Passenger Ropeways

Discovering RAP

RAP may be a type of music to most, but at BCSA, RAP stands for Resource Allocation Program. Used for many years by the electrical and gas technologies at BC Safety Authority, RAP was also implemented for the passenger ropeways sector in the fall of 2014.

RAP looks at all of the operating passenger ropeways in BC and recommends the ones to be inspected for each operating period. It takes into consideration many points in order to decide which ropeways will be further assessed.

  • Type of ropeway
  • Date of installation
  • Date of last inspection
  • Number of operating hours
  • Any alterations completed
  • Type of area where ropeway is located
  • Findings from previous inspection
  • Safety officer ratings on each of the areas assigned, based on maintenance skills, operational skills and management support

The system uses a formula to consider all factors, then assigns a number for each of items above, giving a total RAP score for each ropeway.

Currently, any ropeways or conveyors with a score of over 350 will have an automatic assessment by the appropriate safety officer.

For passenger ropeways, the system creates a RAP rating score once each year and assigns inspections to safety officers at the start of August.

A RAP generated assessment may be completed as an annual inspection (before public operation) or it may be an operational inspection (during public operation).

The safety officer also has the ability to cancel a RAP generated inspection if his or her review of the RAP rating determines that an inspection is not required.  This is decided in consultation with a senior safety officer. 

Lieutenant Governor’s Safety Award Winner: Warren Sparks

Warren Sparks

Warren Sparks was recently named the winner of the Excellence in Passenger Ropeways Safety Award, at the 2015 Lieutenant Governor Safety Awards, hosted by BC Safety Authority in Richmond, BC.

“I feel very indebted to the many that have made this achievement possible.  I recognize this to be a team victory,” he said of his win.  One of his nominators, Wayne Wiltse from Whistler Blackcomb, describes Warren as being “very thorough in his research and implementation of any code-related changes to the safe operation of passenger ropeways.  He is very approachable and always willing to help operators find solutions to safety issues.”

Originally from Calgary, AB, Warren graduated from University of Calgary with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  He worked in Calgary’s oil patch for ten years before moving to Kelowna and joining Doppelmayr. From there, Warren embarked on a successful career path, lasting 32 years. He joined the company as an electrical engineer, then became the general manager, and moved onto his role as vice president before retiring.

“Safety is a matter of doing what is right and doing things properly.  My standard of care is calibrated to the young passenger…that is completely reliant upon those responsible for their safety and comfort.  I am a very proud parent of two and a grandparent of four. I find this standard to be the easiest way to communicate the meaning and importance of safety to others,” he said.

Thinking back, Warren lists some of  his most memorable projects as working on the Winter Games – first in Nakiska in 1986 and then in Squamish at the Sea to Sky Gondola in 2010. He  also enjoyed working on a variety of different projects, such as the small aerial gas pipeline crossing installation near Chase, BC to the Outback lift at Mt. Bachelor,  and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola at Whistler.

“I had a great ride at Doppelmayr,” he said.  “I believe there has never been a better time to be an engineer in BC than now.  The tools available today make engineering a very productive and interesting field of endeavor.  I encourage all up-and-comers to have faith, to pay attention and to rise and shine.”

Newly into his retirement, Warren is looking forward to travelling with his wife, Wendy, and working on home renovations, although he will continue his participation in reviewing the Z98 Passenger Ropeway Code and the CSA Canadian Electrical Code manuals.

Passenger Ropeways Newsletter

Our Passenger Ropeways newsletters contain information relevant to installation, alteration, maintenance and operation of passenger ropeway systems.

Please subscribe or share with colleagues using the links in any of the newsletters listed below.

2015 Newsletters

Winter 2015

Winter 2015 - Passenger Ropeways Newsletter

In this issue:

2014 Newsletters

Winter 2014

Winter 2014 - Passenger Ropeways Newsletter

In this, the premiere issue of BCSA's Passenger Ropeways Safety News:

Passenger Ropeways Online Forum - January 28th, 2015

28 January 2015 - 3:00 - 4:30

Contact information:

Maximum capacity: 100
# of guests allowed per registration: 3

How to RSVP: Registration Closed


Training Resources

Please login to see the supporting documents. Documents in this section are only available to users registered for this event.

Passenger Ropeways Fee Increase Consultation

A consultation on BC Safety Authority’s fee schedule for Passenger Ropeways was held from October 1 to December 1, 2013. Based on the feedback received, the fee increase of 3% for 2014, 2015 and 2016 went forward as proposed. The new fee schedule took effect April 1, 2014.

A summary of the feedback received and the results of the consultation can be found in the below report.

Consultation report (without appendices)

Appendix A: Final Passenger Ropeways Fee Schedule (effective April 1, 2014)
Appendix B: Verbatim Feedback Received

If you have any questions about this consultation, please contact:
Frank Do, Leader - Stakeholder Engagement or 778-396-2049