LRT doors open touchlessly

On trains where the technology allows, and at stations where the weather permits, LRT operators are now opening train doors so passengers can, in a time of pandemic, get on and off trains without touching buttons. 

Take a quick look:

Technology, meteorology

The practice is possible on Edmonton Transit Service’s newer SD160 trains, which account for two-thirds of the fleet. Operators push an “all doors open” button to allow passengers on and off. 

The practice started this past weekend, when, because of the cold weather,  it was limited to downtown underground LRT stations. 

“We’re watching the temperatures very closely every day,” said Craig McKeown, Director, LRT Operations and Maintenance for Edmonton Transit Service. 

“At terminus LRT stations, like Century Park and Clareview, the doors are typically open for a longer period of time, so, if the temperature remains cold outside, this would drastically affect passenger comfort on the trains, and place significant strain on HVAC systems that could lead to failure.”

On buses, doors are opened automatically by the operators. Stop requests on buses are conveyed by push buttons and pull cords.

Peace of mind

The move to touchless LRT door opening is just part of ETS’ enhanced commitment to cleanliness and hygiene. ETS is also enhancing the disinfection of handles, buttons, stanchions, floors, hand loops, windows, and other commonly touched surfaces. ETS’s disinfection practices are being enhanced in both intensity and frequency. ETS also conducts deep vapour steam cleaning for seats on a regular basis. More details soon on this part of the story. 

Since the arrival of the coronavirus, ETS cleaning activities have been enhanced in both intensity and frequency.

Stay informed. Find the latest information from Alberta Health Services, including a new COVID-19 self-assessment tool.