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To the dismay of Weir House and Pipitea-dwelling students, on June 7 the cable car will close for two months for repairs.
The upgrade will cost $3 million and include replacement of the steel cable, the instalment of a new electric motor, and advanced computer control equipment.
The quick turnarounds and full carts of people have been putting an increasing amount of pressure on the already struggling cable car.
Last upgraded in 1979, the interior and exterior of the cart will also be overhauled.
“We’ve estimated that each car has made something like 1.2 million trips up and down the hill in the time, and more than 30 million passengers have been carried,” said Wellington Cable Car Limited’s chief executive Simon Fleisher.
Wellington City Councillor and council transport committee chair Andy Foster said the refit was “necessary to keep the service running well into the middle of the 21st century.” According to Foster, the new system could carry an additional 150 to 200 passengers per hour.
While the shutdown is only temporary, it will affect those who take the cable car to campus.
“I’ll have to wake up half an hour earlier to walk down to Pipitea campus. It’ll be freezing too,” commented one Weir House resident.
A driver at the Cable Car has said, “people needn’t worry. It’s only closing for roughly six weeks. We’ll be running a bus system in that time, and it’ll cost the exact same amount.”
The bus system will run every 20 minutes and will directly pass Victoria University.
The refitted cable car system is expected to be up and running by July 31, with Wellington City Council hoping the upgrade will compensate for the anticipated rise in customers during peak season.