Rome mayor ridiculed for cable car comment

Rome announces feasibility study into city's first cable car project.

Rome's city council has given the green light for a "technical-economic" feasibility study into the capital's first cable car project, potentially paving the way for construction works to begin in 2022.

The contentious scheme, pushed by Rome mayor Virginia Raggi ever since before her election in 2016, is designed to alleviate traffic congestion between the western suburbs of Casolotti and Boccea by connecting commuters to the Battistini metro station.

The project would cover four kilometres and include seven stops between Casalotti and Battistini, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

City authorities are due to meet with officials from Italy's transport ministry in the coming days, according to media reports.

The next step is the final design, financed by the state, which would be the basis for the tender, within an estimated time frame of 18 months.

 

"It is a useful and modern transport system already tested in many other cities," said Raggi on 10 February - "It will be a little revolution for the mobility of the whole area."

However Raggi's announcement of the feasibility study has been criticised as "propaganda" by opposition politicians as the mayor prepares to seek a second term in office in upcoming municipal elections.

Raggi was also ridiculed on social media, following the announcement, for her reply to a critical comment on her official Facebook page.

"If the cable car is no longer needed, it can be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere," read the comment, written either by Raggi or her social media manager.

 

The gaffe led to numerous headlines and a sea of ironic comments, with the project being re-christened the "follivia," a play on the words for folly and cable car.

Many people also took to social media to ask if the cable car and its infrastructure would be assembled out of Lego.

The mayor's comment was subsequently removed but not before careful observers took a screenshot for posterity.

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Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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