Sobering and powerful rail safety PSA from New Jersey Transit


Our friends at New Jersey Transit have a safety campaign underway to address a long-standing problem in the Garden State and pretty much everywhere elsewhere in the United States — people walking on train tracks.

The two new videos — each just 30 seconds — do not mince words or images. It’s every bit as applicable to our light rail lines and commuter rail lines here in Southern California.


Metro helps combat human sex trafficking

County Supervisor Don Knabe at the event this morning. Photo by Anna Chen/Metro.

Los Angeles County and Metro Board Member Don Knabe will join local law enforcement officials, Metro executives and local businesses Thursday morning to unveil a multimedia awareness campaign aimed at informing the public about the heinous crime of child sex trafficking.

The press event will take place Thursday, May 31, at 9 a.m. outside the main entrance of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. Joining Supervisor Knabe will be:

  • Leroy D. Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff
  • Jim McDonnell, Police Chief, City of Long Beach
  • Art Leahy, CEO, Metro
  • Lee Ann Muller, President, Clear Channel Outdoor Southern California Division President
  • Chris Kelly, Former Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook & Founder of the Safer California Foundation

The campaign, originally called for by Supervisor Knabe, will appear at Metro train stations and bus stops, rail cars and buses. The information will also appear on Metro’s website.

Thanks to a generous donation by Clear Channel, over 50 digital displays and 15 traditional billboards will broadcast the message across Los Angeles County.

Metro bus operator killed in West Hollywood

A Metro bus operator was allegedly shot and killed by a passenger on Sunday morning shortly after leaving a bus layover for the 105 line at Santa Monica Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. The operator, who was 51 and a five-year veteran of Metro, was transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead at approximately 9:30 a.m.

His identity has not been released.

At the scene, Metro CEO Art Leahy told media that this was a highly unusual incident and that his chief concern was for the welfare of the operator’s family, as well as the Metro family of bus operators. He could not recall a fatal shooting of a bus operator at Metro or at the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Capt. Mike Parker said this morning that a suspect has been detained.

Here is a brief story published by the Los Angeles Times and here is a story by KABC News.


Update on effort to provide cell service in subway

We frequently hear from readers and riders who want to know if Metro will be providing cell phone service and/or wi-fi in the Red and Purple Line subway.

Answer: the agency is working on it and has recently received proposals from several firms. The hope is to choose a winning firm in late summer.

The Metro staff report to the Board of Directors is below (pdf here):

Cell service in subway report

Orange Line safety videos

Here are a pair of new safety videos for the Orange Line Extension, which is expected to open in June to the Chatsworth train station.

The other video is after the jump.

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90-day closure of two I-405 freeway ramps — i.e. 'Rampture' — set to begin June 22


Adding a northbound carpool lane may be the most known part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. But the project will also rebuild the Wilshire Boulevard ramps to and from the 405 to eliminate a conflict on both sides of the freeway in which traffic trying to enter the freeway gets tangled with vehicles trying to exit to Wilshire.

Here are an overview of the ramp work on the project home page and two renderings show what the project aims to do. There is also a good story on ZevWeb, the website for County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky.

Click above for a larger rendering of the new Wilshire ramps to be built.

The news release announcing the beginning of construction follows:

Advance Notice Motorist Travel Advisory
90-Day Closure of Two I-405 Freeway Ramps at Wilshire Boulevard Planned Beginning June 22, 2012

Los Angeles, Calif. – Plan Ahead, Adjust Travel Times, or Share the Ride. That’s the new message public officials are advising motorists in the greater West Los Angeles region to help reduce severe congestion resulting from the first extended, 90-day closures of key Wilshire on- and off-ramps to the I-405 now scheduled to officially begin Friday, June 22, 2012.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Caltrans and Los Angeles Department of Transportation are giving the public advance notice that the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor must begin demolishing and reconstructing eight heavily traveled freeway ramps at Wilshire Boulevard in order to complete the construction project schedule. This single interchange is where one of the nation’s busiest boulevards meets the nation’s busiest freeway, where tens of thousands of freeway-bound motorists travel on a daily basis.

Demolition and reconstruction of the Wilshire ramps is required to build a 10-mile carpool lane on the northbound I-405 between the I-10 and U.S. 101.

Ninety-day closures for the first two Wilshire Boulevard ramps are as follows:

•Westbound Wilshire on-ramp to the Northbound I-405. Detour: Motorists should travel northbound on Sepulveda Boulevard to access the Moraga on-ramp or travel southbound on Sepulveda to access the Santa Monica Boulevard on-ramp.

•Northbound I-405 off-ramp to Westbound Wilshire. Detour: Motorists should exit freeway using Santa Monica off-ramp, then proceed northbound on Sepulveda to Wilshire Boulevard. Other alternatives include the off-ramp at Sunset Boulevard.

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Metro Orange Line Extension testing continues

Traffic control officers were deployed to ensure vehicular safety during the busway testing.

Metro Orange Line Extension testing is now in its third week. Buses continue to run intermittently on their very own dedicated right-of-way between Canoga Station and the Chatsworth Metrolink/Amtrak Station.

Metro reminds motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to watch out for buses as they pass intersections to ensure a safe operation. (see this previous Source post). The extension is still on track for a June 2012 opening.

See Damien Newton’s post on Streetsblog, including video here.

Here are a few photos from the testing now in progress:


Metro Liner arrives at the Southbound Roscoe Station.


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