An innovative aerial public transport system is being proposed in Mexico City as a way to help reduce traffic congestion and increase personal mobility. TUEP (Transporte Urbano Elevado Personalizado), a Mexican start-up, is being supported by the Federal District’s Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (Seciti) and has manufacturing support from vehicle manufacturer DINA.
TUEP says that its system of aerial cabins offers more flexibility than cable cars and will save energy costs and take some vehicles off the roads, reducing emissions. It proposes a series of routes, each 5 to 10 kilometers long, linking densely populated residential areas to the city’s existing Metro and Metrobús networks.
The proposed system is fully automated. The aerial cabins, each seating two adults or an adult with two children, travel along a steel cable and can be diverted on and off the main route into a series of “docking stations” for passengers to alight or disembark. Each cabin is individually controlled by its passengers who select their destination using push button controls. This 2-minute Spanish-language Youtube news clip shows how the system works:
Each 5-kilometer stretch would be able to transport up to 5,700 passengers an hour at full capacity, at an average velocity of 4 m/s (14.4 km/hr). Cabins would travel about 10 meters (30 feet) apart, which should mean short wait times for passengers, who would pay about 6 pesos (less than 50 cents US) per trip.
Constructing the system will require posts placed every 50 meters along the route, with docking stations every 1000 meters or so. The system is being designed to be installed along avenues that currently have a median divide, so that there is minimum disruption to alternative forms of transport. According to its proponents, building TUEP lines would be at least 40% cheaper than adding additional Metrobús routes and only a fraction of the cost of expanding the city’s Metro system.
More details and images of the proposed system are offered in this 4-minute silent video:
TUEP has suggested 18 routes that are worthy of feasibility studies, which include Marina Nacional, Río San Joaquín, Taxqueña-Miguel Ángel de Quevedo, Lázaro Cárdenas, Constituyentes-Santa Fe and Eje 10. If all the proposed routes were built, the TUEP network would have a total length of 135 kilometers, and would have the capacity to handle up to 37 million trips a year.