False alarms delay subway trains by 21 minutes

45% of 6,051 red button and blue lever activations on Medellin metro trains in 2022 It was due to false alarms as revealed by the authority.

According to the Metro system, these activations are for reasons that are not emergencies (which can be up to 20 per day) Translated into a delay of at least 21 minutes in the daily operation of its trains on lines A and B.

Jaime Ortiz Rueda, Metro’s Director of Social and Customer Service, explained that the main users who participate in the practice are young people who activate these elements to “see what’s going on” and how to manage emergencies. “Another group is those who press the red button to be able to get off the train on time without closing the doors on them,” Ortiz said.

Another situation identified is that in the event of a real failure where the train is between two stations, there are passengers who press the red button thinking this will reactivate the system; Or it lowers the blue lever to be able to open the doors for more ventilation, but the effect is the opposite because it loses power when that mechanism is activated. “Plus, after activation, a lot of people get off track with all the risks involved,” Ortiz said.

For the company, in recent years, there has been an increase in these incorrect activations of security elements.

The proof of this is that at stations such as Alpujarra, Cisneros or Prado – where there have never been activations – they do happen. And in San Antonio and a hospital, the increase in these cases has led to the addition of more operational staff to follow up on reports, whether they are real or not.

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Subway, a reflection of the city

Ortiz said the metro system cuts through the dynamics taking place in the city — which have implications for citizen culture and metro culture — such as the massive access of immigrant populations, and the commitment of new generations of users. Mental health issues will lead to intolerance within the system.

“There is a loss of civic culture, which does not mean that metro culture is lost, which affects behavior within the system and leads to situations that were not common before, such as fights inside trains (this year you will lose 46) Or inappropriate behavior that leads to the activation of security elements.

Although activating these items early can result in fines of up to $810,000 and even expulsion from the system, Metro seeks to reverse this situation by betting on activities to promote metro culture both within and outside the system.

We have many programs in and out of the system, which include training of social leaders and visits to schools, in which we go to communities and tell them what behaviors should be within the system. Of course, the pandemic is a big bump in these trainings and that’s why we have to strengthen them to contribute to metro culture and citizen cultureOrtiz noted.

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