Giant Escalator Become Mode Of Transport For Colombia's Shanty Dwellers

By Emily Madsen on January 22, 2012

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Imagine if after a long day at school, instead of jumping into a car, you were faced with 530 hard stairs? That is exactly what some of the poorest residents of the town of Medellin, Colombia had to face each and every day.

That's because over 12,000 of them live in an area known as Comuna 13, which happens to be located entirely on a steep hillside. The only way from there to the city center was by climbing up and down old rambling stairs, something the residents had been resigned to doing for many generations. Not only was it hard, but also, an unproductive time drain, given that it took over 35 minutes to scale the stairs.

However, now there is finally some relief, thanks to a ginormous 1,269ft. tall escalator that has been installed alongside the steps, so that the residents can simply step up, relax and take in the views, all the way up.

In order to make sure that it is easily accessible to everyone living on the hillside, the escalator is divided into six sections. Those that need to continue simply hop off one section and walk right onto the next. The best part is, that their commute time has been reduced to 6 minutes.

Surprisingly however, not all residents are as thrilled with this new 'public transport' system that cost $6.7mm USD. Some believe that the money should have been used to upgrade the condition of their homes or help them buy food. Hopefully, that is what the government officials will focus on next.

Meanwhile, this outdoor escalator, the first of its kind, is garnering the attention of many neighboring cities. Officials from Rio de Janeiro are considering a similar project for some of their shantytowns which, are also located on steep hillsides.

Resources: Dailymail.co.uk, cnn.com, bbc.co.uk

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255 Comments
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  • otter
    otter10/26/2013
    I wish i lived there! I love escalators, and it would be so fun to ride them so often! That is so nice to give them a free way to ride around town!
    • winter
      winter7/8/2013
      One of my favorite things to do is ride the escalators over and over again at stores while my parents are shopping.
      • stracey
        stracey1/30/2013
        It is pretty cool, but it's sad to think about. People so poor, that they live where the gov. has to buy them an escalator to get to the city. Everyday people in America don't do that. Whe have to stop and take a look at the economy around us and stop thinking about how much we want the new electronic. Think about it.
        • -------1/27/2013
          Lazy people but cool :)
          • Jaedyn12/18/2012
            That's cool
            • fancynancy 12/6/2012
              WOW!! I think itz icredable this can actually help people that live up high placeses so the people wont have to wlk long ways for example the people with disabilaties.
              • bobby wassabi10/2/2012
                cool
                • Lilyb2036/12/2012
                  I always find it interesting how we take things for granted but in other countries the small things are precious in sight. I need to think of getting to play violin and take lessons as something amazing rather then boring because other people in other countries would die to even find out what a violin is.
                • kookiekat
                  kookiekat3/29/2012
                  cool
                  • leslie3/8/2012
                    go litter sis emily this was a looove it good report i love u 2 sissy

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