Francis Grass, an Ecole Polytechnique graduate, had his first executive roles with the SNCF and the Danone Group. In 1988, he arrived in Toulouse to commission the Metro’s A Line, and until 2022 was managing director of SEMVAT (now called Tisséo Voyageurs), devoting his final year there to getting the company back on track after the AZF explosion. He then went on to manage the Île-de-France region with Connex (which became Veolia Transport, and now Transdev), and following that, he was appointed managing director for France. As President of Tisséo Engineering (2014–2020), he was responsible for managing the Téléo project, in parallel with the third Metro line.
Over the years, he has gained an in-depth knowledge of public transport, in all its modes, rail, Metro, tramway, bus, bicycle, carpooling,… and cable car transport, particularly having worked on the Créteil and Grenoble projects. Since 2014, he has been Deputy Mayor of Toulouse.
June 07: Integrating cable car systems as a sustainable urban transport solution
Toulouse’s 3S aerial tramway: leading the way to sustainable mobilityToulouse’s 3S cable car first took flight in May 2022. The long line stretching 3km (the longest in Europe in an urban area), connects Oncopole, Rangueil Hospital and Paul Sabatier University, flying over the Garonne River, all in just ten minutes, compared to 40 by car. This aerial ropeway was the obvious answer to linking up three major sites of activity in Toulouse, interwoven into the city’s existing transport network, whilst at the same time ensuring its seamless environmental integration. Across one year of operation, more than 1.6 million passengers have already used ‘Téléo’, thanks to a state-of-the-art technology that fully meets high standards of safety and availability. TISSEO, the organisational authority for transport in the Toulouse area, has successfully led this ambitious and innovative project, the result of a process of consecutive, well-considered technical choices, and extensive consultation with stakeholders. POMA has designed and built the first tri-cable urban cable car in France for the city of Toulouse, which has now become an international reference point for sustainable mobility. From Toulouse to St Denis in Réunion, from Medellin to New York, Santo Domingo, Algiers or Tananarive, cable transport links can be adapted to any city, with a tailor-made response for each project, from construction to lift operation.