Innovation Seilbahn

Potentiale für den urbanen Personennahverkehr und Positionen der beteiligten Akteure

Publishing year: 2015
ISBN 978-3-7983-2751-1

All over the world, more and more transport systems are running up against the limits of their capacity. At the same time, users’ demands for rapid, uncomplicated, low-cost and comfortable transportation are increasing. Particularly in view of a growing urbanisation and the intensifying effects of climate change, as well as the finiteness of fossil fuels, mobility in urban spaces in particular is caught between the poles of effectiveness and sustainability. It is therefore necessary to both further develop the existing transport systems and introduce new ones. This thesis focuses on the potential of a technology which up to now is primarily known from tourist areas in the Alps: cable cars.
The thesis provides an overview of the various technical constructions, singling out those forms which are relevant for urban public transport. On this basis, the potential for urban public transport will be demonstrated by way of a thematic expansion of the sustainability triangle. This includes not only an economic, ecological and social analysis, but also an analysis of technical potential and interventions relating to the cityscape, as well as technical safety requirements and the importance of the image of cable cars for their use in public transport. Exemplary projects illustrate the knowledge that has been gained thereby and prove that cable cars would be able to take over many different areas of urban public transport. They should therefore also be taken into account in discussions of transport policy as a fully-fledged means of transport.
This study is embedded in the theoretical framework of innovation. The definition coined by Joseph A. Schumpeter, supplemented by current discourses on the subject, will be applied to the learnings gained thus far. At the same time, both the necessary conditions – novelty, problem-solving potential and market availability – and the sufficient preconditions – positions of the players involved and obstacles to the innovation process – will be examined: Cable cars represent an innovation in the urban public transport system but, due to various global conditions, they are currently at different phases of the innovation process.
Along with an analysis of the relevant literature and legislation, experts in many different fields relating to this issue were interviewed. These include the heads of marketing of the two world’s leading cable-car companies, a representative of the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment (Senatsverwaltung) and a general expert in the field of urban cable cars.