Cause of computer glitches on LRT still unknown but issues are improving
Published Thursday, December 19, 2019 7:42AM EST
A train approaches the platform at Hurdman Station along the Confederation Line of Ottawa's LRT system. (CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- OC Transpo’s director of Transit Operations says some of the issues that had plagued the Confederation Line LRT since shortly after its mid-September launch are getting better.
Troy Charter told the Transit Commission Wednesday delays are trending down, and service is improving.
But what caused the issues with the train’s on-board computer systems remains a mystery.
“During the weekend of December 6 to 8, a new version of the TCMS (Train Control Monitoring System) software was updated across the entire fleet,” Charter said. “It continues to capture data that is needed to assist in the identification of the root cause.”
Charter said the TCMS software update also provides train operators with the ability to more quickly reset the train and get it moving in the event of an error.
“It is, however, important to note that since the root cause is still yet to be determined, the dedicated team of experts continues to work on resolving the issues,” Charter said.
He noted there were no reported TCMS problems last week.
There was one issue on Dec. 13 with the Vehicle On Board Controller (VOBC), which resulted in a short delay. Charter says issues with the VOBC have stabilized and work fixing those issues is ongoing alongside the TCMS fixes.
There are still problems with people holding train doors, Charter said, and while the number of faults fluctuates from week to week, recent fixes have minimized the effect on transit riders.
“Prior to December 2, the majority of door-related incidents caused a delay of greater than five minutes. With the technical adjustments to the door mechanisms, staff now have a greater ability to respond and rectify a door issue and minimize the service impact,” Charter said.
Charter said there were only two door-related incidents the week of Dec. 2 that caused a delay of greater than five minutes. During the week of Dec. 9, there was one. A specialized team is tasked with a permanent solution to reducing the number of door faults.
Charter is reminding passengers to avoid holding or pushing the doors open.
With respect to track switches, Charter said there have been few issues since mid-November. There was a faulty switch on Dec. 5 that prompted about 40 minutes of R1 bus service. The Rideau Transit Group and Rideau Transit Maintenance have specialized technicians monitoring switches and switch heaters.
Transit Commission Chair Allan Hubley has said he believes LRT issues will stabilize in the New Year.