Translink has tapped a transit expert who was involved in setting up the original Expo line to do a review of its systems after two brutal skytrain meltdowns.
Translink CEO Ian Jarvis says Gary McNeil, the former President of Go Transit and Vice President of Toronto’s Metrolinx system, will begin his review tomorrow.
Jarvis says McNeil will be paid “a normal rate” of about 12-hundred dollars a day.
As for his final report, and its recomendations, due in October Jarvis says “It is an assumption but with respect to investment in redundancy and equipment that comes with a cost. We need to, working with the board, determine what the objective is. What is the level of investment? What is it going to cost? What is the benefit? and then make a decision what is best for all things considered for the system and the customer that we serve.”
Jarvis admits some of those recomendations might come with a cost.
“What are the tradeoffs? Every decision you make has tradeoffs. Certainly the reason we are bringing Gary in is he is a well respected transit expert. he has experience in these situations. I am confident that the recomendations that he will make are feasible and practical.”
Jarvis says McNeil will have access to everything.
“He will have full access to our organization, our personel, our records, and our reports that we are undertaking. As well I have talked to Gary certainly access to other experts. I think in my perspective that Gary has got to make up his own mind. I think public safety is an important aspect of this review.”
However Jarvis says Translink is already making changes.
Jarvis says public address systems are being put on a separate breaker and volumes checked.
He says Translink is not sitting still “And are making changes to our maintenance practices and timing and the that way we communciate to customers and positioning our personel to be in a position to help our customers. We don’t want to give an impression that we are waiting for a review to complete before we take action. Reviews have already been underway, completed, and we are taking steps.”
He says they are also looking at where to put staff in any future skytrain meltdown .
“Certainly Metrotown is one of those hubs, Waterfront. So assigning more personel to locations like that. Looking at assigning other staff across the organization. Give them training so that can be dispatched to those lesser utilized station is one specific thing we are going to impliment.”
Jarvis says they also want to improve bus bridges by adding buses and increasing staff to tell commuters where to go.