MEDELLIN, Colombia – French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said during a visit to Medellin that this northwestern Colombian city’s cable-car system made it an “example” for the rest of Latin America and placed it in the forefront of transportation in the region.
“Medellin is in the vanguard in all of Latin America in transportation systems,” Ayrault said during the inauguration Saturday of the Metrocable’s Line H.
Ayrault rode the new cable-car line, which serves east-central Medellin, praising local leaders for making the city the first in the world to provide mass transportation using a gondola lift system.
“I’m convinced that the cities of tomorrow will use Medellin as an example,” the French foreign minister said.
Antioquia province Gov. Luis Perez, Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez, French Ambassador to Colombia Jean-Marc Laforêt and Colombian Ambassador to France Federico Renjifo were among the officials who attended the ceremony.
The French Development Agency (AFD) provided the city of Medellin with a $250 million loan to build the Ayacucho cable-car system, which started operating in 2015 and includes Line H.
France’s POMA was among the companies employed as contractors on the Metrocable project, which has 42 cable cars and three stations, with the capacity to move 1,800 passengers per hour.
Medellin, the capital of Antioquia province, now has four cable-car systems in operation.