncopôle (ex AZF site) and CHU de Rangueil then the Paul Sabatier University: it will pass over the Garonne and fly over a Natura 2000 protected area.  The plan hasn’t been easy though, with major disagreements about the route over residential areas (residents and students won that battle).

It will be the longest urban cable car in France; operational from the end of 2020, it will be able to transport 8,000 travellers per day.

In the meantime, in the Hérault, you can still take the shortest cable car in the world: it is 83 meters long and allows you to travel from one side of the canal to the other, in Palavas-les-Flots.

Source: France 3