Memo to TransLink: When Aging Gadgetbahnen……………………..

One of the perils of expensive proprietary transit systems, is that they do not age well.

The SkyTrain ALRT/ART mini metro Expo Line is now 30 years old and it is beginning to show its age, it stops; it goes kaput from time to time.

With no drivers or attendants on board, the public start taking their safety into their own hands and this again happened yesterday when SkyTrain passengers abandoned 35C degree car temperatures and made to the nearest stations on foot. What are they supposed to do, wait and expire due to heat because a voice in a distant air conditioned control room says stay put?

TransLink had better bite the bullet and ensure that there is an attendant on board each train, as all European driverless transit systems must by law, to ensure public safety as breakdowns become more and more common.

Only seven SkyTrain type systems (ICTS, ALRT, ALM, ART) systems have been sold in 38 years, which one surmises, other transit authorities well understand that proprietary Gadgetbahnen do not age well.

SkyTrain service restored after glitch strands commuters

Vancouver SunJune 9, 2015

A photo from Twitter of SkyTrain cars stopped on the tracks Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Photograph by: Julian Gan, Tweet

Hundreds of SkyTrain passengers were stranded for more than an hour in hot trains during Tuesday’s evening rush hour due to a technical glitch that caused 19 trains to lose contact with the control room.

The glitch, which is still being investigated, forced the closure of the tracks between Waterfront and Royal Oak stations just after 4:10 p.m. System-wide service was not fully restored until 6:45 p.m.

Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan said the packed trains had to be manually driven to the stations to let passengers off.

However, some passengers tore open the doors of three trains near the Nanaimo station and started walking along the tracks. That caused about an hour of further delays, she said.

“We do understand people were getting frightened and upset because of the heat,” Drennan said.

She noted one of the passengers included a pregnant woman, who was taken off the train and treated by ambulance attendants. She said she was not aware of anyone else with health concerns.

Twenty-five shuttle buses were dispatched during the closure to operate between stations for the duration of the shutdown and after the system is back up to clear any backlog. Their service will now be winding down. Extra trains were also running on the Millennium Line.

About 100 staff members were sent to the closed stations to answer questions from customers and manage crowds.

Drennan said Transit Police advised Rogers Arena about the shutdown and it agreed to delay the Shania Twain concert to give SkyTrain passengers a chance to get there.

The shutdown is the latest in a series of problems plaguing the transportation authority, such as switch problems and bird’s nest that sparked a fire on the tracks. Last summer, hundreds of passengers broke open the doors and walked the tracks after a series of shutdowns on the Expo Line. “It seems were running into a series of different issues,” Drennan said. “These things happen on major transit systems.”

Drennan apologized to the public. “We are trying as hard as possible to get better at whatever eventualities may come up.”



One Response to “Memo to TransLink: When Aging Gadgetbahnen……………………..”
  1. eric chris says:

    Technical issues and panicked passengers (breaking out of s-train cars to potentially save their lives) are to blame for the failure of the transit system, this time. Last time it was an alleged bird’s nest which brought down transit according to TransLink which investigated the incident to quickly determine the cause: some nearby bird’s nest which caught fire after TransLink started the fire.

    TransLink is completely innocent as usual and will increase staffing levels by over 10% to better manage future breakdowns. There is no reason to ask taxpayers for approval to increase spending on overhead, and TransLink answers to no one. Nothing will be done to prevent future s-train breakdowns by the inept leaders collecting huge paychecks to drive cars to what they claim is work at TransLink – “leaders” (monkeys) being entertained by female employees reporting to them and hired to keep them amused.

    Haven’t transit incidents doubled since TransLink hired the extra CEO? What if TransLink has three CEOs, will transit incidents triple?

    All staff at TransLink will continue to be paid their bloated salaries in their air conditioned palace in New Westminster and can plan their summer vacations as they don’t do any work and nobody will miss them. There will be no accountability and nobody will be held responsible.

    TransLink has the best transit system in the world; just ask TransLink if you are not sure. When is this joke of an organization stringing us along for as long as it can: going to be scrapped?

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