Port au Prince’s Project Metrocable is exciting but probably undoable. Let me explain. Haiti’s President Martelly has a dream. Enabling his heaving capital to move – smoothly, even stylishly – up and down the mountainous high (and low) roads. Exactly two weeks ago, POMA, a company that specializes in cable cars, ski lifts and other transport solutions in different parts of the world, presented its plan to the Haitian finance ministry. A good example of a metrocable project, executed by POMA, is the one in Medellin, where the world’s first urban cable car was designed to reach some of the city’s least developed areas. It’s generally thought to have been successful.
But then POMA appears to have an impressive record, ranging from Paris to Shenzen, Nha Trang to Quito, Dubai to London. But what chance of success in Port au Prince? Sans plentiful electricity or any source of cheap energy other than Venezuela’s gift of PetroCaribe oil, which must surely end one day soon. More to the point, how is the Haitian government going to fund Project Metrocable, which envisages five phases and two stations? Each cabin is to hold 10 people – eight seated and two standing – which will add up to 3,000 people per hour each way.
Simply wonderful, if only it could be done.