The Bergen Light Rail project, managed by Projectplace
When the Bergen Light Rail (Bybanen) project was opened by Queen Sonja of Norway in June 2010, the residents of Bergen gained a 9.8 km tram line starting at Torgalmenningen Square and ending at Nesttun, fourteen stops further south. The aim was to deal with an increase in the city’s road traffic and fewer people using public transport. To counter a trend towards increasing numbers of traffic accidents and longer rush hours, which also give rise to increasing environmental problems, the Bergen Light Rail project was started in 2001.
Chief engineer and project manager for the county authority-owned company Bybanen AS, Thomas J. Potter, has been involved in the planning and construction work from the start. The Bybanen (Bergen Light Rail) company, which itself has very few employees, began in 2002 to hire in consultancy support.
“We couldn’t give external players access to documents on the county authority’s server. To protect the information flow in the project, we entered into an agreement concerning sharing and interaction through Projectplace. We quickly became dependent on the solution,” says Thomas J. Potter.
1,000 users in many countries
A complex project like Bergen Light Rail requires input from a vast number of different professional groups – everything from clerks of works, technical tradesmen, project managers and noise assessment consultants to landscape architects. The necessary expertise has been brought in from, among other places, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Portugal and across the Nordic region. These players also have their own subcontractors. All have exchanged information on plans, status and other input via Projectplace.
“Online meetings have saved many of our foreign partners a lot of money in travel expenses. It’s not always necessary to travel from the continent to Bergen just to correct a technical fault that is a one-hour job,” explains the project manager.