COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: Calgary, Alberta – July 18, 2018
Within the last few days, Calgary’s C-Train LRT system has been shut down 3 times as a result of accidents between light rail trains and other vehicles or pedestrians. These incidents disrupted portions of the C-Train system for several hours at a time, causing major commuter chaos and frustrating delays for passengers.
The first incident occurred on July 12th on the Red Line south of downtown Calgary. A pickup truck driving east struck a train at the grade crossing, then crashed into two other vehicles, before coming to a rest after plowing through the wall of a nearby building. The truck was later seen sticking out of the building.
According to Global News, the Calgary Sun and others, the incident occurred at approximately 11:30AM mountain time, and shut down the Red Line in both directions for 2-and-a-half hours. Calgary Transit was forced to run shuttle buses in place of train service. CBC News reported that commuters were left fuming after the delay resulted in long waits for shuttle buses – with some passengers reporting that waits to board a shuttle bus exceeded an hour.
@660NEWSTraffic Crash blocking CTrain tracks at 39 Ave SE- lots of emerg after vehicle hit train&; 2 damaged trucks-1 careened into building.. & train stopped & blocking crossing. #VisionOfACollision pic.twitter.com/bEeq2XsyRN— Tracy Garbutt (@PenguinTrace) July 12, 2018
On the morning of July 14th, a second incident in downtown Calgary shut down all C-Train service. A man in his 20’s was struck by a C-Train on the street-running portion on 7th Avenue, after the man attempt to beat the train while crossing outside of a crosswalk.
According to Global News, CTV News, the Calgary Sun and others, the man was sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Downtown LRT trains were forced to turn around, and service in the area was shut down until being restored at approximately 9:20AM. However, delays would continue for another hour, as trains re-adjusted to meet schedules. As a result, disruption to C-Train service from the accident lasted for over 2-and-a-half hours.
On July 16th, a separate “incident”, as described by Calgary Transit, caused delays exceeding 30 minutes on the Red Line LRT. This incident has been the third to cause serious delays for passengers in just 5 days.
#CTRiders Due to an incident CTrains on the #RedLine are running 30 minutes behind in schedule, northbound from Somerset Station, towards Tuscany Station, we're working to restore service back to regular running. Thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/A3CpIQkSg8— Calgary Transit (@calgarytransit) July 16, 2018
The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway. Incidents like this where LRT trains are involved in collisions with vehicles or pedestrians can prove life-threatening for those who are hit, and generally necessitate complete shut downs of that segment of the LRT system. These incidents could happen regularly, resulting in multiple service shutdowns within a short period of time.
Once again, this incident highlights a major, fundamental flaw of the proposed street-running light rail system endorsed by TransLink, the Regional Mayors’ Council, and the City of Surrey. The proposed LRT lines run in the medians of major arterial roads, and would cross through several busy intersections at street level.
Any one of these busy intersections could be blocked and shut down if there is an accident.
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT).
With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.
Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be a trustworthy and reliable service. A street-running LRT system will not deliver one.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]