TransLink's staff response to the failure Tuesday was improved but not good enough yet, a consultant says.

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

Cupcakes against cancer: Langley parents rally to help family

Christine Tulloch, a crusader against cancer, has suffered a third relapse

Aldergrove chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Anti-gang forum aimed at helping Langley parents keep teens safe

Preventing gang recruitment is the focus of a forum to be held next week

Langley Blaze display depth despite temporary loss of pitchers

Injury and invitation to play for Team Canada leave team down three

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Man pleads guilty in Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

Most Read