Calgary Transit CTrain System Reliability Improvements
Vehicle performance and infrastructure performance are two of the drivers of reliability that Calgary Transit can exert some control over. Since The CTrain system started service in the 1980’s, Calgary Transit’s Fleet and Infrastructure divisions have established extensive and effective management programs for maintaining Calgary assets. In 2012, Calgary Transit received a commitment from council for additional funding to be used for improving the reliability of the infrastructure and fleet assets that are at the heart of the LRT system. The funding committed by Council amounted to $2 million a year, beginning in 2013, and is intended to supplement Calgary Transit’s existing reliability efforts, which result in improved service to our customers.
The third driver of CTrain reliability is comprised of environmental factors, which include weather, road and traffic conditions, emergencies, and other external factors. Although some of the human factors issues can be partially mitigated through education, awareness and enforcement efforts, inclement weather and incidents resulting from such conditions are completely out of the control of Calgary Transit. However, Calgary Transit’s Fleet and Infrastructure division have recently implemented improvements programs that enable Transit to better manage and recover from service disruptions, reducing the impact to customers in many situations. Environmental factors accounted for 56% of reliability incidents in 2013.
Approximately $900,000 of Council directed reliability funds was used in 2013 to procure rail crossover switches, and accompanying design services, that will be integrated into the existing LRT system in 2014 at the new Bridgeland and Olympic Plaza double crossover. These two new crossovers improve system reliability by:
- Allowing CTrains to bypass trains that are stopped due to passenger emergencies or mechanical breakdowns, thereby maintaining scheduled arrivals
- Allowing Calgary Transit staff to maintaining service on single track in the same area
An additional $480,000 was spent in 2013 on various activities that will help ensure enhanced reliability of the Overhead Contract System (OCS), which provides electricity to the motors and onboard systems of the light rail vehicles (LRV’s). These activities include several manual and automated inspections, as well as preventative maintenance of the OCS. These measures improve reliability by minimizing thr number of unforeseen failures that impact service. Where major repairs are required, these occure in scheduled maintenance windows that allow Calgary Transit to communicate schedule/service delays to customers in advance of the service disruption.
In 2013 the Calgary Transit LRV fleet achieved 61,000 kilometres between failures, which is 97 percent of the target 63,000 kilometres. The lower than expected result can be attributed to the fact that many of the older LRV’s are still in use and are responsible for a large percentage of reliability issues. The LRV committee will continue its work through 2014 and beyond, and will focus on these issues that prevent Calgary Transit from attaining a metric of 64,000 kilometres between failures for the LRV fleet.
Calgary Transit Testing Real-Time Bus Information
We are excited to announce that the first component of our real-time bus information system will be tested starting Monday, August 4. You can expect to see and hear announcements for major stops onboard our buses.
When fully implemented, the real-time bus information system will provide stop announcements and real-time bus arrival times. The real-time bus arrival information will eventually be available through our new mobile-friendly website, teletext and teleride. This information will also be available early next year on a mobile app
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.