Edmontonians will have to wait a few months longer to ride the Metro Line. Although construction was completed on time, the opening of the LRT extension to NAIT is now anticipated by the end of 2014, according to the latest schedule from the city’s signalling contractor.
“This is the first time we’ve had more than one LRT line in Edmonton, and we need cutting-edge technology to allow two lines to safely and efficiently share the same tracks,” said Wayne Mandryk, branch manager, LRT Design and Construction. “It’s taking longer than anticipated for our contractor to complete the new signalling system, but it’s complex and it has to be done right so the LRT can operate safely.”
The new signalling system will increase the capacity of Edmonton’s LRT network to meet growing ridership needs. It can pinpoint the exact location of each train in order to safely reduce the spacing between trains travelling on the network. This is particularly important now that two LRT lines will be sharing the tracks.
“The city of Edmonton regrets any inconvenience this delay might cause Edmontonians; we are working diligently with our contractor to complete it as soon as possible,” said Mandryk. “Thank you for your patience and understanding during the five years it has taken to build the Metro Line, and for continuing to bear with us during this delay. It’s going to take longer than initially planned, but the Metro Line will soon be up and running, and supporting Edmonton’s growing transit needs for decades to come.”
The Metro Line represents the next major step towards transforming Edmonton’s transportation system. It is expected to add 13,200 weekday riders to Edmonton’s LRT network and link major destinations like NAIT, the Royal Alexandra Hospital and MacEwan University to the rest of the network.
The Metro Line was originally scheduled to open in spring 2014.