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