TransLink's staff response to the failure Tuesday was improved but not good enough yet

Shutdown response gets ‘C’ from SkyTrain troubleshooter

Tuesday's disruption lasted 2.5 hours, TransLink officials say they plan to do better next time

TransLink’s response to the latest 2.5-hour SkyTrain shutdown during Tuesday’s evening commute is getting a ‘C’ grade from the consultant who recommended reforms in the wake of major disruptions last July.

Gary McNeil said public address communications have improved somewhat and more staff were mobilized quickly to get to stalled trains on the Expo Line.

“I think there’s a marked improvement, but is it good enough? It’s not good enough yet,” he said Wednesday.

“A year ago it took six hours to recover. Last night it was a little over two hours.”

Nineteen trains were stuck on the tracks after an induction motor failed in one train.

TransLink interim CEO Doug Allen said the 100 staff who scrambled were able to get to 15 of the 19 trains within a recommended 20 minutes – a target that minimizes the risk of frustrated passengers forcing train doors open and triggering worse delays.

“That’s not good enough,” Allen acknowledged.

Both Allen and McNeil said technical failures are unavoidable but the key to a good response is having more SkyTrain attendants hired and in position to act quickly to reach and manually drive stalled trains and manage crowds.

An extra 64 staff will arrive between August and October and more work is underway to upgrade station and train speakers and complete other recommendations McNeil made last fall.

Allen apologized to passengers for the disruption but said no fare refunds would be offered because the shutdown didn’t exceed half a day.

TransLink has offered a free day or refunds on the worst of the SkyTrain meltdowns of the past year, the latest of which happened May 21-22 after a fire sparked by a crew grinding the rails burned a critical section of cable.

Allen insisted the system’s overall reliability is “pretty darn good.”

TransLink is now checking more than 500 induction motors on all trains to ensure the same failure isn’t repeated.

Just Posted

Artist, history buff named Surrey Civic Treasures for 2018

Roxanne Charles and Jim Foulkes to be recognized at Oct. 2 event

Surrey woman’s ‘tell-all’ book aims to help those struggling with domestic violence

Second book details abusive marriage, how people failed her

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner bids farewell in tearful State of City Address

Outgoing mayor announces Director of Housing, looks back at Surrey’s evolution, and pokes fun at her ‘media missteps’

ZYTARUK: Hepner, to her credit, rose to the occasion

She could have used her last address to make political digs, pitches and slights. She did not.

VIDEO: Story surrounding new playground at Surrey hospital a real ‘tear-jerker’

Dad began planning after his son had surgery in Surrey and he saw too many sad faces

Vancouver councillors move ahead with policy for duplexes on detached home lots

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called “missing middle.”

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

Canada’s goal is to play in a medal game at World Cup in Spain

The 2014 women’s world basketball championships were a coming out party for Canada.

World Anti-Doping Agency reinstates Russia

There was no mention of Russia publicly accepting a state-sponsored conspiracy to help its athletes win Olympic medals by doping.

Burnaby pedestrian in hospital after being hit crossing busy street

Driver remained on scene, is speaking to RCMP

Nanaimo’s Tilray pot stock continues rising, firm now worth more than $21 billion US

The B.C. company’s shares have risen more than 1,000 % since its initial public offering in July

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Most Read