Greater Paris to get cable car to connect city suburbs

The first ever cable car service in the greater Paris region will connected two of the city's suburbs in just 17 minutes, according to newly-released plans.

The France's first urban cable car was inaugurated in Brest in 2016.
The France's first urban cable car was inaugurated in Brest in 2016. The Val-de-Marne département outside of Paris is set to acquire one of its own. (Photo by FRED TANNEAU / AFP)

Work on the line, which will connect the southern Parisian suburbs of Créteil and Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, is set to begin in March.

Known as Câble 1, this project will cover 5 stations and is aimed at providing “a concrete answer to the daily transport difficulties of residents of these Val-de-Marne communes,” according to Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM)- the regional public transport authority. 

A map shows the planned route of a cable car service in the Val-de-Marne département outside of Paris.

A map shows the planned route of a cable car service in the Val-de-Marne département outside of Paris. Source: IDFM

Each cabin will contain space for ten people sitting down and will be carried dozens of meters in the air above the streets below. In total, the line will run 4.5km – a distance it will cover in just 17 minutes. It is unlikely that anyone will be able to use the line until 2025. 

IDFM said that the project, which is set to cost €132 million, will represent an “attractive and innovative mode of public transport,” for some 20,000 local residents. 

In an interview with Le Parisien IDFM director, Laurent Probst, said that the service would have a capacity of up to 1,600 passengers per hour. 

49 percent of the finance for the Câble 1 service will come from the Ile-de-France regional authorities, 30 percent from the Val-de-Marne département and 21 percent from the national government. 

A legal challenge that claimed the cable cars would pass too close to people’s homes and infringe on their right to privacy, is set to be thrown out of court. 

The design plans have been revised to ensure that the cabines would pass higher above houses and to increase the distance of the stations to houses. Floors of the cabins will be opaque, meaning passengers can’t look directly down at residents below. 

Construction schedule

Below is the provisional construction schedule according to IDFM.

  • March 2022: Foundation laying and rerouting of network 
  • 2023 – 2024: Civil engineering works begin, pylons erected, cable cars connected
  • 2025: Câble 1 enters service

IDFM say that a dozen other cable car projects are currently under consideration. 

Similar urban cable car systems already exist in Brest and Grenoble. 

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‘IT problems’ blamed for cancellation of flights from French airports

The French holiday weekend of Ascension has been hit by travel problems after Easyjet cancelled dozens of flights.

'IT problems' blamed for cancellation of flights from French airports

Easyjet announced on Thursday that it would have to cancel several dozen flights, many of which were set to depart from French airports like Paris Charles de Gaulle, Lyon, Toulouse and Nice.

The British budget airline tweeted an apology to the customers impacted, explaining that ‘IT system issues’ were to blame. 

In total, 200 flights across Europe were affected, confirmed the British newspaper The Independent.

Several customers expressed frustration at the hours-long wait times, many taking to Twitter to vent, like this user below:

So what happened?

Easyjet has not been very specific about the issue aside from explaining that the root of the problem was a computer system failure. They announced quickly that they were working to restore their systems and that in the meantime customers should continue to check Flight Tracker in order to verify the status of their flight prior to leaving for the airport.

While flights were set to resume on Friday, Thursday’s cancellations have had a domino effect, bringing about further delays and cancellations for flights originally scheduled for Friday. 

If you have flights booked, it is best, as stated above, to keep an eye on Flight Tracker in order to avoid potentially long wait-times at the airport.

Will passengers be compensated?

While Easyjet initially explained the IT problem as “beyond [their] control” and an “exceptional circumstance,” the company eventually retracted these statements and released a new statement saying that “Customers can request compensation in accordance with the regulations.” Here is the link to their website to find out more.

If you plan to request a refund, be advised that under European regulation for air passenger rights, travellers should be entitled to compensation between €260 to €410 per person depending on the duration of the flight, with the latter representing flight distances of over 1,500 km. Read more here.

Since Brexit, passengers departing from the UK may no longer be covered by the European compensation rules.