Although the City of Edmonton announced Tuesday that the light-rail transit (LRT) Metroline is finally fully operational, Mayor Don Iveson believes the project was off-track from the start.
Incompatible software was one of the main culprits affecting the Metroline, which when launched in 2015, took four days to complete its journey from NAIT to Churchill Square downtown. But Iveson was alarmed that the transportation department overseeing the project was actually delighted in the sluggish debut. One worker proclaimed the LRT beat the time it took the Queen Mary ocean liner to make its 1936 maiden voyage across the Atlantic by one day.
Iveson, who wants to launch an investigation into the work ethic of those involved in the Metroline, was apparently shocked at how LRT experts worked in solving the problem.
“I remember walking into the department one day and saw a bunch of workers in those tacky train engineer hats drawing tracks on the floor with crayon and playing with model trains.” He recalled. “And they were yelling back and forth to each other, ‘Here comes the choo-choo!'”
One worker was reprimanded for inappropriate behavior when he tried to entice a female employee to recreate the scenario of a train chugging its way into a tunnel.
Some studies to solve the problem were marginally more ambitious, such as comparing the LRT’s speed to that of a snail, prompting one defensive remark from a department official.
“I don’t know what the big deal is,” he said.
“We scoured the planet to find the fastest snails possible to assess the speed of the LRT. And we found one species called the helix aspersa, which holds the record for the fastest land speed ever, covering a breakneck velocity of one metre per hour. We tested it against the Metroline, and believe it or not, the LRT easily outpaced it! So there!”
But another spokesperson for the transportation department said that Iveson simply was asking far too much of City employees.
“Seriously, he should realize that this is Edmonton,” he said. “We are used to setting low standards for ourselves to keep in lock step with the city’s mediocre reputation.”