In spring 2022, Toulouse will have its cable car, Téléo. A 3km cable transport which will cross the Garonne in particular. An interesting project and technology, but incomparable with the Sytral project between Francheville and Lyon. In Toulouse, it only flies over very little urbanized areas. Reporting and decryption.
The pink city will have its cable transport. From 2022. The Toulouse cable car is indeed ahead of the Lyon project, which is only in its (tormented) beginnings. The origin of Téléo is the name of the Toulouse cable car, dating from the early 2000s. After the explosion and the AZF disaster. A project that is almost 20 years old. Carried by the right, then the left, then the right again. Carried away by a local political consensus.
An original, innovative project, adapted to the geography of Toulouse
In the end, Téléo will cover 3km and will link Paul Sabatier University (around 30,000 students) to the new Oncopole district (around 10,000 jobs) by passing over the hill and the Garonne with an intermediate station at the Ranguil Hospital (approximately 200,000 medical consultations per year). At Paul Sabatier University, Téléo is incorporated into a multimodal hub, with a metro stop and a bus station.
We visited it. The structure, currently in the testing phase, and whose work began in 2019, blends in well with the landscape with 5 pylons and 3 stations over a 3 km route. Pylons from 30 meters to 70 meters high, from 125 to 400 tonnes. The Toulouse cable car uses 3S technology (tricable), the cabins are imposing (they can accommodate up to 35 people, it takes 15-20 places) and it can run one every two minutes (there are 14 in all). The structure makes virtually no noise, and can operate up to gusts of wind of 108 km / h.
The positive points :
- the Toulouse cable car does not make any noise (it uses 3S technology, the first studies in Lyon rather favor the single-cable solution)
- spacious cabins
- stations at ground level (for two of them out of three)
- accessibility, for people with reduced mobility
- the possibility of boarding the bikes
- the structure blends in fairly well with the landscape, but few cabins
- it is resistant to wind (to be confirmed for a single cable technology)
- it allows you to make a journey of more than 30-35 minutes in 10 minutes
- no expropriation
3 questions to Fabienne Cresci, the general manager of the services of Tisseo-Collectivités, the equivalent of Sytral Toulousain
Lyon Capitale: Why the use of the cable car in Toulouse?
Fabienne Cresci: The ideas for an overflight in Toulouse began in 2003. This work allows us to do what the southern belt in Toulouse called for, that is to say a transverse service, extremely important for Toulouse because it was much less treated. It is a project which involves important equipment for Toulouse residents (hospital, university and oncopole), it is important to link these poles. There is the hill, the Garonne and the bus service is extremely heavy. We were on trips longer than 30 minutes. Thanks to Téléo, we will have an important service for territories that are developing enormously.
What does this cable car fly over?
FC: It spans the hill, it passes over the Garonne but this structure flies over sparsely urbanized and sparsely inhabited areas. The cable car corridor (route) posed very few problems.
How was this project accepted by the population?
FC: Very good. This is also explained by the overflight zones. In Toulouse, these are very natural areas. We had a problem at one point for a high school flyover. The departure station (at Paul Sabatier University) was to be on the other side of the bus station. The school was totally against this. Suddenly, another option was chosen. We had big problems with shaft compensation. But otherwise, it is an object of interest to the population. In the imagination of people, this cable car looks like something interesting, original.
“Toulouse, it is not comparable (with the project in Lyon)
Jean-Charles Kohlhaas, vice-president of the Métropole de Lyon and Sytral
To summarize, it is an original, innovative project, and rather well suited to the geography of Toulouse. But can it really be compared to the Lyon project, which has caused so much debate since its explosive announcement in December 2020, which has sparked so much and so much debate in the west of Lyon? Clearly, no. “They are not at all the same types of projects, they are not comparable“, recognizes Jean-Charles Kohlhaas, environmental vice-president of the Metropolis of Lyon in charge of travel, and deputy vice-president of Sytral.
Kohlhaas is piloting this project at Sytral. He details his feelings about the Toulouse cable car: “I was rather convinced that it was a good system. I was amazed, especially by the lack of noise. It’s impressive. At the foot of the pylon, we hear the road which is 1km away, we do not hear the cable running. I am even more convinced that it is a good project. Afterwards, I do not question the issues of integration and overview that can impact the population. You have to work on that. It is a very nice mode of transport to cross obstacles over distances that are not very longThe Toulouse cable car uses 3S technology (tricable) with imposing cabins (it can accommodate up to 35 people, it takes 15-20 places instead) but a not very high flow (one every two minutes). The first studies in Lyon favor the single-cable solution with a frequency of one cabin every 20 seconds. And more but smaller cabins, able to accommodate fewer people. Certainly also less comfortable and more exposed to the wind. noise, the cable car does not in Toulouse.
In a bus that takes us from one station to the other of the Toulouse cable car, Bruno Bernard, the president of Sytral and of the Métropole de Lyon, says the same thing: “There is no noise, there is no wind. The problems that followed (in the Lyon project), it is the location of stations and pylons, and the overflight which may, for objective or subjective reasons, general the inhabitants in the vicinity. There are enormous advantages to the project: offering mobility, saving enormous travel time. We, in the west of Lyon, we have hills, we have obstacles to overcome, the cable seems relevant“.
The insertion constraints are much stronger in the project in Lyon
The Toulouse cable car does not fly over almost any urbanized area. Nothing to do with the Francheville-Lyon project. The two pre-feasibility studies had, in particular, both detected and anticipated major integration constraints, particularly in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon. No expropriation to be done in Toulouse either. Unlike Francheville, Sainte-Foy or La Mulatière. Sytral will not be able to use the Toulouse example to “push” its Francheville-Lyon project.
When we imagine the territory of the Metropolis of Lyon, the Toulouse cable car rather reminds us of the geography of one of the lines studied in 2019 between Rillieux and the Grand Large at Décines-Meyzieu, passing and overlooking the Miribel-Jonage park . We submit the remark to Bruno Bernard. “The fewer people there are, the easier it is to do it, but the less interesting it is. The goal is that there are people in it. We can also find a place where there is nothing“, smiles the president of Sytral.”The challenge is to find an insertion that makes it possible both to set up stations to serve people and to fly over as few homes as possible. This is the stake», Adds Jean-Charles Kohlhaas.
“If people don’t want it, we’ll back down”
But is it possible to link Francheville to Lyon? “It is surely more complicated than in Toulouse, recognizes Kohlhaas. But for me, nothing is ever impossible. We will take a close look, we will see if it is possible, and we will see how people accept it or not. The advisability of the project is put back into the consultation. If people don’t want it, on will back down“.
Since the announcement and the setting up of Sytral’s mandate of the project, in December 2020, Bernard and Kohlhaas have gradually softened their discourse. More and more, the idea of abandoning the project, in case of “NO” of the population, is gaining ground. A consultation will take place from November 15, 2021 to February 15. In an atmosphere that promises to be already electric. “A consultation is not a poll, it is not a vote. These are exchanges, it is collective intelligence. If we realize that there are many people, who even after our arguments, tell us “no, we don’t want it”, we will come back to the opportunity of the project.“, Kohlhaas continues, who continues that three clear lines will be subject to consultation. Much more precise than the time zones presented in June.”We will be on a fork of about fifty meters (for all three routes), says Kohlhaas.
Bruno Bernard, for his part, says that the game will be far from easy during the consultation. “We had underestimated the media effect and the strength of the opposition, recognizes Bernard today. I had not anticipated that mayors who said “you have to study, you have to watch three years ago” to be against now“. The opponents, them, are organized and determined. In particular in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, where the opponents are very numerous and the mayor, Véronique Sarselli, fiercely against. If the two directors of cabinets of Bernard and Sarselli are are seen recently, discussions have stalled between the president of Sytral and the mayor of Sainte-Foy. “There is no dialogue with Madame Sarselli, she is in a position which does not allow dialogue today. I hope she will change“, insists Bernard.
Or, going from Francheville to Lyon without going through Sainte-Foy, it’s complicated … Now it’s time for consultation. “I approach the consultation in an open manner. I want us to take stock of mobility in western Lyon, to look at possible projects. And that we look at the three routes of the cable transport, I hope that the beginning will be done serenely “. Serenity? There haven’t been many around this project since its shattering announcement in December 2020. This is unlikely to change in the coming weeks …
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