COVID-19 update; Friday, April 17 — reminder service changes begin this Sunday, April 19

Dept. of Miss You, Too:

Dept. of Testing:

Metro is providing land for an Alta Med coronavirus test site in Boyle Heights, adjacent to Mariachi Plaza. The aerial view, shot yesterday. Photo by Joe Lemon/LA Metro.

Dept. of Sign of the Times: 

Photo by Adrian Hernandez/LA Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/LA Metro.

Dept. of Purple Line Extension construction — with reduced traffic because of the safer at home orders, the city of Beverly Hills approved shutting down a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard to speed up the initial construction of the Wilshire/Rodeo Station. Some pics from this morning:

Photos by Joe Lemon/LA Metro.


Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Friday from the L.A. County Department of Public Health:

There have been about 246,400 tests done in California thus far — out of a statewide population of about 39.5 million. The number of positive tests has slowed somewhat but everyone agrees an abundance of caution is still needed to slow the spread of the virus.

L.A. County safer at home orders have been extended until May 15. Metro bus and transit service is reserved for essential trips and we recommend all riders wear a face covering or mask. Bus riders should board at the rear door with the front door reserved for wheelchair users.

Riders should be in possession of a valid Metro fare but do not have to use the farebox on buses. All bus and rail riders should try to be six feet from the closest rider, if possible. All riders — in fact, all people everywhere — are encouraged to wash their hands often and do not touch your face.

And, finally, if you are sick please stay at home. If it’s a potentially life-threatening situation, please call 9-1-1. This L.A. County DPH has some good advice.

•The big news at Metro is that service changes take effect on Sunday, April 19.

All the details are here, along with links to timetables for all bus lines. We’re also running some bus lines that do not normally run on Sundays.

One concern from riders I’ve heard repeatedly this week is about crowding — if fewer buses are running, that means they will inevitably have to accommodate more riders at a time when social distancing is critical.

Obviously that’s a legit concern. While this is a schedule service reduction, we think the actual delivered service should improve. We have had some bus trips canceled in the past month due to staffing issues. Under the Sunday service change, we are going to implement a realistic schedule change that reflects our actual resources available. We think that will result in service that is on time and reliable more often.

We think that real time predictions should also improve. We are also going to closely monitor the system for any instances of crowding and make adjustments as necessary.

And this: let us know how we’re doing — either by commenting on the blog or via our social media streams on Twitter and Facebook. We also have a real-time service alert stream on Twitter at

In the news…

The LAT looks at the upcoming service changes beginning this Sunday.

•New York MTA officials considered an entire shutdown of their system and concluded it would lead to even more deaths in New York due to cutting off workers and residents from essential services, reports the NY Daily News. The NYT also profiles one of the 59 NY MTA workers who has died from the virus.

•There was no reason to expect it was going to happen anyway, but now it’s official: the Taylor Swift concert to open the new Rams/Chargers stadium has been postponed, along with all her shows for the remainder of 2020, reports the LAT.

•How contracting the Spanish flu may have impacted President Wilson’s post-World War I negotiations with European nations. Pretty good read in the New Yorker

•Where journalists get some of their pandemic-related story ideas. Poynter

Dept. of Distraction

•A jazz playlist on Spotify curated by the Metro Art Department.

•I finally got around to former best-seller “Devil in the White City” years after its publication. Good book that reads like fiction but isn’t — about a psychopath on the loose at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.


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