On February 22 1902 the Wellington Cable Car opened its doors and began transporting Wellingtonians from Lambton Quay to Kelburn – nearly three million trips later everyone can join in the celebrations.
There’ll be lots of trips down memory lane, cake for the afternoon commuters, a large panel reflecting the history of the iconic Cable Car will be unveiled in the main terminal, but a collaboration with the Wellington Chocolate Factory (WCF) will really put the fun into funicular.
The 1500 limited-edition 120th birthday dark chocolate and salted caramel bars will be available from the Cable Car, WCF, Zealandia, and selected Experience Wellington sites, with 120 golden tickets to be discovered within – giving the lucky winners a free ride on the Cable Car and a redeemable prize at the ticket office.
Mayor Andy Foster says the Cable Car has served the city well for so many years, both as a tourist attraction but also as everyday transport for hundreds of commuters and students – and now dogs!
“Not only is the Cable Car an iconic feature in the capital, it has also been a sustainable and reliable form of transport option for 120 years – and so celebrating this massive achievement is well deserved for the car and its many crew.”
To further commemorate the event, the Cable Car will launch a membership product giving commuters unlimited access to the Cable Car for three months.
Cable Car Chief Executive Cesar Piotto says not only has the Cable Car created thousands of great experiences, it has been a success from a transport point of view. The membership product is a further initiative to make commuting more accessible and affordable for Wellingtonians.
“Most Wellingtonians, and many Kiwis and international visitors will have fond memories of the Cable Car, either as a passenger, at an event or even as staff – and we want this year’s celebrations to honour that nostalgic sentiment with a nod to a classic favourite, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
“So jump on the Willy Wonka-esque bandwagon and find yourself one of the 120 golden tickets to commemorate each year of service – then get a free ride on us and create a brand new memory.”
Construction began in 1899 as demand for transport in the area grew with the growing population, and through two world wars, plagues and pestilence, facelifts and an assortment of challenges, it has stood the test of time – and will clock up many more trips in the future.