Days after its launch, Canberra’s light rail vehicles are experiencing an array of teething issues, with one trip taking an extra 15 minutes on Tuesday morning (23 April) after breaking down.
Canberra Metro spokesperson said technicians are currently working through the reasons behind this morning’s delay, but believed it was a software issue with the vehicle. The issue was resolved after rebooting the vehicle.
Transport Canberra deputy director general Duncan Edghill said the system has been working “spectacularly” and said this morning’s delay was an isolated issue.
“As far as I am aware, the issue that we had this morning is the first time we have seen this issue,” he said. “We certainly would expect this to be isolated in nature.
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“With any new bus, light rail or another vehicle there are teething issues that may need to be worked through. We appreciate the patience of the Canberra community as we bed down those issues. Overall, the system as a whole over the past four days of its operations is performing exceptionally well.”
Mr Edghill said there were a few other tweaks that will be made to all the vehicles over the coming weeks.
“There are a few bedding in issues that we need to work through with the light rail vehicles,” he said. “There are some tweaks that we think we need to make to the air-conditioning system and there are some tweaks that we will make to the speakers and the volume of the announcements.
“These are issues around optimising the system when we have got real-life people on board. There are some things that we can test before passengers board but it is only when we get passengers onboard that we can actually work through some of the teething issues.
“We are going through that process right now.”
Despite the hiccups over the past couple of days, ACT Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said the first days of the light rail being fully operational was a raging success.
“I am certainly aware of one incident this morning [23 April] where one light rail vehicle took some extra time to get into the city but I think in the scheme of the operation of light rail over the weekend and again this morning, it has gone very well.
“We will continue to learn and continue to bed down. As we have said, there is bedding down period for light rail that will continue over the coming weeks and months.
“We expect that Canberra Metro will be on top of any issues as they arrive and they have proven to be so far,” she said.
Ms Fitzharris also said that there are no plans in place to remove travel fees for the remainder of the week in light of the issues.