SkyTrain passengers who force train doors after delays open could be fined to up to $230 and charged for a criminal offence.
That comes as the latest warning by Transit Police after a number of incidents where impatient passengers have pried open the doors and entered the tracks after a delay of only a few seconds on isolated trains.
The incidents have become much more common following last month’s pair of system-wide SkyTrain shutdowns when stranded passengers opened train doors and walked to the nearest station along the tracks.
“Transit Police are at the point where we must advise anyone who would consider taking this kind of action on short, small, isolated delays, that there are enforcement actions that can be taken,” says a statement.
While the SkyTrain system is designed for evacuation for reasons such as train fire, this is a dangerous practice as the tracks are electrified with 600 volts of power. In addition, stalled trains could begin to move at anytime without notice.
Delays that would otherwise be only a few minutes or even a few seconds are also greatly prolonged as when such incidents occur, SkyTrain attendants need to ensure the safe passage of trains on the tracks, travel to the stalled train and manually drive the vehicle back to the station.
Every train door opening and track intrusion incident will now be investigated by Transit Police. Offenders could face fines of $115 for interfering with the operation of a transit vehicle and $115 for preventing or delaying the closing of a transit vehicle door.
If it is determined during the investigation that significant damage has occurred, there was a serious threat to public safety and/or this is a repeat offence of this nature for the offender, a criminal charge of public mischief will also be considered.
The last incident of this nature occurred on Saturday morning when a man forced the doors open to a Millennium Line train. It stopped for only a very short time, but he decided to walk on the tracks. This was part of Saturday’s scheduled SkyTrain delays to allow for track switch construction to be done to integrate the new Evergreen Line with the existing system.
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