Why Gold Line service in Pasadena was disrupted this morning

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The above object — a lock shaped like a hand grenade — was spotted on the Gold Line tracks just west of the Sierra Madre Villa station in Pasadena about 10:20 a.m. The Gold Line between Sierra Madre Villa and Allen stations was subsequently shut down so the device could be investigated and removed by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Arsons/Explosives Unit.

Regular service on the Gold Line has resumed.

Which brings us to the PSA part of this post: If you see something, say something. The Sheriff’s Department can be reached in an emergency by phoning 888.950.SAFE (7233); if you use the Metro system, please put this number in your cell phone’s contact list.

The LASD also has a smartphone app that can be used to report problems in non-emergencies.


Categories: Safety, Service Alerts

7 replies

  1. Currently 18 stations and all of the Purple and Red lines are underground. Considering the number of passengers they serve, and considering that many of Metro’s future stations will be underground (Regional Connector, Purple Line Extension, some of the Crenshaw Line?), this gap in cell/data service is not insignificant and will continue to become more pronounced. In addition to Metro’s call boxes, offering underground cell/data service provides a good backup (or primary) method of reporting trouble and increases passenger productivity during the occasional long wait.

    @Ralph: I’m quite sure the lack of a cell signal would in no way deter a terrorist bent on destruction. There are better (and probably more effective) ways to mitigate the risk of terrorism on mass transit. Cost, however, is always a factor, though I could imagine some sort of arrangement under which one or more of the phone companies might help foot the bill in exchange for some sort of consideration.

  2. Wanderer: I see you’ve never ventured on The Edward R. Roybal Metro Gole Line Eastside Extension. Try it some time, you might discover things about your region and yourself.

    James: Ever depended on those call boxes working? Take it from me; Don’t!

  3. Juan Val-Alc – I must disagree with you. With cellular devices, it is always better to program into you phone the most likely agencies (including Metro’s LASD number if you are a frequent rider) rather than using 9-1-1. Due to the history and original purpose of the cellular network, 9-1-1 calls via a cellular phone will still connect you to the California Highway Patrol, whose dispatcher must then determine the appropriate agency and transfer the call to them, wasting potentially critical time. Eventually, the cellular system is supposed to connect you automatically to the correct agency based on your location, but the accuracy of this can still cause your call to go to the wrong agency – not to mention when you need paramedics and the system connects you to the PD. Having the correct 10 digit numbers already in your phone is the most prudent course.

    Erik – The continued issue with providing cellular service underground (which Metro must purchase and pay to operate the equipment required to get the radio signals underground) is the threat to the public from the use of that system to carry out an attack with a weapon of mass destruction. As we all saw from Boston, our vulnerabilities are continuing to be tested. As Metro’s ridership continues to increase, so do the potential number of victims.

  4. And we mustn’t forget that every car and station on the system is provided with plenty of callboxes. (I confess that many years ago, when there was a dedicated shuttle bus between the Hollywood/Vine station and Hollywood Bowl, I used one to complain about said bus not running as late as advertised, and notify the powers that be that I wasn’t the only person waiting for a ride. That was before I knew how easy it was to walk to the Bowl from Hollywood Blvd; for a few years now, I’ve been hoofing it by choice, some 15-20 concert nights every summer, providing me with much-needed exercise.)

  5. Gold Line stations, Green Line stations, and all but one Blue and Expo Line stations are above ground.

  6. Of course, with there still being no cell service in the underground stations (It’ll be 2014 next week) that toll free number is useless, as is the number to which one might send an SMS/Text, something that has been available on new cell phones since 1995, because neither LA Metro or LASD have set up one to receive them.