TransLink is accepting and acting on all 20 recommendations made by independent reviewer Gary McNeil into SkyTrain.
Mr. McNeil estimates that all the recommendations will cost approximately $71 million to implement. This includes equipment and technology upgrades, and customer service improvements.
We have already moved ahead with some of this work. We acted immediately following July’s unprecedented service disruptions  by improving the way we prevent, prepare for, and respond to service disruptions. Funds to complete the initiatives will be budgeted over the next five years.
The service disruptions in July were unacceptable to customers and unacceptable to us. We are committing to better service on SkyTrain and with this review, we now have a clear plan of action for improving our customers’ experience with this vital regional service.
Some of the recommendations include:
- More resources and a robust plan for quickly and safely evacuating passengers from trains during major service disruptions.
- A better Passenger Address System, including PA speakers and emergency information panels at each station entrance.
- Adding the “auto restart” component to SkyTrain’s SELTRAC system to reduce the duration of delays when major failures occur to the “command and control” communication function between trains.
- Installing system continuity equipment for critical system elements. These “redundancies” for system continuity will ensure the critical functions remain active in the event of a system failure.
- Upgrading the guideway intrusion system to better detect false alarms.
- Increasing the visibility of front-line staff.
These initiatives will aim to:
- Reduce the frequency and duration of service disruptions
- Ensure timely evacuation of passengers in the event of a prolonged disruption
- Strengthen the resilience of the system so it can recover from breakdowns more quickly
- Provide clear and frequent communication with customers on the trains, in and around the stations, and on buses, when service disruptions occur
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Author: Allen Tung