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They were worried that it wouldn't be completed in time for the Olympic Games, but the new Thames cable car, or Emirates Air Line, started operations just in time. On June 28th, a month before the opening ceremony commenced, this ride across the river was ready to accommodate almost 2,500 passengers per hour.
The first of its kind in a UK city, the Air Line whisks you over the River Thames in about five to ten minutes. Views of the Olympic venues and other notable landmarks are plenty, and from 300 feet up, the panorama is far reaching as well. Using an Oyster card, "frequent flier" pass or cash, passengers pay from £1.60 to £4.30 for a trip across the river. The cable is designed to actually speed up when crowds are heavy for maximum efficiency. If you cross when pedestrian traffic is light, the ride will be a bit more leisurely and scenic. With 34 cabins total, the lines move quickly, even during peak traffic times.
From the Greenwich Peninsula on the south bank to the Royal Docks on the north bank, the cable cars span a 1 km route over three pylons. The line is open for transport until 9pm nightly, though opening times may differ once the Olympics wind down and the winter season begins.
As the name suggests, the operation is owned by Emirates, a global airline that has a large presence in UK air travel from both Heathrow and six other UK airports. With a mission to improve mobility and "blur borders" between cultures, and countries, Emirates is proud to be an integral part of connecting the two banks of one of the world's most multicultural cities.
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