TransLink's staff response to the failure Tuesday was improved but not good enough yet

Shutdown response gets ‘C’ from SkyTrain troubleshooter

Tuesday's disruption lasted 2.5 hours, TransLink officials say they plan to do better next time

TransLink’s response to the latest 2.5-hour SkyTrain shutdown during Tuesday’s evening commute is getting a ‘C’ grade from the consultant who recommended reforms in the wake of major disruptions last July.

Gary McNeil said public address communications have improved somewhat and more staff were mobilized quickly to get to stalled trains on the Expo Line.

“I think there’s a marked improvement, but is it good enough? It’s not good enough yet,” he said Wednesday.

“A year ago it took six hours to recover. Last night it was a little over two hours.”

Nineteen trains were stuck on the tracks after an induction motor failed in one train.

TransLink interim CEO Doug Allen said the 100 staff who scrambled were able to get to 15 of the 19 trains within a recommended 20 minutes – a target that minimizes the risk of frustrated passengers forcing train doors open and triggering worse delays.

“That’s not good enough,” Allen acknowledged.

Both Allen and McNeil said technical failures are unavoidable but the key to a good response is having more SkyTrain attendants hired and in position to act quickly to reach and manually drive stalled trains and manage crowds.

An extra 64 staff will arrive between August and October and more work is underway to upgrade station and train speakers and complete other recommendations McNeil made last fall.

Allen apologized to passengers for the disruption but said no fare refunds would be offered because the shutdown didn’t exceed half a day.

TransLink has offered a free day or refunds on the worst of the SkyTrain meltdowns of the past year, the latest of which happened May 21-22 after a fire sparked by a crew grinding the rails burned a critical section of cable.

Allen insisted the system’s overall reliability is “pretty darn good.”

TransLink is now checking more than 500 induction motors on all trains to ensure the same failure isn’t repeated.

Just Posted

Langley RCMP’s hunt for wanted thief ends in tasing at Aldergrove store

Prolific Offender Supression Team officers arrested the man, who had been evading police for weeks

On the cutting edge of business

Ace Hardware opens its doors in Walnut Grove

Memorial to Carson Crimeni to stay in place through to September

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Langley Township urged to take feral rabbit-control measures

An Aldergrove farm being overrun with domestic rabbits as well as local shelter

Aldergrove’s new Sea Monkeys club going swimmingly

In first summer, four Aldergrove boys make it to BCSSA provincials

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read