New Night Travels For Thames Cable Car
A popular attraction on the banks of London’s Thames River is about to make a change to garner more attention and add a new perspective to the European metropolis. The Thames Cable Car, or the Emirates Air Line as it’s commonly referred to within London, has been a major draw for Londoners and tourists alike since its opening in June of 2012.
Sponsored by Emirates Airlines and operated by Transport for London, the Emirates Air Line runs above the Thames River at a height of 295 feet. Its western origin point is the Greenwich Peninsula and the eastern point is at the Royal Docks. The line currently has 36 gondola cars in operation, 34 of which are for passengers with a capacity of ten riders in each one. Transport for London made the announcement that the cable car’s hours of service will be extended into the evening hours. The cut-off times for ‘flights’ on the cable car will be at 11 P.M. on Saturdays, and at 10 P.M. from Sunday to Thursday. In addition to the expansion of service into the nighttime, there looks to be plans to make the trip across a more lively experience; the current trip’s duration of 20 minutes will get another five minutes tacked onto it. There’s also plans to incorporate musical cues and video footage to the ride.
The dangleway, as it’s referred to colloquially, has enjoyed some notoriety since its opening. But there has also been some turbulence involved. Firstly, ticket prices for the Thames Cable Car have been regarded as pricey for regular city dwellers, with one-way fares beginning at US$6.25. A ‘frequent flyer’ ticket will run close to twenty-four dollars in US currency. That pass allows for 10 trips in a year’s time, which isn’t a selling point for commuters. Another point of detraction lies in the 354 service disruptions over the duration of the Emirates Air Line’s operation to date, with inclement weather as the cause. And lastly, a firestorm of controversy ensued when the details of the original funding contract were revealed. Those details included a stipulation that Israel could not be allowed to provide any funding to the project, and that the mayor and TfL officials could not make public critiques of the project and the United Arab Emirates or its ruling family. Both aspects were struck down after public backlash. There’s no set date as to when the Thames Cable Car evening hours will take effect.