News / Edmonton

One month since going full speed, Metro Line largely gets positive reviews

City LRT manager says it’s rare for signalling system to cause traffic delays

Diana Tykha says she can now leave a half an hour later thanks to the faster-moving Metro Line.

Jeremy Simes / Metro

Diana Tykha says she can now leave a half an hour later thanks to the faster-moving Metro Line.

It’s been exactly one month since the Metro Line has run full speed past her stop at MacEwan, which means Diana Tykha is now getting a little bit more sleep. 

“I used to have to leave about an hour-and-a-half early before,” she said on the train Monday, as it zipped towards the core.  “It’s nice to just have that extra 30 minutes to prepare for your day, so I’m happy.”

Last month, the city finally gave the formerly slow-moving Metro Line the green light to run at full speed when travelling through intersections. 

The long-plagued LRT line had been operating at speeds below 50 km/h due to a broken signalling system, causing major headaches and requiring extensive software patches.

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When Metro took a ride Monday, the train and signalling system appeared to be in order. Traffic wasn’t backed up on Kingsway heavily, either.

But not everyone is pleased now that the line is finally running at full speed. 

Adam Millie, development director with the Alberta Avenue Community League, said he’s still enduring traffic backlogs due to the signalling system. 

“It’s been stuck twice since it was going full speed,” he said. “I just want them to fix it. It’s exasperating.”

David Stevens on the Metro Line Monday.

Jeremy Simes / Metro

David Stevens on the Metro Line Monday.

Indeed, the city still has more work to do before both the Metro Line and Capital Line are integrated--which they call Plan A--according to Guy Boston, manager of LRT delivery. 

He said the line has been performing well overall since going full speed last month. 

“The vast majority, or 90 per cent of crossing times are fairly consistent,” he said. “There is the odd time it could be another 30 seconds longer, which can feel like an eternity.”

Still, train passengers seem to be happy.

Passenger David Stevens said Monday he noticed his trip has been a bit faster. 

“It’s noticeable, but nothing major,” he said. 

Jessica Demeteric said she still avoids the Kingsway and 111 intersection when driving.

“If I have to wait for the train when I’m driving, it’s really not pleasant,” she said. “Otherwise, I’m pretty happy that the trip on the train is a bit faster than what it used to be.”

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