•We can’t say enough good things about our operations staff that is keeping the buses and trains rolling and providing rides to essential workers. More below on this, but thought I’d share this comment:
•The latest numbers from Sunday:
@lapublichealth Announces Five New Deaths Related to #COVID19 – 332 New Cases of Confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. 2136 cases across all areas of LA County, including 37 deaths. View https://t.co/PSM7Rl3G8a for more. pic.twitter.com/nzBRTM2rwj
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) March 29, 2020
•Our messaging continues to be:
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, transit should be used for essential travel only. Staying at home means we can safely serve our health care workers, grocery store employees, first responders and others who need public transit. #StayHome #SaveLives pic.twitter.com/0Gf0qIXCas
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) March 30, 2020
•Rail service levels below. As for buses, some trips will be canceled. We’re trying to be surgical and prevent long waits. Please be advised that due to changes, arrival time info for buses may not be accurate.
A, B, D, E, L LINES (BLUE, RED, PURPLE, EXPO, GOLD): Weekday rail service every 12 minutes between 6am and 6pm with 20-minute service before and after those times. Last trains depart terminal stations at midnight. pic.twitter.com/su3xuEUhe1
— LA Metro Rider Alerts (@metrolaalerts) March 30, 2020
•Social distancing and safer-at-home seems to be taking hold — helped by more closures this weekend:
Thank you Los Angeles for doing your part this weekend by staying “Safer at Home”. Let’s continue to flatten the curve so we can all get back to our beaches sooner! pic.twitter.com/oW6N9t71QX
— LACoFD Lifeguards (@LACoLifeguards) March 30, 2020
Last weekend vs. this weekend in Long Beach.
— Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) March 30, 2020
•L.A. County also has a new online dashboard to track COVID-19. Screen grab:
The goal is to keep our health-care system from being overwhelmed by slowing the infection rate, i.e. flattening the curve. As you can see from the chart at top left, we have a ways to go for that to happen. This harrowing NYT article shows what paramedics in New York are dealing with as case numbers there have soared in recent days.
From an L.A. Times article published this weekend that looks ahead to how the virus may spread in April:
“The numbers can get huge, which means the implications for the healthcare system are equally dramatic,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s public health director. “Without slowing the spread, we could easily overwhelm our system here in L.A. County and the entire healthcare system in California.”
In both cities, Naval hospital ships have been dispatched to help clear space in hospitals for COVID-19 cases.
#ICYMI: The #USNavy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in the Port of Los Angeles to serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. #USNSMercy deployed in support of the nation’s #COVID19 response efforts. pic.twitter.com/HWZiV9Fc9u
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) March 28, 2020
— Seth Harrison (@SethEHarrison) March 30, 2020
•As you likely know, we’ve seen a significant ridership drop with so many people staying at home. But people are still riding. Our ridership estimates show that we had at least 310,000 boardings each day on our buses and trains compared to the nearly 1.2 million we had on the average weekday in February.
Obviously a huge drop. But 310,000 is still more than some big cities (St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, OR, to name three) have had on weekdays prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (ridership numbers here). There has certainly been a lot of commentary on Metro on social media and I’m not going to pretend it’s all rosy — although there’s no shortage of folks thanking us for keeping the buses and trains rolling. A sampling:
The New York Times on Monday posted a story about how ridership on the NYC Subway is down more than 80 percent but many people are still riding, especially in low-income areas part of New York. Excerpt:
It is a striking change on a system that has long been the great equalizer among New Yorkers, a space where hourly workers jostled alongside financial executives. Now the subway is closer to being a symbol of the city’s inequality, amplifying the divide between those with the means to safely shelter at home and those who must continuing braving public transit to preserve their meager livelihoods.
If it sounds familiar, it should. Our own customer surveys show important Metro is to low-income riders here in L.A. County. From last fall’s survey:
•Footage of our oft-empty streets from our own Joe Lemon for a video that’s in-the-works:
Other stories in the news…
•Two New York MTA employees have died of COVID-19 and more than 150 (out of about 76,000) have tested positive for the virus, including the MTA chairman, reports the NY Post.
•Photo essay in LAT on what our system looks like these days.
•Story in LAT on how COVID-19 likely spread at a choir practice in Mount Vernon in Washington state.
•Presentation by BART staff in Bay Area on impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The stimulus bill signed by Present Trump last week includes $25 billion to help the nation’s transit agencies weather the current situation.
•We’ll conclude today with some music from John Prine, who has been hospitalized with COVID-19, as per his family.
Categories: Transportation Headlines