TTC and Bombardier Plan to Solve Subway-Car Door Issue

The newly acquired Rocket subway trains by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) from Bombardier Inc. are causing issues in operations during busiest hors. The trains are undergoing a continuous door problem, effecting TTC’s target of 96-per-cent on-time performance.

The spokesperson of Bombardier Transportation, Marc Laforge, announced that the President of TTC, Andy Byford, and President of Bombardier Transportation, Raymond Bachant, are scheduled to meet on Friday to address the issue and “come up with a plan of action.” The technical issue at hand is the “hyper-sensitivity” of the passenger doors of Rocket subway cars provided by Bombardier. What happens is that passengers usually hold doors deliberately open or perhaps unintentionally obstruct them in route, which was previously avoided by the older train doors. But the software configured on these new trains is considerably more sensitive to such issues, blocking the train doors much easier and more frequently.

Spokesperson of TTC, Brad Ross, alleged that after three unsuccessful attempts to close the doors, the system jams the entire six-car train that has to be evacuated and put out of service for reprogramming the software which causes major delays. He claimed that “these things typically happen at rush hour — a backpack or a purse, even a coattail or a coffee cup — something blocks the doors.” He added that “there was the same type of problem with the Francilien (a Parisian region train), and it required some adjustment before it was resolved. It’s extremely sophisticated software, so we have to go back in there and play around and adjust the level of sensitivity. There has to be an acceptable degree of variance for the doors to open and close in the face of minor obstacles.”

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