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Scarborough transit line delayed more often in 1999

By Joseph Hall
Toronto Star Transportation Reporter

The fragile Scarborough Rapid Transit line was running on a downward slide for most of last year, stalling a staggering 62 per cent more often than in 1998, a TTC report says.

Starting out poorly with last January’s snowstorms, when it was down for five straight days, the elevated train line experienced a series of electrical and mechanical problems to log its worst year in the past five.

The report, to be presented to a Toronto Transit Commission meeting tomorrow, shows delays unrelated to the snowstorms shut the six-station line down for 1,648 minutes (about 27 hours) last year, compared with 1,020 minutes in 1998.

The number of delays unrelated to the snowstorms skyrocketed to 227 in 1999, compared with 133 the previous year.

In addition, with only 28 cars in its inventory, the line is precariously low on the vehicles needed for proper maintenance and increasing ridership, TTC operations manager Gary Webster said.

Aside from electrical difficulties caused by de-icing, used to free up the line in January, the line’s two main problems last year involved faulty doors and on-board computer systems.

Webster said both problems will be fixed this year.

“If you take the door problem and the (computer) problem out of the statistics, the system really didn’t have an unusually bad year,” he said.