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Will Zürich be getting a cable car across the lake?

ZKB Cable Car 2020

Ankara has one. Rio de Janeiro has one. And La Paz in Bolivia has one. Urban cable cars are a popular solution to solving traffic congestion the world over.

When it comes to tiny Switzerland, we have no less than 2450 different cable car installations. This makes sense given that the mighty Alps have wrinkled up our landscape, creating deep valleys and high peaks. For transportation in urban spots, the Swiss have relied on boats, buses and trains.

The vision for a cable car across Lake Zürich

If it was up to the Zürcher Kantonalbank, a cable car will soon connect two opposing sides of Lake Zürich. In fact, the Swiss bank is willing to spend 60 million francs to construct a temporary cable car.

ZKB Cable Car 2020

That's one way to bring the games to the people, right? Needless to say, many residents are happy about the prospect of seeing their city from a bird's eye perspective. With turquoise waters below, the mountains in the far distance on one side and the peaks of Zürich's churches on the other, this cable car sounds like a one in a lifetime experience.

Thanks to 14 individual gondolas, up to 2000 passengers could travel from the gold coast to the "sneeze" coast every hour starting in June 2020.

However, for every enthusiast, there is a critic. This idea is still in the planning stages and the bank has not yet received a building permit. For instance, many residents of the ritzy Seefeld neighborhood are opposing the construction of a gigantic concrete pole which is necessary for the ropeway to work.

Others are proposing more efficient ways of utilizing this pile of money. For 60 million francs, a permanent boat connection could be established between Tiefenbrunnen and Wollishofen. Yet others are proposing a subway or a bridge.

What's your opinion about #ZüriBahn? Do you think it is simply a clever PR idea? Or is the bank serious about their plans?

More information

(Visuals copyright ZKB)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


  • I saw this on the ZKB website and I haaaaate it so much – I really hope they aren’t serious. Yes, the views from inside will be lovely, but the views from everywhere else will be spoilt. (No I’m not a Seefeld resident – in fact I don’t live in the city at all.) It’s also an appalling use of resources, and to spend all that money and energy on something that’s only meant to last five years? This is such destructive thinking. By 2017 we should have learned to protect the environment better than this.

  • Weel… it’s like this: I like and don’t like. I would definitely LOVE to ride this in fact I am so impressed I would make a special trip to the financial capital just to ride this even from elsewhere in Europe. The glass floor, the long distance between towers, I only hope they use UNTINTED (clear) windows! Too much window tinting on our PT in Switzerland (I think this was Ueli Mauer’s doing, a former head of the Verkehrsministerium back in 1991 I believe).

    Now to the don’t like: Like the Eye on London, it too was destined for removal within tens years, but as it became part of the landscape a referendum in 2010 extended its existence indefinitely (There I also rode that and I do like it still being there).

    But as this is supposedly to be removed in 2025, it might wind up becoming a permanent fixture of Zürisee under Kanton Zürich referendum. It will be a blight upon the unrestricted view of the Alps to the south which expensive property values could be compromised due to the change in the common view. It is sort of a waste of money as Switzerland has become so expensive as she already is! Money could be better spent in the electrification of the Postauto system (as trolleybus or battery electric buses) at leas on the longer of the and more used Postauto routes.

    This would also set a trend that more ropeways would cross the Vierwaldstätter-see, Bodensee, Bielersee, Neuenburgersee (Lac de neuchatel), Lacus Lemanus (Genfersee) Thunersee and Brienzersee on and on for their respective Jubiläum. That is what I am afraid of, thus destroying the character of these regions.

Dimitri Burkhard

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