British Columbia

TransLink blames 1-hour SkyTrain delay on impatient commuters

TransLink says a one-hour breakdown in service during the Friday afternoon rush hour was caused by commuters leaving the train and walking on the guideway.

Passengers walking on guideway for stalled local train trigger system-wide shutdown says Translink

Skytrain passengers walk on a guideway following a service interruption. TransLink says the practise is dangerous and can lead to longer delays. It has, in the past, threatened to fine passengers. (CBC)

TransLink says a one-hour breakdown in service during the Friday afternoon rush hour was caused by commuters leaving the train and walking on the guideway.

TransLink official told CBC News that a car stalled and stopped between the Scott Road and Gateway stations in Surrey shortly after 5 p.m. PT Friday. 

But within minutes of the train stopping, some passengers broke open the emergency door release and began exiting the train on to the track which carries a 600-volt charge and could have caused an electrocution, according to TransLink

For safety reasons, TransLink said in a statement that it was forced to completely shutdown power on the section of the line between Scott Road and Gateway stations and the SkyTrain official had to escort people to the station.
Some commuters are in the habit of forcing open SkyTrain doors and taking to the guideway but TransLink says the practise is not only risky, it usually leads to far longer delays in service. (Twitter)
"What should have been a seven-to-ten minute delay ended up being almost an hour as more than 100 passengers placed themselves at risk by walking on the gateway."

TransLink said the actions of the passengers who walked onto the track caused thousands of commuters to be further delayed. 

Passengers from a second train also forced open the doors and entered the track.

"All available personnel from Transit Police, Transit Security and Transit Supervisors were immediately deployed to assist," said TransLink.
Passengers leave a SkyTrain car for a walk on the guideway during one of the recent system shut-downs. TransLink says passengers risk electrocution from 600 volts of current. Cutting power when this happens also leads to longer delays. (Twitter)
TransLink has threatened to issue $115 fines to passengers prying open doors and lay charges of mischief for repeat offenders. It's the third major shutdown of SkyTrain during commute times in the last two months.

In July, two system-wide SkyTrain shutdowns within five days of each other left thousands of commuters fuming after they were given no information when communications systems failed.

The shutdown affected only the Expo/Millennium Line. The Canada Line was not affected.


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