PERU - Transport
General Manager, GyM Ferrovias - Linea 1, Metro de Lima
Manuel Wu Rocha is a civil engineer from the Pontificate Catholic University of Peru and holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Piura in Peru. He joined GyM in 2003 as an engineer in charge of the construction of the gas pipeline system in Lima and Callao, and was also the Chief Technical Officer for oil and gas, electricity, infrastructure, and sanitation for GyM’s subsidiary GyM Construction from 2003 until 2007. He became Manager of Sales and Logistics of GyM Construction in 2007 and General Manager of GyM Construction in 2009. He is currently the General Manager of GyM Ferrovias – Linea 1, Metro de Lima.
Linea Uno is very important; there are very few capitals that do not have a mass transit system. Lima was lagging behind for a long time—more than 9 to 10 million people in Lima lacked access to a metro network, so it has been a big change for the city. Our main challenge was teaching Lima’s citizens how to use a new system of transport with a pre-paid card and metro stations and integrate it into their daily lives. One of the major challenges was to teach users that they could plan their trips in advance and organize their life accordingly and know exactly how long it will take to be get where they want to be. The metro and the new “Cultura Metropolitana” are among the most important factors that have allowed the social development of the city. We want this to be the best transportation system by 2021, and the most modern and secure generator of sustainable development and civic culture in Peru. “Cultura Metropolitana” is part of our contractual obligation to grow and share with our neighborhood boards, as well as transform our stations and trains into spaces of education for citizens.
From the beginning of our operations, we have believed in continuous improvement. Investment in technology is an asset. We have been reviewing our processes to encourage people to use automatic machines to top up their transport cards, instead of going to a booth to seek personal assistance. This has been a big change. We have worked with the Ministry of Transportation to increase the number of trains that we have available to improve our service, because the system is currently at full capacity.
Throughout all of these years of service, we have had several executives traveling to various countries in the world, bringing best practices to Peru. We had a strategic partnership with the Metro of Medellín and we established a consultancy with it at the beginning of our operations, because it works well with the concept of underground culture. The Metro of Medellín is a state company; it has to promote citizenship. We, as private company, have the same target and we believe in sustainable growth and in investing in the development of our city.
Currently, we have close to 800 people working on the project. We invested a lot in the beginning. In the absence of a metro network, we had to start drivers’ training, personal care, and mechanical training. In particular, we are implementing a program of work with students; they can work part time during their studies. We are investing a lot in this project.
I would like to see the new fleet of trains implemented. There are lots of people that want to continue traveling with us and cannot because the system has already reached full capacity.
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