10/01/2014 06:56 EDT | Updated 12/01/2014 05:59 EST

SkyTrain Delays: TransLink Suggests Grabbing A Coffee And Taking A Break

Flickr: jmv

After another massive system failure that stranded thousands of people on the Expo Line Tuesday night, a TransLink spokesperson is suggesting that delays could be an opportunity for travellers to "take a little rest break" and support local businesses.

On Wednesday, spokeswoman Cheryl Ziola said TransLink regrets causing delays and understands that people are frustrated when they are waiting on the platforms trying to get to work, or home to their families.

"All we can say is, you know, we empathize. We do understand," she said.

"But perhaps in the future, it would be good to take a little rest break, go for a coffee, go have a bite to eat until we can get things back under control again.

"That would be a good way of avoiding some of the congestion in the stations as well. And it would be good for our local economy, too," she said.

TransLink said the latest problem—the fourth in just over two month —affected switching near Joyce and Metrotown stations and was caused by a faulty modem that was less than a year old.

"The modem communicates between the tracks and the control room, so it is a functional communications tool much like the modems you have in your computers, albeit they're supposed to be a little more robust," Ziola said.

'Be calm, be patient'

TransLink says there were no problems on the Millennium or Canada Lines during this recent shutdown.

Ziola says these failures are very common on any type of transit system and don't reflect overall service levels on the SkyTrain.

"We want to remind people 95 per cent of the time, our trains are on time. System delays are common in any transit system... New York City had a few hours delay last week because a couple of kittens were on the track," she said.

She also made comparisons to traffic delays and asked commuters to be patient when things go wrong.

"We just [want to] remind people to please keep that in context. It's no different from taking the No. 1 [Highway] and encountering a traffic accident and having to detour.

"We just want people to be calm, be patient, and please understand that we are doing our very best to resolve these issues."


Photo gallery SkyTrain Shutdown, July 21, 2014 See Gallery