The capital objectively lacks off-street transportation — the fact that at every intersection, motorists, pedestrians, and public transport are always in the same transportation layer — significantly congests the city’s streets with a population of over a million people.
Unlike cities in the northern part of the continent, where there is a lack of insolation for long months during the cold half of the year, engaging in the “upper tier” appears to be the most promising. A large passenger flow will be moved beyond the intersections, creating more shade on the streets, and both residents and tourists will enjoy the mountain views from the windows of the cable cars.
Such transportation can be developed using a modern overhead tram system, similar to Istanbul. The advantage here is the activation of business activity because a significant portion of the city’s residents will be able to comfortably reach their desired parts of the city at specific times, regardless of street congestion. However, the construction of overhead tracks and stations requires investments, although not as astronomical as building a subway.
The second option can be called “Medellin-style.” In a city where cartels once dominated, and no sane urbanist would have risked their career by speculating on how Medellin could develop positively just ten years ago, a large and convenient network of cable cars and funiculars (mountain trams with inclined tracks) has now been created. Many residents have shifted their interests from the influence of groups to more socially beneficial activities, not because of a “strong authority” but for their personal comfort, as implementing these activities has become more convenient in the city, and the police have improved their work. The question is that Medellin is a city located right in the mountains, with cliffs hundreds of meters high inside urban neighborhoods.
Cable cars are particularly attractive due to the breathtaking views and lower construction costs for infrastructure. However, they require stops during especially gusty winds.
It can be assumed that in Bishkek, which is primarily a flat city, a hybridization of both the Istanbul and Medellin approaches would be optimal. Where the advantages of business activity are higher, it is better to use a tram with its ultra-reliability. Where there are greater prospects for breathtaking views of the mountains, parks, and interesting architecture, a cable car would be more suitable. By connecting the stations of both transportation modes and implementing a unified fare system, one can expect economic growth for the capital, attracting tourists, and greater satisfaction for the residents with their environment.
Cable cars have already proven their effectiveness. They were previously referred to as tourist transportation, but many cities now use them as public transport. A single cable car can replace 2,000 cars and 100 buses, carrying 3,000-4,000 passengers.
Work is already underway on the first route of the cable car, along Zhukeev-Pudovkin Street, from the “Asanbai” residential area to Zhibek Zholu Avenue.Urmatt Karybaev
Not only in the capital
Many have already heard about the construction of another cable car in Osh, to the unique natural and fortification monument, Suleiman Mountain, in the city center.
Meanwhile, a project that could be considered as a “further development of the Razzakov transportation system” presents significant interest – extending the railway line from Balykchy along the southern coast of Issyk-Kul to Karakol. Three key stations would be established: the city itself, a transfer to a funicular to the ski resort, and a transfer to a funicular in Altyn-Arashan. In Altyn-Arashan, the rhythms of nature perfectly match the European perception of mountain aesthetics, allowing the development of a network of environmentally-friendly hotels with functionality similar to Swiss hotels and aesthetics inspired by Tibetan and Central Asian styles. This direction would be interesting for launching not only regular passenger trains but also ultra-comfortable cruise trains.
Europeans are starting to ignore airplanes
Development programs within the intra-European transport network intentionally significantly reduce train ticket prices and raise prices for aviation. As a result, the number of intra-European flights has decreased significantly over the past decade, while the number of trains has increased. Such measures reduce hydrocarbon consumption and improve air quality. For Kyrgyzstan, the interest in developing aviation routes remains, but at the same time, it should be considered that rail transport will gradually appear more natural to tourists with a European mindset, while aviation will be seen as more pretentious and elitist.