April 30 deadline to fix Edmonton’s Metro LRT Line looms
The Metro LRT Line was originally supposed to open in April 2014. Four years later, it’s still not running at full speed or frequency.
In December, city hall imposed an April 30 deadline for all issues to be dealt with; the decision came after a Nov. 11 incident in which two trains ended up on the same track near the NAIT station.
The mayor was asked Friday about the problem-plagued LRT line and Monday’s deadline.
“We’re continuing to get advice from administration on that and we’re still not done hearing that item, so there’s not much more I can add at this point,” Don Iveson said.
“The deadline was — and is — April 30 and so we’ll have more to say next week about an update.”
City councillors were scheduled to speak about the Metro Line LRT in private on Friday.
The $600-million line was delayed several times before it finally opened in September 2015 but even then, it wasn’t running the way it was designed to.
Since 2014, the opening date was pushed back several times because of issues with the Thales signalling system.
The Thales signal system on the Metro LRT is called Communications-Based Train Control or CBTC.
Late last year, city staff made a shocking admission: the technology is best suited for above- or below-ground mass transit. The majority of the Metro Line is at street level.
The Metro LRT Line runs through several major street crossings and complex intersections, which has made its slower speed and many problems that much more frustrating for Edmontonians — both on the trains and motorists or pedestrians stuck waiting at LRT crossings.
The trains currently operate at a 15-minute frequency. They are designed to run at a five-minute frequency to meet future demand.
Iveson said Friday he had not been communicating with Thales personally but said city administration had.
He would not provide an update on the signalling system ahead of the April 30 deadline.
“We’ll have a lot more to say next week,” he said. “Next week, next week, next week … Tuesday we’ll have an update on where things are at.”
Global News reached out to Thales for an update but was directed to the city.
— With files from Global’s Vinesh Pratap
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