At 13, he has some ideas for Metro

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On behalf of the Metro planning staff, I’d like to thank 13-year-old Jack Guerra for a very fine — and very thorough, no-holds-barred  — presentation that he gave us Friday afternoon at Metro HQ.

Jack, who lives in Expo Line-adjacent Palms, has attended several recent Metro outreach meetings and has been emailing maps and presentations to staff. As a result, he received an invite to brief us in person on his vision for Metro.

The slide in the top photo provides an overview of some of the things that Jack has in mind. In addition to his recommendations, Jack has been busy drawing maps of new bus lines and how they could feed riders to Metro’s new rail lines.

It was great to see someone who clearly has put a lot of thought into Metro and the role of transit and highways in our region. For parents and kids alike: although it’s a little early for Jack, Metro has an internship program that offers work in a variety of fields, as well as an entry-level jobs program. More here about Metro careers and internships.

Categories: Policy & Funding

24 replies

  1. Jack is quite right about naming the lines — Long Beach line, Hollywood line, etc. BART uses letters for their lines within their organization, but when dealing with the public, it refers to the Fremont line, Pittsburg line, etc.

  2. Wow, I have been fascinated by Metro since I was 5 and was always excited watching new Routes and Rail lines expand. I myself used to create new Routes and Rail lines.

  3. Hi LA Metro,

    I’m Sean Kelly, a heavy-rail Locomotive Engineer and Transit Operator from Melbourne Australia. In my 30 year career I have spent about 20 years running freight and locomotive hauled passenger and about 10 years in EMU transit. I have also completed our State Railroad’s Management Cadetship Program and was Ed Burkhardt’s first hire when he and WC came to Australia in 1990. I am even the last person about who has driven our reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II by loco hauled train behind two EMD 2250 H.P. JT22HC-2’s in 1988 when I was just a “boy!”

    That’s me; what I WANT to talk about is 13 year old Jack Guerra! He’s a transit system and RR prodigy.

    Look, our industry is seriously “out of fashion”. We are NOT the great people movers of 1920’s anymore. Today’s graduates with Jack’s talents usually get attracted into OTHER fields with more prestige and remuneration and NOT into railroading or transit.

    We desperately need kids like Jack Guerra to take our industry forward. He’s “gold” to our combined industries of heavy railroading and transit.

    What needs to happen now?

    Jack needs to be watched and conditioned by LA Metro. When old enough he needs a scholarship, if possible to a University specializing in our industry needs.

    Jack also needs “Operator Time”. Jack needs to get some Motorman, Dispatcher and Fleet Management (etc) time under his belt to give him real experience so he can make informed decisions as a manager.

    If “we” nurture Jack Guerra we WILL get a great return on investment and payback. I dare say Jack has special personality traits that will make him excel in our industry of networks, timetables, systems and associated specialties.

    LA Metro, don’t let this kid slip through your (our) fingers, he’s highly intelligent and wants to work for “US”……TRANSIT; not for air, road or shipping. GRAB HIM! Grab him before he slips away to some other discipline.

    Kids like Jack Guerra are RARE in railroading. Let’s “get him”; foster him through College and Uni; he’ll be a great asset to the rebuilding of the LA transit system in the finest expansive metropolitan area in the World!

    Sean Kelly.
    Mount Dandenong
    (Melbourne – Victoria)

    • Hello Sean,
      I’ve been reading the source lately and saw your wonderful comment. I will not give up on metro myself and keep in touch with them. I haven’t got a letter stating that “they want to mature me and give me an internship and maybe even a planner” but we’ll get to get…..maybe……but I’m not giving up. Ever since I was a young boy I loved drawing maps. I loved having maps and atlas’ and just reading them. This gave me the knowledge to grow the world with my own memory. It was 8 amazing months ago that I emailed Metro and told them about my ideas. Here is the whole presentation and map that got Metros attention.



      I hope you enjoy them and tell me what you think by emailing me at Ironic huh. Have a nice day and I can’t thank you enough in believing in me.

      • Dear Jack,

        THANK YOU for your wonderful reply. You made my day!

        I will study your information and get back to you with a proper reply at the email address provided. However, firstly Jack, we must do “business”.

        Jack, when I was a young railfan, things were not always good… regards to safety. I am now a 49 year old married man with a child; you are a 13 year old “minor”.

        I that regard you must get your parent’s permission to communicate with me. Also, in Australia, we now have a licensing system to protect young people like you Jack from criminals. As I have helped out in rail museums I do have such a license. My wife has one too as she is a school teacher.

        In my State of Victoria, Australia, this system is called a “Working with Children Check”. My license number is 0072023A-01, expiry 02-17-2019. It is issued by the Department of Justice in my State of Victoria.

        You can “check me out” here at:

        This is VERY important Jack to protect everyone’s safety.

        Having said that, I would love to communicate with you. I am fascinated by many of the same things you are and we have lots to talk about. It will be great!

        You can contact me at:

        I WILL read your material and reply in the next few days to your email address.

        You have special talents and a “gift” Jack; the railroads and transit systems need people like you to ensure our future. LA ESPECIALLY needs good planners as it rebuilds some of what was lost in the 1950’s and 1960’s and expands into the future..

        Feel free to stay in touch Jack, I will give you feedback on your papers. REMEMBER to check with your parents or the Transit Authority so that communicating with me is “okay”.

        Very sincerely,


      • Hi Jack,

        I sent you an email about our transit system here in Melbourne, Australia. It covered heavy rail and light rail/streetcars. Did YOU RECEIVE THIS MAIL?

        Leave me a message here or email me again if you like at:

        I did attach 2 low resolution maps of the electric railway and tramway that were have in Melbourne and wrote you a brief history as to how they developed; track miles, number of cars, Voltages etc……..

        So Jack, have a great day and let me know if you got my email?

        Sean. 🙂

  4. I’ve been saying the same things since I was 13 ! Metro still hasn’t learned. It’s so simple, even a kid can figure it out. Good job Jack. It’s not rocket science.

  5. Jack you amazing I think they should do a lot of your ideas. You are going to be person that works in the transit industry. People need you to make public transportation better. I love your plans. Great job my big brother I’m so proud

    • yes you can go help and learn about what they do in the summer when high school students are off. You can find more info on and look for something that says JOB. I hoped I helped out.

  6. Awesome! I hope Jack turns his passion into a career in the transit industry. Thank you for welcoming him to make a presentation. The transit world needs people like him who inherently “get it” when it comes to making a system user-friendly.

    At his age, I was also into transit but we didn’t have power point back then! Unfortunately, there wasn’t a clear path to a career at the time (no internet to do research) but I was lucky enough to find my way. There’s nothing better than to have a career doing something that benefits hundreds of thousands of people.

  7. It is great to see people in his age range already thinking critically about the types of changes that Metro ought to adopt in more than one area. Keep up the great work and, as they used to say when I was about his age, reach for knowledge!

  8. I’m really amazed at Jack! I know for sure that in the near future, Jack will be a great urban/transportation planner. He might even work for Metro too. Keep up the great work Jack Guerra!

      • Great!! Jack, I just looked at your wonderful presentation, and I’m just so happy and proud to see a young person like you who would like to improve and expand our public transportation system in Los Angeles! By the way, I’m also a teenager who is a public transportation enthusiast, and hopes to become a transportation planner in the near future. I’ve been riding Metro from Glendale since I was a little boy, and it’s great to see our public transportation system expand as time progresses. I can’t wait when the Metro Plan will help to add more Metro Rail lines to our metropolis. Once again, keep up the great work Jack. You’re awesome!

  9. Too bad there was no internship program when i was in school. It was very difficult as a new graduate to break into the transit business.

  10. His proposals make great common sense – the ones visible from the PowerPoint, Can we see the whole thing?