[UPDATE 1:30pm: Tonight’s trackwork has been canceled. Link will operate normally.]
Alert reader Carl Stork, who has gone as far as to compose a guest post on the topic, directly contacted ST with his concerns and received the following very encouraging response from Deputy Executive Director of Operations Mike Perry:
[Sound Transit is] implementing a plan to test the reliability of a fixed Link schedule on days when construction support, etc. result in service delays. Here are our thoughts and direction at this point:
1. The initial single tracking delay frequency was overstated. We expect to be operating service every 20 to 30 minutes on Thursday and Friday. Steps are being taken to address the communication glitch. [The original alert said 30-45 minutes, but has been corrected.]
2. We will produce and distribute a schedule to operate every 30 minutes beginning on Friday, December 17. There is not sufficient time to start [Thursday] in order to be cost efficient and comfortable with the quality of information. We will release an update to more accurately communicate the level of delay today (20 to 30 minutes).
3. Going forward, any planned Link delay (DECM construction rework, repairs, etc.) that would result in delays of more than 25 minutes will trigger a fixed schedule and not estimated headways. This should allow customers to better plan their trips around the slow down.
4. We will create a number of different schedules for different single track operating scenarios based on where on the alignment work is being done. This may take several weeks to accomplish i.e. to complete the repository of scenarios/ schedules, but we will still be able to complete the scheduling work needed as single track requirements arise in the meantime.
5. We will work with Communications and Customer Service to increase our notification period to customers when service delays are known in advance.
This is probably in my top three list of Really Annoying Things about Link operations, so I’m grateful that it will apparently be solved shortly.