METRO VANCOUVER – TransLink has announced it will adopt all 20 recommendations made by an independent transportation expert after two failures in SkyTrain service left thousands of commuters stranded on the elevated platforms this past summer.
The changes will include the installation of emergency power “redundancies” and are expected to cost the regional transportation company $71 million.
However, $30 million of that will be spent on improving communication with riders when the system is experiencing any problems and suggest alternate routes.
The report, prepared by Toronto’s GO Transit former president Gary McNeil, was prepared in order to reduce the frequency and duration of service disruptions, ensure timely evacuation of passengers in the event of a prolonged disruption, strengthen the system to prevent breakdowns, and communicate with riders on trains, in terminals and on buses.
TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis said in a release the “unprecedented” service disruptions – which took place on July 17 and July 21 – were “unacceptable to customers, and unacceptable to us.”
McNeil’s report states the incidents showed “vulnerability” in the system and highlighted customer service issues.
Aside from working to prevent system failure, there will be a plan implemented to get staff to every stranded train within 20 minutes of a disruption.
The cost estimates in the report are preliminary and TransLink will now develop detailed plans and budgets for implementation. The entire scope of work is expected to take up to five years to complete, although TransLink expects many of the recommendations will be adopted much sooner than that.