Don’t Shoot the Operator

On the 13th of September, Metro services hit an all time low when trains became overcrowded, with more than 50,000 people, as trains had undergone an ‘intentional and sizeable reduction’, a report has found.

Driver shortages, power failures and illness caused by overcrowded Metros meant ‘significant’ delays. Nexus, owners of the train service, said it was working to make sure it did not happen again. Six trains failed very early in the day, or were simply cancelled, on top of an already heavily reduced service, which caused a loss in capacity of between 25% and increasing to as high as 44% across the network of 60 stations.

Dealing with overcrowded trains, and fewer trains to work with, and attempting to deal with those who had fallen ill due to the overcrowding, caused huge delays also. The disruption caused also meant trains had to be bunched together, tripping overhead power lines. Nexus staff failed to notice that the number of trains planned that day did not meet the specified amount required.

Additional driver shortages on the 13th made the day even more of a nightmare.

Managing director of DBTW, Sharon Kelly, said she made “no excuses for what happened”. Similarly, Tobyn Hughes, Nexus managing director, apologised and said the company was “working closely” with the DBTW to avoid a “repeat of problems” in the future.

The report also recommends that the DBTW look at plans for future marathons and addressing driver shortages in a way that won’t lead to another disaster.