Photo: PR Times

Japanese transport group aims to set up public ropeway transit system by 2025

By Katy Kelly, SoraNews24

You don’t need to work in a big city to know that the morning rush hour is a tricky business all of its own. This is especially true in large cities in Japan: trains, cars, and buses alike vie for space in the cityscape, and the crowded public transport systems have become an especially glaring issue in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One company thinks they might have a solution: Zip Infrastructure Inc. Their proposal is to set up electric-powered ziplines throughout a city that can transport small capsules carrying up to 12 people per journey. The service will use a digital app to direct it through the network of ziplines and is capable of making tight turns and branching paths that regular mountain ropeways find challenging.

▼ A simple test for a single-seater version.

There are lots of things that make this electric ropeway, named Zippar, appealing. The obvious thing is that it uses an extra plane to transport more people to where they need to go—but it also costs about a fifth less than implementing a monorail service, is comparatively quiet, and doesn’t require a dedicated driver like other forms of public transport.

Test runs of the ropeway are currently underway in the mountain city of Odawara in Kanagawa prefecture. The president of Zip Infrastructure, 23-year-old Takamasa Suchi, expects that once the 12-person capacity car model finishes production a single car will be operated at high speed every twelve seconds and transport 3,000 people in an hour. Their plan is to implement the system officially in 2025.

Upon learning of the project, netizens seem to be torn on whether to be excited for the Zippar or not.

“I think it’s a fun idea, but 3,000 people per hour in an urban district? That seems like insufficient capacity to me. I’m sure that the passenger fare will be fittingly expensive, too.”

“It feels like in anime where the characters time travel and you see how far society has advanced.”

“I hope they don’t just limit it to the cities. I’d love to see this out in the countryside too.”

“Once I consider people bringing luggage with them, I can’t help but assume this service is gonna only be for rich people…”

Regardless, the idea of changing up the public transport sphere and reducing the strain on the existing systems is a noble one. Let’s wait and see where this ropeway leads us to!

Source: Livedoor News/Kanaloco via Otakomu, PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Yokohama Air Cabin: A new futuristic ropeway in the middle of the city

-- New self-driving buses testing across Japan let you pay with your face

-- Tokyo’s anti-crowding coronavirus countermeasures backfire, make trains needlessly dangerous

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Since it's not physically possible nor fiscally feasible to subway stations or train stations everywhere, a system like this should be used as a local method of transportation in a small area/neighborhood/district that has a large pedestrian presence, rather than a large city-wide system to compete/compliment regular train services.

For example, a circular line that runs throughout the main Shinjuku station area from the east side to the west side - allowing for commuters to easily get from one area to another.

Or a line from the Enoshima stations (Odakyu, Enoden, Monorail) to Enoshima Island and around that area. Tourists and locals could benefit from the ease of movement. (Yes, it depends on how it looks, it could potentially make the area look messy though...)

The Enoden, which is notoriously crowded, could use this system to alleviate the crowds that go from Kamakura to Hase.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In a country with a rapid birth decline especially in the near future, The resources for such projects could be put to better use in other places.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This reminds me of Mi Teleférico in La Paz, Bolivia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For urban environments, I am a bit skeptical but it isn't the worst idea in a country that is so mountainous. Definitely easier to install with less environmental impact compared to train lines, and great for terrain that is uneven. In mountainous areas with lots of tourism, could also offer a nice scenic alternative. I wouldn't mind dropping my luggage off at my ryokan and then going around Hakone or Kusatsu on something like this.

I really hope these cars are early prototypes though, because that is pretty ugly. If they do end up getting utilized in less populated mountainous areas, I hope they can make something that blends just a bit better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Every twelve seconds, on the same line? Not enough time to let ppl on/off. And if it costs 5x less than a monorail but can only transport a fraction of the capacity a monorail can, the monorail would be much more economical.

There are other cities around the world that use cable cars to fill in transport deserts and hard to reach places. It certainly has its uses but it sounds like a relatively expensive implementation for a big city.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Test runs of the ropeway are currently underway in the mountain city of Odawara in Kanagawa prefecture.

Odawara city proper is quaint and on Sagami Bay. It is not a mountain city at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure the huge elderly population will have no problem using these at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is this back to the future?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Glorified ski lift.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, I get it, you can take one of these from your home or office to the hyperloop station, lol. Right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites