Chuang also slammed the city government for its poor communication with the French company regarding technical support and emergency response measures.
Lee Shu-chuan (李四川), director of the new construction department, said the department signed the contract not with POMA, but with Chun Yuan Construction Corp, which won the construction bid and chose the French company to build and install the system.
Lee acknowledged that there were some spare parts that hadn't been given to the city government, but said that the department would demand Chun Yuan provide them as soon as possible.
"We will protect our rights and demand our contractors to follow the contract and guarantee plan," he added.
Yang also argued that although POMA had only assigned one engineer to stay on in Taiwan, the company was still responsible for overseeing maintenance of the system for a three-year period.
POMA Taiwan liaison office representative Henry Lee declined to comment on the accusations, and said the assigned engineer has been stationed at Maokong to provide on-site assistance.
Joining DPP city councilors in challenging the system, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju (
The cable car project was proposed by Taipei City's transportation department in 2005. The new construction department was in charge of the construction, and Taipei City Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) was responsible for its operation.
In construction, Chun Yuan Construction Corp won the construction contract from the new construction department in 2005 with NT$1.8 billion, and subcontracted the project to POMA.
Poor integration and coordination among the contractors and different departments of responsibility delayed the decision-making process during the recent accidents, and made it difficult to clarify the cause of the breakdowns and find out who should shoulder responsibility, she said.
According to statistics provided by Lai, there have been 113 system shutdowns since operation began, and 72 of the shutdowns were operational failures.
Lawrence Lan (藍武王), convener of Maokong Gondola's evaluation committee and a transportation professor at National Chiao Tung University, agreed that human negligence, rather than mechanical failure, should be blamed for recent major accidents.
"Those breakdowns could be easily prevented if on-site workers noticed system anomalies earlier, such as unusual noises, loose screws and low tire pressure, and fixed them immediately," he told the Taipei Times.
On the opening day of the system, a glitch caused by a faulty cabin door left Ma and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) hanging in mid-air for 10 minutes.
Last Saturday, the system also suffered an equipment failure due to low tire pressure and trapped 323 passengers in the cabins for more than two hours, followed by another four-hour breakdown on Tuesday due to some unusual noises on a headstock of a wheel.
Lee Ke-tsung (李克聰), an associate professor of traffic and transportation engineering and management at Feng Chia University, urged the city government to improve its poor emergency response.
"It's ridiculous that the city government sat and did nothing until hours after noticing the unusual noise. Even with poor coordination, such mistakes should not happen," he said.