One of Geneva’s most popular tourist attractions – taking the cable car to the top of the Salève for a panoramic view of the Jet d’Eau – reopens on 5 April 2014 after a shutdown of three months to overhaul its cable system. The two cable cars, which each carry 60 passengers, are the same as before. Upgraded in 1983, they replaced the cars that were originally installed in 1932. “The old cable cars are in excellent condition, even technically,” said Patrick Roxo of the system’s operator RATP Development. “It was the huge cables that needed changing. And they were very expensive – three million euros.”
Last year, the ascent to the top of the Salève, at 1,100 meters, attracted some 200,000 passengers, some to enjoy a picnic at the top, others to dine at the l’Horizon restaurant which, despite its 1930s décor, opened only five years ago. Roxo said that the joint venture between France’s RATP and Geneva’s TPG (Transport Public Genevois) expects the number of users to grow by 18% this year. Locals on both sides of the border are justifiably proud of the téléphérique, which 80 years ago replaced a cogwheel train built in 1890 that took two hours to make the trip from Geneva. Now passengers can make the same trip in five minutes.