Interview with Laurent Lieutaud, Customer Director of Tisséo Voyageurs.
How did you hear the news of this partial building collapse on Tuesday morning?
This is really bad luck, because metro line B really goes under rue de la Fonderie, where the partially collapsed building is located, between the Palais de Justice and Carmes stations. The tunnel is certainly located 18m below ground level, but it was best not to take any risks. In the case of a threatened building, any exterior vibration, however small, could be fatal. We therefore responded to the request of the Toulouse town hall, and interrupted traffic immediately.
When do you expect to be able to put the southern part of line B back into service?
We are awaiting the green light from the town hall. Consolidation work on the endangered building has started. We hope that line B will be able to fully operate again by the end of the week. Especially since on Friday and Saturday, the metro operates until 3 am. However, we will hardly be able to implement substitute buses at these late times …
What should travelers do who want to take line B?
We have reinforced two existing bus lines, the 34 and the 44, which have been extended to Ramonville. We are at a frequency of a bus every 10 minutes in rush hour. All stations are closed between François-Verdier and Ramonville, except the hall in Ramonville, to allow the purchase of tickets.
How many travelers take line B in normal times?
Right now in August, it’s in the order of 80,000 to 90,000 travelers a day. This is obviously very penalizing, but in our misfortune, we are fortunate that this did not happen in the middle of winter, when the line welcomes 250,000 passengers per day.
The metro has been interrupted since Tuesday morning at 9:30 am Is this the longest interruption in the history of the metro?
It is probably one of the longest, yes, apart from planned and scheduled works, such as the closure of line A for the extension of certain stations, in recent years. There had been flooding at the Saint-Agne station a few years ago.