Commute cancelled on account of SkyTrain

Four days after I missed a run due to a massive breakdown in the SkyTrain system…there was another massive breakdown in the SkyTrain system. Fortunately Jeff was listening to the news on the radio (remember those?) and heard the whole thing had gone on the fritz yet again and he swung over from his work site to pick me up. As a result of getting a ride home in the truck I was actually 15 minutes earlier than usual instead of four hours later. Nice!

As to the issue, I quote from the Translink website (emphasis mine):

Human error led to yesterday’s Millennium and Expo Line disruptions.

An experienced electrician was installing a new circuit breaker for the Evergreen Line at a power distribution panel when he accidently tripped the main breaker feeding the critical systems at SkyTrain’s operations centre, causing a system-wide shut down of train controls.

One can only imagine what an inexperienced electrician might have done. Burned down the operations centre and taken the system offline for several years, perhaps. (Note: the worker has been suspended but union reps are saying the worker was following the orders of a supervisor and the panel shouldn’t have been worked on during SkyTrain operating hours.)

The Vancouver Sun offered this in one of their stories on the breakdown (emphasis again is mine):

TransLink spokeswoman Jiana Ling said passengers involved in last Thursday’s shutdown were trapped for an hour and a half, but it appears those involved in Monday’s incident were more impatient, with many forcing the doors open after just half an hour. One of the doors was pulled off with a crowbar, Kelsey said, which prolonged the delay by two hours because trains won’t operate if a door won’t close.

Tannis Steele, 18, who was stranded Monday on an air-conditioned train near Main Street-Science World Station, said her fellow passengers broke out after half an hour because they were bored.

I’m not sure what to make of passengers on the SkyTrain carrying crowbars with them. But I’m not the slightest bit surprised it only took half an hour for someone to pry the doors open and get out and the rest following, yes, like sheep. And delay the system starting up even longer. Good job, people. Good job, indeed.

And my favorite image. I call this one Mother of the Year:

SkyTrain mom
Mom and the kids out for a walk on the light rail line.

I’m curious why she thought it was better to carry the kid under her arm than put him/her in the stroller. And the mind positively boggles over what she would have done on the Millennium Line where there is a fence going down the middle of the guideway area, preventing things like strollers from even fitting.

All in all, another terrific day for public transit in the Lower Mainland.

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