Following this month’s pair of highly disruptive SkyTrain shutdowns, TransLink has announced that it will be ordering an independent review of the incidents.
Gary McNeil, the retired CEO of GO Transit in Toronto and a former planner of Vancouver’s SkyTrain system in the 1980s, has been hired to examine the cause of the shutdowns. McNeil will be paid $1,200 per day for work performed on the review.
The final report is scheduled to be released in October and will include recommendations on how TransLink’s BC Rapid Transit Company can prevent or react to similar service disruptions.
“Gary’s expertise will be invaluable in helping TransLink improve the way we respond to major disruptions in service, which although rare, are frustrating for our customers and can cause people to self-evacuate the trains, creating further delays and potentially putting their safety at risk,” TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis said in a statement.
“We have learned important lessons over the past 11 days, and as a result of our internal review, we’ve already implemented and started on a number of improvements. These include plans for mobilizing more employees more quickly, better public announcements on SkyTrain, and a plan to provide better customer support at bus bridges.”
On Thursday, July 17, SkyTrain went out of service during the evening rush hour due to an overheated computer card. A second disruption occurred on Monday, July 21 when human error during installation of a new electric circuit breaker for the Evergreen Line caused a system failure, including the inability to use the public announcement systems to communicate with passengers inside trains and on the platforms.
The causes of both outages are unrelated, but many have been left frustrated and angry by the system. Shortly after, TransLink offered to host a Free Public Transit Day on Monday, August 5,
However, some are unhappy that it is held on a statutory holiday when less people can benefit from using fare-free transit. Others with monthly FareCard transit passes also went on to social media to voice their displeasure.
Featured Image: SkyTrain via Shutterstock