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March 14, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Glitch stacks up Metro for 3 hours

THE city's Metro service suffered another major glitch blamed on a signaling failure yesterday morning, delaying hundreds of thousands of rush hour commuters on Line 7 for about three hours before traffic completely resumed.

During repair efforts, traffic on Line 7 was largely restricted, with train intervals prolonged to more than 10 minutes and entrances to many stations temporarily shut down to control passenger numbers out of safety concerns.

The longest traffic glitch on Line 7 came at the worst possible time, just after 6:30am and lasting through the whole morning rush hour. Nearly 300,000 people travel daily on Line 7, which has more interchange stations than most lines.

The Metro management had transit buses and taxis dispatched to major stations, but that did little to stem the problem.

The Metro operator first issued a malfunction alert to the public at 6:38am, telling passengers to be prepared for delays of 10 minutes after a signal failure was detected. After 7am the estimated delay grew to about 15 minutes or longer.

Passengers took to the Internet to challenge Metro management's capabilities in judging and dealing with emergency situations, asking how a 15-minute estimated delay turned out to be three hours.

Some commuters fighting to avoid being late for work resorted to getting rides on illegal motorbikes hawked outside some Metro stations. Some were taken advantage of by the motorcyclists and had to pay exorbitant fares.

The Metro management explained the signaling failure at Qihua Road Station was "rather complicated" to repair and apologized to the public.

The city's ever-growing Metro daily ridership has recently hit 7 million.

Increasing traffic and complexity of the operational network amid ongoing expansion is pressuring the Metro management's capabilities in keeping subway services running safely and precisely.


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