Interview: Manuel Wu, CEO of Metro Lima
Manuel Wu, CEO of Metro de Lima, explains Peru’s recent urban transport developments, future plans and the importance of establishing a ‘metro culture’ to boost ridership and ensure return on investment for new projects.
How has Lima’s metro system transformed the city and what are your future plans?
Manuel: We consider the impact of Line 1 to have been very positive, helping to change the way people travel from the south into the city, with greatly updated transport links that have improved the lives of residents. With conventional transport, a resident from the south of Lima would take about 2 hours to get to the center of the city, however, with our system, it now takes only 33 minutes, whether it is rush hour or a quieter time of day.
We also believe the Metro is at the heart of the cities sustainable development and community culture. As such, we are are promoting a ‘metro culture’, which focuses on 5 principles, which we hope will radiate beyond the system itself.
We are currently implementing 2 new projects:
a) The addition of 11 new Alstom trains, which will be introduced alongside the 5 Ansaldo Breda trains we have in operation. This will reduce train frequency at peak times from 15 to 6 minutes, further improving the quality of service provided.
b) Next year, we will put section 2 of line 1 into operation, which will incorporate an additional 12 km and 10 stations into our current system of 22km and 16 stations. This will expansion of the coverage of our system the will benefit approximately 250,000 passengers.
What is the current status of the Lima Metro extension and what are the key challenges that you face at present?
The government is keen to support the development of new metro lines, and the new system is planned to include 5 lines. The tender for the proposed Line 2 is currently open, with almost all of the route to be constructed underground.
Key challenges to be overcome include:
a) The expansion projects will run over multiple governmental terms, and could be subject to changing priorities.
b) The integration of different transport systems, in our case the BRT metropolitan bus system, to provide a greater service for the city.
c) The contribution of private concessions and investment, to support the construction and operation of the system.
What type of train control technology have you deployed on Line 1 of the metro?
We currently have an ATP signalling system (Cityflow 350 by Bombardier) which has helped us to ensure safe operations. At present this has proved sufficient for a metro system in its initial years of operation. In the future, if necessary, we can look at CBTC systems, that will allow us to increase frequency without compromising security.
With extensive projects underway, what are you looking for the vendor community to provide in regards to technology and expertise?
We are looking for the best technical proposals, that which are both cost-effective, reflect our current situation and support future growth. It is important to foster a long-term strategic alliance, which goes beyond simply acquiring rolling stock and technology. It can’t be something short term, partners must provide competitive prices, and solutions that are in-line with distinct set of requirements.