Tashkent is set to introduce “cable public transportation,” as announced by the city’s hokimiyat (regional governor’s office) on January 25.
In Shenzhen, China, a delegation headed by Shavkat Umurzakov, the city’s acting hokim, held discussions with Beijing North Bartholet Cableway Technology Co., Ltd. on January 23. This delegation is currently in China as part of the state visit of the president of Uzbekistan.
Following the meeting, an investment agreement for the project’s implementation was signed between Tashkent Invest and Beijing North Bartholet Cableway Technology Co., Ltd. The cost of the project has not been disclosed.
“The project is envisioned to replicate ground transportation through cable taxi cars, with a preliminary presentation to the public. Recommendations and suggestions from the public will be forwarded to the project office of Beijing North Bartholet Cableway Technology Co., Ltd.,” the message reads.
The Chinese company is reported to ensure the project’s realization, funded by foreign investments and manage its operations.
The hokimiyat noted the ongoing implementation of a “green” public transport development program in Tashkent in accordance with the directives of the president of Uzbekistan.
During the meeting “several options for cooperation, types and routes of the proposed transportation in the city” were discussed.
The exact location for the construction of the cable car is not specified. The sketches presented depict proposals from the Chinese company, “based on the study of the transport situation, taking into account the development of the city, the launch of the airport and Expo Centre, as well as upcoming international events.”
According to these sketches, the proposed line with 10-seat cabins is suggested to traverse Makhtumkuli Street, transitioning to New Uzbekistan Street, and following the route along the park of the same name. It would continue next to the civil and business aviation airport, extending through the Olympic City to New Tashkent.
Beijing North Bartholet Ropeway Technology Co., Ltd. is a joint venture between China and the Swiss company Bartholet Maschinenbau — one of the leaders in the field of cable cars, amusement parks, mechanical engineering and lighting equipment.
Tram was proposed for construction on this street
In spring 2016, Tashkent halted its more than a century-old tram traffic, deeming it inefficient (following the elimination of many directions, the system did not work as well as it could). Efforts to address transportation challenges through street widening, interchanges, and subway lines resulted in a decline in the city’s public transportation. Gazeta.uz has repeatedly drawn attention to the hastiness and inaccuracy of the decision to cease tram traffic.
In February 2022, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced plans to reintroduce trams to Tashkent after years. This happened during a visit to Samarkand, the only city in the country with operational trams. The president noted tram routes would be determined by “measuring twice and cutting once.”
In the same summer, Anvar Jurayev, head of the Transport Department of Tashkent city, stated the readiness of proposals for two routes of a modern “silent” tram — from the Tashkent Tractor Plant (TTZ) and from Hippodrome to the Northern Railway Station. The development of the project’s feasibility study was scheduled for August.
In November 2022, during the visit of the president of Uzbekistan to Paris, an agreement between the government of Uzbekistan and Alstom (the French company) was signed for the construction of tram lines in Tashkent. One of these lines may run from Doʻstlik metro station along New Uzbekistan Street — the same street proposed for the cable car. The current status of these projects remains unknown.
In September of the previous year, plans emerged for a unified tram and metro network in New Tashkent, intending to connect with the “old” Tashkent.
Recently, Murad Abidov, director of the project office under the Ministry of Transport, commented that given the time-consuming process of designing and constructing a tram, authorities initially purchased a large number of buses and organized dedicated lines. Abidov affirmed the ongoing plans to introduce a modern tram system, with the project jointly developed in collaboration with the French side.
In mid-January this year, the Chinese corporation CRRC presented “wheeled trams” to the Tashkent hokimiyat. The proposal envisions integrating them into the capital’s transportation system as a part of the Shota Rustaveli Street “green” transportation corridor project.