In Toulouse, the construction of the cable car between the Oncopole and the Paul-Sabatier University via the CHU Rangueil is nearing completion. Commissioning is scheduled for early May. It will then take ten minutes to cross the Garonne and Pech-David.
On the slopes of Rangueil, from the cable car station located a stone’s throw from the entrance to the hospital, all that was missing was the snow on Monday to imagine being in a ski resort. On the hillside, this station is one of the most spectacular sites for this new means of transport that Tisséo has been integrating here since 2019 and which should be put into service at the beginning of May. With Téléo, which flies 3 km between the Oncopole and the Paul-Sabatier University via the CHU, Toulouse is preparing to inaugurate the longest urban cable car in France. “A first and a source of pride” for the Pink City, underlined Jean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse, during the site visit, the last before the launch.
“We have been heavily impacted by the Covid”, recalled the president of Tisséo Collectivités, Jean-Michel Lattes. Confinement in the spring of 2020, health constraints which slowed down the construction site, then shortage of electronic parts implemented a commissioning broadcast at the end of 2020. The project had already experienced a delay of a few months from the start: in the face of protest from the community school at Lycée Bellevue, the route had been reviewed and the departure station moved to the entrance to the university campus, on the other side of the road to Narbonne.
Same hours, same price
But the finish line is now in full view. Last November, Tisséo was counting on commissioning at the end of April. This course remains relevant. As a precaution, Jean-Michel Lattes has not advanced a date. The consortium led by Poma is due to hand over the keys to the installation to Tisséo at the end of March. A month of blank running will follow. At the end of April the cable car would be able to open. Jean-Michel Lattes preferred to evoke an inauguration “at the beginning of May” to move away from the second round of the presidential election on April 24. “We get there in a magnificent way”, especially underlined the boss of the transport union, noting the interest of many cities, such as Lyon and Bordeaux, for this mode of transport, “the least polluting of all”.
The cable car is currently going through the many stages of control: internal company controls, controls by independent organizations and finally by the State. As a last resort, the prefect will sign the authorization to operate.
The finishing work is also nearing completion. The dry run will allow Tisséo employees to take ownership of Téléo, which will be an integrated part of the network with the same timetables as the metro (5 am to 12:30 am) and the same pricing.
Only ten minutes will be needed to go from the Oncopole to Paul-Sabatier with one of the fifteen cabins which will pass every one minute and a half at rush hour. Tisséo plans to transport 8,000 passengers per day. Remember that Tisséo has chosen a technology with three cables, two carriers, a tractor, a guarantee of safety that allows the cable car to operate up to winds of 108 km/hour.
The new director of the CHU, Jean-François Lefebvre, and the president of the establishment’s medical commission, Professor Fati Nourhashemi, took part in the site visit. “For the CHU, it’s a real chance”, underlined the director to propose the accessibility of Rangueil which welcomes 35,000 people a year in its emergencies and 200,000 in consultation. When the cable car comes into service, the shuttle that linked the metro to the CHU will no longer be in operation. Purpan had its tramway, Rangueil will have its cable car.
Pech-David: the redeveloped promontory
It is one of the most beautiful views of the Pink City, but not the best known. From the promontory of Pech-David, the highest point in Toulouse, the gaze distinguishes the Garonne below, the Oncopole in the foreground, the west of Toulouse then with the Pyrenees as a backdrop when they are visible. Jean-Michel Lattes announced the city’s desire to redevelop this site as well as the 300 meters that separate it from the CHU Rangueil station. “We think that many people from Toulouse will come here in large numbers”, he predicted, also mentioning the opening of a guinguette. The Pech-David hill is also the site of plantations as part of compensation measures for the work of the cable car: 1,200 trees and 400 shrubs are thus planted by the green spaces department on these clayey-sandy lands which have made the subject to analysis before choosing the species.