09/30/2014 09:32 EDT | Updated 11/30/2014 05:59 EST

SkyTrain switch glitch hits Expo and Millennium line commuters

Commuters using SkyTrain's Expo and Millennium lines are experiencing system-wide delays due to "a software that impacts switches" in the area of Metrotown and Joyce stations.

The problem began just after 6:10 p.m. PT, hitting the busy tail end of the rush hour commute.

TransLink intially tweeted that a switch problem in the area between Joyce, Metrotown and Royal Oak stations was responsible for the stall in SkyTrain service. It clarified in a later tweet that the glitch was software-related.

Because of the switch problem, SkyTrain service between Nanaimo and Edmonds stations was halted and a system-wide hold was put on other trains.

As of 6:45 p.m. PT SkyTrain attendants reported that trains were operating between Waterfront and Nanaimo, with buses then taking passengers as far as Joyce. 

The Millennium line trains were being reconfigured to operate between VCC and Columbia stations, and trains were also running from Edmonds to King George station in Surrey.

TransLink said it was in the process of setting up a bus bridge to take passengers between Joyce and Edmonds stations.

TransLink said at 6:46 p.m. PT that it didn't know how long the delays would last into Tuesday night.

Today's partial track shutdown is the fourth major SkyTrain problem to hit during busy commute times since mid-summer.

Earlier this month, a "problem train" near Scott Road Station caused system delays during a Friday afternoon rush hour. In that incident, TransLink blamed the extended delay on having to deal with riders who pushed open doors and exited into the track areas.

In July, two system-wide SkyTrain shutdowns within five days of each other left thousands of commuters fuming after they were given no information when communications systems failed. The first shutdown, on July 17, was due to a computer glitch. The second shutdown, on July 21, was due to a power outage caused by an electrician working on a panel.

- MORE | SkyTrain shutdowns to get external review

After those two massively-disruptive service outages, TransLink hired the former head of Toronto's GO transit system to conduct an external review into the shutdowns and into how communications were handled during the incidents.

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