It is called “Mi Teleférico” (My Cable Car). It is a state-owned company and is the only one of its kind. It was founded in 2014 and has made significant achievements with regard to sustainability, social inclusion and promoting initiatives and projects to improve people’s quality of life.
Rosmerys Bernal Piña
In April 2014, through a Supreme Decree, the Bolivian Government founded the Public Cable Transport Company, Mi Teleférico, with the installation of the Red Line. So far, seven other lines have gradually been put into operation (Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, White, Sky Blue and Purple), which link the cities of La Paz and El Alto.
The company was recently awarded the National Prize of Excellence for Living Well, an award given by the Ministry of Productive Development and the Ministry of the Environment, that recognises the company’s contribution to the country’s overall development and productive sovereignty, as well as the creation of decent work for Bolivians and their work with the community.
Company data indicates that, in addition to improving transportation, the network has become a major source of employment. As of March this year, they had a total of 633 workers, 225 of whom were women (36 percent) and 408 were men (64 percent), while many other people have benefitted indirectly.
In July, the Metropolitan Integration Network was awarded the 2018 Maya Award for Best Urban Transport Company in Bolivia for its work in driving the South American country’s development.
The recognition of the company has transcended national level, as, in September, it won a LATAM Smart City Award in the category of Sustainable Urban Development and Mobility, the region’s most important award in urban projects.
Mi Teleférico was considered the best Latin American initiative. In that regard, their plans, policies, technological solutions and work with different stakeholders involved in transforming society for planning and urban growth, as well as their contribution to increasing people’s quality of life were all highlighted.
Its work was also praised for stimulating national economic development, protecting the environment, security, territorial integration and reducing travel times in cities.
Furthermore, it was awarded the Guinness Prize earlier this year “for being the longest cable transport system in the world”. Mi Teleférico was considered for this world record in 2015, when the project only had three lines in operation (Red, Yellow and Green) and its length reached 10 kilometres and transported more than 60 thousand people daily.
From 29 May 2014 to 31 March 2018, the cable cars transported a total of 120 million, 859 thousand, 207 people. In the first three months of this year in particular, 13 million, 889 thousand, 508 passengers were recorded.
This meant that, in its four years of operation, the company managed to collect money from a total of 404 million, 348 thousand, 338 Bolivians (approximately 59 million dollars), according to their website.
In turn, the cable car stations have instigated numerous social initiatives, including the free medical care programme Mi Centro Vida (My Life Centre), that was started in 2015 in collaboration with the Bolivian Ministry of Health. The “life centres” are clinics that offer free medical care to people in the Mi Teleférico stations to “strengthen the Single Health System in the diagnosis and early prevention of non-communicable diseases”, explained the Minister for Health, Rodolfo Rocabado.
Since its launch, these centres have provided medical care to more than 72 thousand people, through which they were able to diagnose four thousand, six hundred people with diabetes and a similar number of people with high blood pressure.
Another of the initiatives for the welfare of society was Paint Bolivia Orange: End violence against women, which was launched on 1 November in coordination with the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations system.
Later, on 20 November, International Children’s Rights Day, Bolivia’s Ministry of Justice and Institutional Transparency, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the company, launched the campaign Yo Por La Niñez (I For Children) to take preventive action against violence and all forms of discrimination against minors.
The campaign Mega 100bra was also started in the city of La Paz. It is a project that aims to plant 100 thousand trees in La Paz to promote care for the environment. (PL)
(Translated by Rachel Hatt – Email: email@example.com)