An emotional meeting of the Translink’s Mayor’s council where Delta’s Mayor told a harrowing story of her daughter stuck on Skytrain during one of the recent meltdowns.
Lois Jackson says her daughter had recently been released from hospital and was heading into work without her oxygen tank when the stoppage happened.
With a dwindling phone battery, she was texting her mom about her increasingly panicked state of mind.
Jackson says she tried desperately to get a hold of Translink and several police agencies to find out what was going on.
Finally she says she called CKNW “that’s when I called CKNW and I said can you tell me what’s happening with this train because I was trying to get through to 911, I don’t know where the communication was at all.”
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says the only way she could get information on what was happening was by tuning in to CKNW.
“I think many of the mayors turned on CKNW to get the information because the information was not coming to us and that is a significant issue for all of us because our residents are looking to us to give them information and make sure they are in communication and they have updated information.”
In fact Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew suggested the Translink Board was “negligent” for not having a better passenger safety plan in place….
“At this point in time the current Translink Board needs to re-assess how they approach risk assessment, how they handle public safety, system redundancy and emergency response plans.”
Translink Board Chair Marcella Szel admits the emergency response plan wasn’t good enough.
“In point of fact the management at Translink and myself met with the mayors but it was two days afterwards so that was too late for the mayors to communicate to their communities and that will be part of the protocols that we will be looking for in a change should an incident ever occur like this again.”
Translink Mayors’ council chair Richard Walton says commuters need to have confidence in their transit system and that confidence has been shattered.