Ottawa

Malfunctioning doors continue to cause headaches for LRT riders

Malfunctioning doors on some of the $2.1-billion Confederation Line's brand new trains continue to cause headaches for riders, forcing some to disembark.  

Estimated 6 to 10 incidents 'a very small percentage,' OC Transpo manager says

Passengers wait for the doors to close on a train at Tunney's Pasture station. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Malfunctioning doors on some of the $2.1-billion Confederation Line's brand new trains continue to cause headaches for riders, forcing some to disembark.  

In some cases, the doors have been opening and closing multiple times. In one case, passengers at Tunney's Pasture station were forced off to catch another eastbound train at the opposite platform.

One commuter told CBC the train operator had to manually force open the train doors at uOttawa station. In an earlier incident at uOttawa on Sept. 17, the train doors remained open for at least 12 minutes.

The problem comes as OC Transpo prepares for a massive changeover on Monday, when many downtown bus routes will cease operating and passengers will be forced to transfer onto the O-Train.

In the grand scheme of things, it's a very small percentage.- Troy Charter, OC Transpo

 

Troy Charter, OC Transpo's director of transit operations, pointed out that the doors function 80,000 times per day without incident.

"I will always apologize for any inconvenience we cause our customers, but I want customers to know we have plans and procedures to always get them back on their way quickly," Charter said. "In the grand scheme of things, it's a very small percentage." 

6 to 10 incidents so far

Charter said he didn't have exact figures, but estimated there have been six to 10 incidents involving malfunctioning train doors since the Confederation Line's launch last month, causing delays of anywhere from one to 10 minutes.  

Charter said technicians are never far away, and train operators have been trained to deal with the problem. Charter said malfunctioning doors are the top complaint among operators on LRT systems across North America.

"It's not unique to us," he said 

It's not the first time an issue with train doors has been flagged on the Confederation Line. In March, while the trains were being tested along the 12.5-kilometre line, an internal report obtained by CBC said snow buildup was "frequently causing the doors to freeze shut." 

Charter said those issues were addressed at the time, and said the doors will work when the cold weather arrives.

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