COVID-19 update for Friday, April 24: bus service updates, entrance closures, news

Photo by Adrian Hernandez/LA Metro.

Today’s coronavirus numbers from the L.A. County Department of Public Health: 

•The numbers of positive tests in L.A. County have been increasing in recent days. Testing has also expanded with results now from 108,000 people — a little more than one percent of. L.A. County’s population.

•With the heat wave now upon us, a strong reminder that Metro bus and rail service continues for essential trips only. We recommend that all riders wear a face covering or mask while riding transit. On buses, enter and exit using the rear doors with the front door reserved only for wheelchair users. You do not need to use the farebox, but please be in possession of a valid Metro fare.

•What’s an essential trip? Work to essential jobs (and there are many jobs considered essential), visiting a doctor or vet, obtaining medical supplies or medication, grocery shopping for yourself or others,  providing care for minors, seniors, dependents and persons with disabilities or other vulnerabilities, legally mandated government purposes and to comply with law enforcement or court orders.

•To put it more succinctly, please stay home if you can.

Service Updates

As you know, we’re now running Sunday schedules every day of the week in addition to service on some bus lines that don’t usually run on Sundays. In response to rider feedback, Metro has made the following changes to the schedules of several bus lines:

Line 108 (Slauson): Replacing most 40-foot buses with larger, 60-foot buses to promote social distancing.

Line 152 (Roscoe) Westbound: New early morning trip departs North Hollywood at 5:40am on weekdays only.

Line 166 (Nordhoff) Westbound: New early morning trip departs Osborne/Glenoaks at 6:45am on weekdays only.

Line 603 (Rampart-Hoover): Replacing 32-foot buses with 40-foot buses to promote social distancing.

J Line (Silver) 950 Northbound: First trip departing San Pedro at 5:33am will use a larger, 60-foot bus to promote social distancing

And Starting Monday, Apr 27, the following changes go into effect:

Line 165 (Vanowen): New early morning westbound trip departs Burbank Downtown Station at 5:32am on weekdays only.

Line 236 (Balboa): New early morning trips depart Balboa/Ventura at 6:00am and depart Sylmar/San Fernando Station at 7:00am on weekdays only.

J Line (Silver) 910: Four extra northbound morning trips depart Harbor Gateway Transit Center at 5:50am, 6:17am, 6:53am and 7:18am, ending at 7th St/Metro Center with larger, 60-foot buses to promote social distancing.

All new trips will NOT be reflected in the Trip Planner, Google Transit or Nextrip due to technical limitations.

Dept. of Governance

Metro held its April Board meeting virtually on Thursday. Putting aside the undeniable fact that some people don’t know how to use the mute button, Metro CEO Phil Washington talked about how the agency is responding to the pandemic. More info near the top of this post.

Dept. of Cleaning

Dept. of Art

Here’s a nice video of Geoff working on the artwork for the Westchester/Veterans Station with more at this Source post.

Dept. of Quick NextGen Update

The following email blast went out to stakeholders of the project to reimagine and restructure Metro’s bus system:

Thanks to all of LA County for your continued effort during the COVID-19 crisis to flatten the curve. Meanwhile, Metro staff is continuing work to redesign the bus system to best serve how LA County travels.

You can explore the NextGen Bus Plan at metro.net/nextgen and:

• learn what NextGen improvements are being proposed
• compare existing service to new NextGen service
• use interactive maps to see how your commute will benefit.

Please send any questions or comments you have to nextgen@metro.net. We’d love to hear from everyone so please share this with family and friends. Click here to sign up and opt in to receive important updates sent directly to your phone and/or email.

In the news…

•With the economy in dire straits, the pressure grows to reopen California — but the coronavirus case numbers have been growing in recent days, reports the LAT. If there’s an upside, hospitals are not overwhelmed.

•Another smart story from the LAT: our region is home to five of the nation’s 10-most crowded zip codes in terms of the closeness in which people live to one another. That could make stopping infections from coronavirus very difficult.

NPR interviews two New York bus operators. At least 30 bus operators in NYC have died of COVID-19. “Our heart is being tested everyday,” says one.

•Another great read:

Good look by NYT in the difficulty of reopening movie theaters. My hunch is that popcorn machines will be a thing of the past. Sigh.

Department of Holy Cow

Dept. of Challenges in Reopening Office Spaces

 

 

5 replies

  1. Hi Steve,

    Is it possible for Metro to make a bus stop on the corner of Ramona/Eastern for the Line 258 (Both directions: Altadena & Paramount) for the connection to the 70. Both directional 258 turns off of Ramona onto Eastern before they jump on the 10 Fwy EB before heading back to Fremont in Albambra.

    This would help so much to make a better, safer and convenient connection with the 70 &665 at Ramona/Eastern.

    Please and thanks.

    Healthcare worker in need of a quicker routing and convenience stop.

  2. There’s no link to the LAT crowding story. (I haven’t read it yet, but I find myself skeptical that crowding is a very important factor, despite a lot of conservatives who aren’t big on cities bringing it up often – without pointing out counter-examples. Places like Seoul, South Korea and Munich, Germany have a lot more “crowding” [ie: population density] than L.A., but they have actual competent proactive public health systems – which are a much bigger factor in COVID-19 than “crowding.”)

  3. You’re right – I overreacted without actually going to the LAT article, which is (unlike some anti-urban-density stuff lately) is about crowding – and not solely density… though the LAT piece states re: crowding “no clear trend.”

    • Hey Joe —

      You weren’t over-reacting. With media outlets pumping out dozens of articles about the virus each day (and many of them quite good), it’s healthy to be skeptical about the latest offerings. Clearly offering up to editors any kind of fresh take on the virus is hard currency in newsrooms. That’s human nature. I personally like these type of stories that look into different factors — even if I personally believe there are a lot of factors in play when it comes to infection rates.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source