Modem that caused SkyTrain delays still under warranty

Modem that caused SkyTrain delays still under warranty :TransLink’s SkyTrain went down yet again Tuesday night, subjecting Lower Mainland commuters to the latest round of packed stations, delayed trips and long waits.

By 9:45 p.m., regular service had been restored across the system, but passengers waiting in big crowds at Broadway and Nanaimo stations were told they could face wait times of up to 15 minutes.

“While we recognize the inconvenience and longer commute times for our passengers, we appreciate their patience and calm behavior while our staff worked on repairing the problem and helping redirect passengers via alternate means,” TransLink media relations staff said in a press release

The transit authority first reported the system outage – the second of the day – on its Twitter account just after 6 p.m. Staff then updated TransLink’s followers every few minutes in keeping with its new push to better communicate with passengers during system outages.

“Expo and Millennium Line delays due to an issue at Metrotown Stn/Royal Oak Stn area, “read a tweet around 6:15 p.m. “Canada Line not affected.”

Not long after that, TransLink found the culprit. It was a faulty modem, less than a year old and still under warranty, at Metrotown Station. The modem is part of a computer that controls 10 track switches at Edmonds and Joyce stations.

TransLink described the modem is a more robust version of the typical computer user’s home modem, and the manufacturer will be looking into why it failed prematurely.

Despite the best efforts of TransLink’s communications staff to direct people away from SkyTrain during the outage, stations soon crowded with commuters, and they and others took to social media to air their own thoughts about the problem.

“You could take a ferry to Nanaimo, then to Vancouver before you could skytrain to Vancouver,” tweeted user BrowntoBure.

Sukhreet Chahal had perhaps the saddest thing to say about the system outage, tweeting “I was so happy that my class ended early but now theres a problem with the sky train service.”

Some outside the Lower Mainland commiserated with the delayed commuters.

“Hell, I don’t even live in Vancouver & I’m sick of hearing about these #Skytrain delays. Pity the users,” tweeted Victoria resident Louise Alexander.

And speculating as to why the delay was taking so long to fix, Aiden tweeted, “I bet the tech support is taking SkyTrain too lmao.”

It’s been nearly four weeks since the last major system-wide delays hit the SkyTrain. That shutdown was caused by a technical problem near Surrey’s Gateway Station, but prolonged when passengers opened the train doors and walked to the nearest station exited two trains on the guideway.

Transit police have warned passengers in the past not to force open SkyTrain doors during a system shutdown, saying they could face fines if they do so.

The earlier September shutdown follows two other lengthy system outages in July. TransLink brass ordered an independent review after those shutdowns that is ongoing. Gary McNeil, an industry expert, has until the end of October to report on TransLink’s response to major system outages and determine what can be done to prevent them from happening.

Modem that caused SkyTrain delays still under warranty

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