News / Edmonton

Metro line has seen 49 safety-related incidents since it opened in fall 2015: city report

But city administration maintains the line is safe and there are safeguards in place

A new city report on the Metro line says there have been 49 safety-related events relating to the embattled LRT line since it opened to the public back in 2015.

That includes times trains ended up on the wrong tracks, or safety gates and lights failed to function as designed.

But city administration told reporters Friday that despite the report, which was requested by city council last month, riders shouldn’t be worried about taking the LRT.

“A large portion of those, 44 of them, the system went into a mode which we call fail-safe where it goes into a safe response to an incident,” said Deputy City Manager Adam Laughlin.

There were four incidents where passengers were at “increased risk,” however, including the time back in November when that two trains ended up on one track outside of the NAIT station.

Laughlin said that was the result of signalling issues, but maintained the system is still safe.

City Manager Linda Cochrane said that administration understands that the Metro line has been a “source of frustration” for the public and council.

“This report address the safety case that has been made,” she said.

“I think that’s what we have tried to answer in the report is that there are really two streams of this,” she said.

In essence, when the signalling system breaks, the trains are switched into manual mode, she said, in order to maintain safety.

The signalling issues are also still affecting the Capital line. The original LRT line used to run at a five-minute interval, but now runs less frequently in order to allow the Metro line to run through.

The report says that in order for the Capital line to speed back up, the signalling system on the Metro line needs to be fixed, although they don’t know when that is going to happen.

The report will be presented to council on Tuesday.

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