February 18, 2020
to extend LYNX Blue Line rush-hour frequency by 90 seconds
rail vehicle fleet to undergo regular mid-life maintenance overhaul
Charlotte, N.C. –
CATS will implement a solution to
mitigate weekday rush-hour delays on the LYNX Blue Line this April.
CATS will extend train frequency by 90 seconds from 6:30 to 8:45 a.m.
and from 3:30 to 6 p.m. This means trains will now operate every 9
minutes during weekday peak service.
allow CATS to provide reliable, consistent, two-car-train service
while conducting extensive mid-life mechanical overhauls on the
original 20 light-rail vehicles the system purchased with the start
of the original Blue Line in 2007. CATS has 42 vehicles in its fleet.
stages of operations modeling for the LYNX Blue Line Extension, the
model anticipated that it would take light rail vehicles 57 minutes
to make the trip from I-485/ South Boulevard Station to the
UNC-Charlotte (UNCC) Station. Based on this 57-minute trip time, the
model projected the number of light rail vehicles required to operate
rush hour service with additional spares.
CATS is finding that the total travel time from I-485 to UNCC is 63
minutes. This requires more trains to operate at once than originally
7.5-minute peak-service was sustainable because of the number of
spare vehicles in the light rail fleet.
enters into an extensive mid-life overhaul, along with routine
preventative maintenance on 20 light-rail vehicles, there will be a
decrease in the number of available vehicles making 7.5-minute rush
hour service no longer viable.
train frequency by 90-seconds during this peak service time will
provide riders with more reliable service.
maintenance is normal and expected, as our trains make nearly 6,000
monthly round-trips and still operate overall 98% on-time, which is
well above the industry average of 88%.
currently conducts daily vehicle maintenance around-the-clock,
however, more extensive maintenance and repairs must occur during
overnight non-revenue hours (approximately from 1:30 a.m. to 5 a.m.).
currently only has the capability of conducting regular maintenance.
Heavy maintenance work, such as a mid-life mechanical overhaul, is
done by the manufacturer. It is expected that all 20 vehicles will
complete their mid-life maintenance overhaul in the next 4 years.
CATS is in
the process of identifying funding to procure more light rail
vehicles as we continue to improve and build-out the system. Once
funding is secured, it would take a minimum of 28 months to
manufacture and test the vehicles.