Bolivia says cable car expansion to start next year

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bolivia aims to start work on the first of five new cable car lines in the capital next year, part of US$2.5bn planned investment in infrastructure projects in 2015.

The La Paz-El Alto cable car system's second phase, which includes an investment of US$450mn for the five new lines, will be completed by 2020, said César Dockweiler, CEO of state-owned operator Mi Teleférico.

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President Evo Morales was scheduled on Thursday to officially commission the cable car's green line, which will carry passengers between Estación del Libertador and Irpaví. For the 16-minute journey, passengers will pay 2 bolivianos (US$0.28) using a travelcard, he said.

"It's an unprecedented event," Dockweiler told state radio station Red Patria Nueva. "The inauguration of the green line will consolidate the world's longest cable car system."

Bolivia's government plans to increase its 2015 public spending budget 37% to US$6.18bn, economy minister Luis Arce said last month. Infrastructure investment will include the telecom, energy, water and transport sectors.

President Morales, who was re-elected to a third consecutive term in October, has expropriated oil, mining, water and telecommunications companies and pension funds since taking office in 2006 in a bid to give the state more control over the Andean nation's economy.