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Highly anticipated Metro LRT line opens to public
Debra Clark , CTV Edmonton
Published Sunday, September 6, 2015 12:29PM MDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 6, 2015 6:56PM MDT
After nearly two years of delays and controversy, Edmonton’s Metro LRT line opened its doors to riders early Sunday morning.
“We’re running at a 15 minute frequency, so every 15 minutes a train will come by a stop,” Dorian Wandzura GM of Edmonton Transportation Services said.
However, officials asked the public for extra time and patience in the early days of operation.
A report, released to the Transportation Committee on September 2, suggested drivers at certain crossings may have to wait more than a quarter of an hour – or about four cycles – to pass through during rush hour.
The two intersections that may see the extended waits – believed to be between 12 and 16 minutes – are Princess Elizabeth Avenue and 106 Street southbound, and 111 Avenue and Kingsway Avenue eastbound and westbound.
“The 16 minutes is really a worst case scenario during peak hours when you have some trains out of synchronization. Right now [Sunday, September 6], we’ve seen traffic clear out within one green cycle,” Wandzura pointed out. “We’re pretty happy how that’s going so far.”
However, he told CTV News adjustments have already been made around holding times at stations in anticipation of a busy day on Tuesday.
“We’re optimistic it will go smoothly. Operationally we’re ready for this. We do want to make sure that people are aware they [need to] take extra time, that there is a disruption with trains crossing roads, and to plan their commute accordingly,” he said.
“Riders will notice the trains will hold at NAIT and MacEwan to make sure that we synchronize properly both for getting back into the mainline as well as with each other crossing traffic.”
Edmonton’s newest Metro LRT line, running between downtown and NAIT, will not exceed 25 kilometres per hour using ‘line of sight’ operations to allow operators to run the trains and be able to stop within half the range of their vision.
According to Wandzura, the train maintains an even slower speed profile, 10 kilometres per hour, when moving over the switches.
At first, the line will operate without a signaling system that City officials said has held the project back from opening.
“As we move more into full operation, [that] will be adjusted…as we build up speed in the trains and frequency of the trains… [the] operating plan will be adjusted as well,” Wandzura explained.
It’s not clear when the signaling system will be implemented, and the speed restrictions removed.
More information can be found online.