TAIPEI (Taiwan) — After operating for 15 years, the Maokong Gondola will have its cables replaced starting in September, Metro Taipei announced on Friday (Aug. 20).
Metro Taipei updated the hours of operation for the gondola on Sunday (Aug. 22) in preparation for the work. The gondola will be closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays and open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
The work is estimated to end in mid-December, depending on weather conditions.
Maokong Gondola staff currently working with technicians from manufacturer to plan for cable replacement. (Taipei Maokong Gondola photo)
Earlier this year, Metro Taipei issued a notice saying the cables have reached their expiration date and must be changed per the maintenance manual and European Standards. As the cables are metal, they are stretched by the cabins' weight.
In operation since 2007, the gondola is located near the Taipei Zoo, which serves as its first station. It is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike and famous for its glass-bottomed cabins, called the “eyes of the Maokong Gondola.”
Throughout its history, the gondola’s maintenance has drawn attention on several occasions, especially after a typhoon struck in 2008, causing the base of one of its towers to cave in. The gondola did not reopen until a year and a half later.
The main challenge of the project is how the old cables should be lowered to the ground for recycling, said Metro Taipei.