TransLink interim CEO Doug Allen has said sorry to SkyTrain riders after the Expo Line was shutdown for nearly 13 hours, disrupting the Friday morning commutes of tens of thousands of people.
At a midday press conference outside Main Street-Science World Station, Allen announced that SkyTrain service had been completely restored.
"A lot of our customers were disrupted," said Allen. "I want to apologize to all of them."
The incident affected stations between Waterfront and Joyce-Collingwood, effectively shutting down Expo and Millennium line access to the downtown core.
The delays began at 11 p.m. Thursday night, when a spark from a rail grinder ignited a bird's nest, damaging a metre of cable just east of the Main Street station.
"It's a very unfortunate, very unusual, really a freak accident," said Allen, who explained that crews had been working throughout the night to fix the problem.
In order to avoid similar incidents in the future, the TransLink CEO announced that the regional transportation authority will be having a look at nesting throughout the system and that it will try to stop grinders from sparking.
"That's all part of the due diligence that has to be done," Allen said.
TransLink announced earlier this morning that all of its services will be offered for free throughout the day. The company also said that it had added a total of 33 extra buses to its system to help alleviate the delays caused by the incident.
"It's one of the biggest responses we've ever had," said Allen, who also promised to work out an arrangement to compensate users who purchased monthly bus passes.
The delays come a week before mail-in voting closes for the transit referendum, which calls for a $7.5-billion investment in road and transit improvements over the next decade.