The cause of this morning's Blue/Expo Line delays

There were delays on the Blue Line and Expo Line this morning when a car made a left turn directly into the path of an outbound train on Flower Street. The result?

Photo: Metro

Photo: Metro

Trains always move faster than you think. Please do not try to beat a train, whether you are on foot or in a vehicle. Obey the warning lights and signals and pay attention while driving near the tracks.

Categories: Safety

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13 replies

  1. Steve Hymon,

    I have not said cutting pay of Metro drivers and train operators.

    I am referring to cutting the pays of the Metro government bureaucrats who has been running the agency making poor financial decisions. For your reference, this is the list of six figure income earning Metro Executives and their pays listed here:

    Let’s see Metro CEO Art Leahy earns $310,000 a year.
    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa earns $230,000 a year.
    State of CA Governor Jerry Brown’s annual pay is $165,000 a year.

    A vast majority of the people listed here earn far more than our Governor.

    You do not think there is anything wrong with this? These people who are at fault for running Metro with no fiscal responsibility and they get compensated anywhere between $100,000 to over $300,000. This does not include pensions and benefits. You can bash private corporations and their executive compensation all you want, city government agencies like Metro is no different: get paid handsomely for doing a poor job.

    Slash every one of the people listed here by 50% and Metro could be saving millions every year. Cut backs to their pensions and benefits too. They’ve been paid handsomely for doing a poor job already. There’s no need for them to be paid this much.

    That’s where the funding could come from. Funny how such ideas are never put onto the table.

    THIS was the intent of my post. I hope you understand that there’s a big difference between an hourly paid Metro bus driver to handsomely paid inefficient Metro government bureaucrats sitting in a cushy office space making poor financial decisions due to lack of any financial abilities.

    Anyone earning over $70,000 at Metro is well worth more pay cuts. They make far more than the average office worker in the private sector. All you need to do is look at Metro’s own career page.

    Seriously, how you guys can afford paying such salary rates when you make absolutely no profit is beyond disbelief. On top of that you have pensions and benefits that are running our city into bankruptcy. Taxpayers are paying for pensions and benefits for government employees that aren’t even born yet!

    If you were at least half as profitable like Asian transit corporations and making your own money then there would be no problem; they earn their own money. You guys barely recover 30% and 70% of your funds have to be life supported by us taxpayers.

    Push comes to shove, with existing financial constraints, Metro’s management must either suck up a larger pay cut, fire incompetent staff, start hiring someone more knowledgeable about running mass transit from abroad, and start making your own revenue.

  2. Anna,

    Well certainly funding wouldn’t have been an issue if Metro had the brains to have locked gates from the start and actually collected the billions in dollars of uncollected fares for the past 25 years now do we?

    Stop blaming the public and coming back to taxpayers to fix everything. Finding funding an above grade or below grade tracks can easily be done. All Metro needs to do is cut everyone’s pay at Metro by 50% for the next 25 years as punishment for their stupidity in relying on the honor system.

    Funny how you never consider cutting your own pay and instead rather, keep giving yourself bigger paychecks than the Gov. Jerry Brown year after year.

    • Hi Lock the Gates Already;

      I find your comment to be amazingly short-sighted. If you really believe a bus or train operator deserves to have his or her salary cut in half for 25 years, then I’m thinking you’re probably not someone who even rides the system that often. The folks who repair and run trains aren’t exactly getting rich doing their jobs. And no one at Metro is actually giving themselves bigger paychecks year after year — many employees, however you feel about them, haven’t had a raise for several years because of the recession and ongoing funding issues.

      I know that there is disagreement among regular readers of this blog over gate latching and TAP and the expense involved. That’s fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion about how their government is spending money and we have some very knowledgeable readers here who express their views in a civil manner. But your comment is neither civil or intelligent. In this case, I published it (as I do 99 percent of the comments submitted to the blog), but felt the need to respond and tell you next time I probably will trash it and not feel badly about it.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. I’m in favor of shutting down the left turn completely, if drivers can’t figure out how to wait for the train.

    Alternatively, they could implement crossing gates. That would definitely cause backups for people getting onto the freeway. But at least the more intellectually challenged drivers would be protected from themselves.

  4. +1 for Steven Harris’s comment. I think signal preemption is a must any time Metro runs at grade. And while we’re at it, so should the Orange Line. 🙂

  5. @sonny

    Or we could prohibit cars from turning across the tracks on Flower, that would solve the problem too. A couple of thousand dollars for new signs and re-striping, or hundreds of millions for grade separation?

  6. @Sonny: You mean raise the tracks *over* the 10? Sounds like going below grade would be more feasible, though neither scenario would be able to find enough support to get funding, I suspect. And since motorists’ ignorance of their surroundings is a difficult ailment to cure, perhaps some gates would be a more affordable compromise.

  7. Sure thing, Sonny, but first we have to get the Republicans out of Washington.

  8. Elevate Washington to Pico and NEVER would this happen as it has repeatedly year, after year, after year. It will never stop until you raise the tracks. But that would also make traveler’s transportation time so much faster and more reliable, wouldn’t it? Whoa, can’t have that, can we. Gosh, faster travel, more passengers, less damage and lives saved. Who would want that?

    • Just my two cents: while above/below grade is certainly preferable, it’s not always the most feasible option. Could you imagine shutting down that entire area for a year (or more) while the construction gets done? And there’s also funding to consider.

      In any case, there are many places in L.A. and all over the world where people get along just fine with at-grade trains. I wouldn’t blame a pedestrian for getting hit by a car while crossing the street legally, and I can’t see how the train is at fault here.

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Writer

  9. The driver and passenger are truly lucky to be alive. I witnessed the crash from inside the front car of the train, although no sheriffs seemed interested in taking a statement from me, oh well.