DAS MAGAZIN FÜR URBANE SEILBAHNEN

Interview


Why is the “Teleférico Santo Domingo” the first urban gondola to be manufactured, operated and maintained by POMA? Michael Fauché: During the construction, the customer - URBE - shared their requirements and expectations as regards the safety and availability of the operation, as well as concerning the maintenance of the future system. POMA offered its training, operation and maintenance expertise, based on the experience it gained in the area. As regards the implementation, we called upon the experts of our different Operation and Maintenance sites.

Coming from Peru, Colombia, France and Egypt, the team was in charge of the skills transfer, from the local recruitment up to the technical training.

 

The gondola opened to the public on the day following its inauguration. Was this a true challenge for the teams? Indeed, from the day following the inauguration, the Dominican team was able to operate the machine properly. These operations usually require several weeks of training on the machine before any commercial operation. Yet, this time frame was optimised with the support of POMA’s team of experts present onsite and the help of its operation and maintenance digital tools, such as UPilot®.

 

Moreover, this challenge was also met due to the close relation and constant dialogue with our customer Patricia Cuevas – director of URBE – and Jhael Isa, project manager, and the OPRET teams. What does operating and maintenance support mean to the customers? This support means a lot to our customers as it makes their lives easier: no need to create structures, train personnel, manage spare part stocks, etc. Meaning they can concentrate on providing a high-quality public service.

 

This service is all the more vital in urban or tourism contexts, where the cable transportation culture remains little developed, and where the customers may lack confidence, as for any non-mastered technology. Until the opening of the Santo Domingo machine, no manufacturer in the world had operated an urban gondola. We are the first. However, we rely on close to ten years of experience in operating and maintaining highly-demanding urban transportation systems such as the New York gondola, as well as Cairo and Miami’s APMs.

 

 

(ed. APM: Automated People Mover). As it happens, in Santo Domingo, POMA manages the machine’s technical conduct and maintenance –based on the Roosevelt Island gondola (New York) model or the Cairo APM, whereas the public operator is in charge of commercial management and conducting the proper integration of the machine within the city’s transportation network.

 

What challenges does the operation and maintenance of a cable transportation system pose? The transportation system, opening hours, number of passengers per hour and geographic spread render the operations more or less complex. The “Teleférico” extends over five kilometers long, includes 36 pylons, four stations, and has a large transportation capacity. As a consequence, its maintenance is a lot more demanding. Therefore, the key factor is having well prepared teams to conduct the operations. With the process implemented, POMA is able to set up local teams anywhere in the world, that will work up to 24/7 to conduct operating and maintenance tasks on most demanding systems.

 

In addition to the 60 Dominicans working for the “Teleférico Santo Domingo”, we have already recruited and trained several hundred people throughout the world. This customer support not only meet the customers needs but also creates value locally. And this is very important to us. After the first few months of operation in Santo Domingo, what assessment can be made from the users’ point of view?

 

The gondola is connected both to the different public transport systems (metro, bus, etc.) and the road network. In one of the “Teleférico” stations, users can access the metro directly simply by going down one level. By reducing correspondences between the different services, users save precious time. Comfort yes, along with financial incentive, especially as the city now offers a single ticket for its whole transportation network since the gondola opened.

 

Not to mention the pleasure of travelling through the air in a comfortable and cosy vehicle. Incidentally, the city made it clear that it would develop other gondola line projects if this one works well. In which case, we would be very happy to help them once again.