Yesterday’s Link derailment near the O&M facility in SoDo caused no injuries and no passengers were on-board, but the incident did cause significant delays for riders on other trains. Unfortunately for those elsewhere on the line, communication with at least some riders as pretty abysmal:
Comment by Gary — 2009-11-17 — 16:31:13
I flew back into Sea-Tac last night and took the light rail from Tukwila to the International District, boarding at 9:45 pm. Let me share my own experience. It was not a “minor delay of 10-20 minutes.” The trip to the International District took 1 hour and 20 minutes rather than the usual 30 minutes. The train would just stop for extended periods without moving in the Rainier Valley. There were no announcements of what was going on. I only found out what was going on by calling my wife on my cell phone and asking her to check the news. I pressed the intercom button on the train to call the operator and ask what was going on, and no one responded. There was no alternate bus made available, we were just stuck on the train. While I understand this was an accident, Sound Transit really needs to do a much, much better job of communicating with its ridership and reacting to a contingency next time if it wants to attract and retain riders.
We’ve been harsh on transit websites recently, but what about Link’s speaker systems? Link’s still working out its kinks but there’s just no excuse: It should be policy to tell riders when any substantial delay occurs and why it’s happening.