herald

Thursday 13 December 2018

Passengers rail against Luas as 'glitch' blanks out info screens

Charlie O’Connor says chaos will result on the Luas
Charlie O’Connor says chaos will result on the Luas

Luas passengers have been left in the dark after a glitch left real-time passenger information signs blank for more than a week.

Luas passengers are normally notified of the arrival time of the next and subsequent trams or other issues such as delays by electronic signs known as the Luas Passenger Information Displays (PID) at each stop.

However, many of the signs have been blank for the past 10 days with no explanation other than a vague reference on the Luas website that reads: "The Luas Passenger Information Displays at some stops are down at the moment due to a technical fault."

When the Herald asked when the problem would be fixed, a spokesman for Transdev, the Luas parent company, could not say what the problem was or when it would be fixed.

"The passenger information displays have been out of service for the last nine days," the spokesperson said.

"This is due to an IT technical fault. Technicians from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have been working daily to identify the source of the issue and to find a fix.

"There is still no permanent solution to the problem.

"Technicians will continue to work on this issue."

Officials from TII could not be reached last night.

The glitch has affected all of the stops on the Green Line between Sandyford and St Stephen's Green as well as all the stops between Tallaght and Connolly Station on the Red Line, said Transdev.

The only consolation is "it does not in any way affect tram travel nor the real-time passenger information on the Luas app or website".

However, South Dublin county councillor Charlie O'Connor, who represents Tallaght Central, said many people, including the elderly and tourists or those who simply do not carry smartphones, would not have access to the Luas app or website on their phones.

Nor should they be expected to, the Fianna Fail man said.

He said it was simply not good enough that passengers should be left in the dark for so long.

"The whole idea of the signs is to tell you when the next tram is coming," he said.

Chaos

"It's the first thing I do when I get to the stop.

"Nobody has contacted me yet about it, but as someone who uses the Luas I suspect it would cause chaos."

Mr O'Connor said he will raise the issue at the next monthly meeting of the council's Dublin Bus-Luas Community Forum.

"I see the Luas as very positive, but I can well say that people will be upset," he said.

"Whatever the issue is, it should be sorted and sorted soon."

Fianna Fail's transport spokesman Robert Troy agreed.

"This is just the latest in a long list of problems with the new Luas Cross City line. It's leaving a sour taste in people's mouths," he said.

While he conceded that technical glitches do happen, he questioned why it has taken so long to resolve.

"It would seem that a technical glitch should be able to be resolved fairly quickly," said Mr Troy.

Some Luas passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration over the issue.

"Another morning at Balally with no visibility on Luas times," one wrote.

"Meanwhile, about 200 people waiting to get on. The Luas service since December is shocking."

Another said the lack of working signs was among a litany of issues he has as a regular commuter.

"Times on display wrong, app never works properly," he complained.

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