•Because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases — and with Los Angeles County health officials calling the virus ‘out of control’ — Metro is experiencing staff shortages. As a result, some bus or rail trips may be canceled — we are trying to shuffle staff to minimize the impact on any particular bus or rail line.
In the past few days, about 30 percent of Metro’s bus operators have been out due to either being quarantined, caring for family members or having COVID-19. The number of positive cases among agency staff and contractors has doubled in the past month.
These impacts to transit service will likely continue until the number of COVID-19 cases decreases in our region and more employees can return to work. Other transit agencies around the region — including LADOT and Foothill Transit — are experiencing similar challenges.
We encourage riders to use Transit — Metro’s official smartphone app — to plan bus and rail trips and check crowding predictions. We also suggest allowing additional time for travel. And a reminder: face coverings are required for all riders except those with a medical condition.
Metro will continue to be there for essential travel. Please everyone be safe — and best wishes to all riders and Metro staff who are ill, caring for sick family members or in quarantine. There is no sugarcoating the grimness of the situation — see tweet below. If you can stay home or limit your trips out, please do so.
ICU capacity by region:
• Bay Area: 3.5%
• Greater Sacramento Region: 9.2%
• Northern California: 25.4%
• San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
• Southern California: 0.0%
— CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) January 7, 2021
In other agency news…
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) January 5, 2021
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) January 4, 2021
•If you need a break from doomscrolling, check out our Metro 2020 year in review. As troublesome as 2020 was, we made progress on a variety of interesting projects and programs.
In the news this week…
•The U.S. Transportation Secretary — with 13 days left in her term — has resigned over the events of Wednesday in Washington D.C. Her husband is U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was in the Senate at work yesterday when the Capitol Building was overrun by a mob.
It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the U.S. Department of Transportation. pic.twitter.com/rFxPsBoh6t
— Sec. Elaine Chao (@SecElaineChao) January 7, 2021
•Excellent article in the LAT on anti-collision technology that is now finally in place on railroads throughout the United States — a dozen years after the deadly Metrolink crash in Chatsworth that inspired Congress to act.
•Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval will replace John Fasana on the Metro Board of Directors, reports StreetsblogLA. Sandoval is also the chair of the Foothill Gold Line Authority, the agency currently building the L Line (Gold) extension to Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne and Pomona.
•The cost of building transit in the U.S. is often higher than overseas and a recent Eno Foundation report digs for some answers why, reports Human Transit. Hint: the cost of tunneling in the U.S. seems to be a major reason.
•Some passengers who use New York’s Penn Station — a depressing place buried under Madison Square Garden — will have new digs at the site across the street of the old grandiose Penn Station. The NYT takes a look.
•Also in the NYT recently, the latest salvo in the what-will-the-future-office-look-like-and-will-people-still-telelcommute saga. Seems to me that even some occasional telecommuting could go a long way to easing traffic for those who must go to work. But what do I know? #CricketsAreMySoundtrack
Finally, a song about communities, countries, etc. finding their way.
Categories: Transportation Headlines