MetroRail service resumes

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and KVUE.com

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kvue.com

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 30 at 5:23 PM

AUSTIN -- Capital Metro's MetroRail service has resumed, hours after its backup system went down.

The train service was back up and running just after 3 p.m. Tuesday, in time for the afternoon rush hour.

In a release earlier in the day, the agency said over the weekend Cap Metro's primary data system was hit by lightning. The company's cellular system is their backup system and was down for most of the day while crews tried to repair the issue.

"We did some testing, and we determined, for safety reasons, not to start service this morning," said Capital Metro Communications Director Francine Pares.

Pares says they go from freight to commuter train and switching has to occur correctly. The backup outage was the result of an AT&T power outage, which affected the cellular service they use to help switch the trains.

"This is a commercial AT&T application that we have signed up with. There are a lot of transportation systems that use this type of system," Pares said.

For anyone who bought a ticket during the outage, you're instructed to call Cap Metro's "go line" and Pares said a refund can be arranged.

About 15,000 trips are taken every week on MetroRail. They don't count people; instead, each one-way ride bought, which is about 2,700 trips a day. Those rides have increased 47 percent since last year, tripling ridership since service began in 2010.

For more information about MetroRail, go here.

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