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BCDA, Japanese Firm Exploring Cable Car System in Baguio

Imagine gliding through the picturesque hills of Camp John Hay in Baguio City on a cable car. This vision could soon become a reality—or spark debate—as the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) partners with Japanese company Zip Infrastructure Co. to explore this innovative transportation option.
During a recent visit to Tokyo, BCDA President Joshua Bingcang and Zip Infrastructure CEO Takamasa Suchi signed an agreement to evaluate the feasibility of introducing Zippar, a self-driven cable car system, in Camp John Hay. This initiative aims to provide an alternative transportation solution to ease traffic congestion in the area.

Zippar, designed to navigate curves and branches while being controlled from a centralized hub, promises to enhance urban mobility and promote environmentally sustainable transportation solutions within Camp John Hay.

Artist rendition of Zippar at Camp John Hay

Bingcang highlighted the potential impact of this technology, stating, “This technology could enhance urban mobility, reduce traffic congestion, and promote environmentally sustainable transportation solutions. By leveraging Zippar technology, we can create a seamless and efficient transport system within Camp John Hay, making it more accessible and enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.”

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista expressed cautious optimism about the project. “Zippar could be a game-changer for urban public transport while presenting an ideal green transport model. But we choose to temper our excitement with the need to first undertake the requisite feasibility studies. We hope to determine the possibility of adopting Zippar to a highly congested metropolis like Metro Manila,” Bautista said.

What is Zippar?

Launched in 2018, Zippar is a system of capsule cars running on zip lines designed to alleviate traffic congestion. It offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional, more expensive railway systems. Currently being tested in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, these trials are crucial for assessing the system’s practicality and performance in real-world conditions. If successful, Zippar could be implemented in various urban settings by 2025.

A sample of Zippar

Cable Cars: An Ongoing Discussion in the Philippines

The idea of using cable cars to solve the Philippines’ transportation issues has been considered since 2018 under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. The concept gained renewed attention when Senator Robin Padilla advocated for the revival of the Manila Urban Car Cable Project in 2022.

  • LRT-2 Santolan Station, Marikina City
  • Libis, Quezon City
  • Eastwood, Quezon City
  • Santolan, Pasig City
  • Manggahan, Pasig City
  • Rosario, Pasig City

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) endorsed the Manila Urban Car Cable Project to the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) in 2021. However, it is still awaiting evaluation and approval, with no updates since then.


As BCDA and Zip Infrastructure embark on this exploratory phase for Zippar in Camp John Hay, the prospect of cable cars in the Philippines continues to capture the public’s imagination, promising both excitement and skepticism.


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