Transit Dispatches

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July 22, 2011

Carmageddon II: Off the rails

by Alex Roman - Also by this author

Hot off of last week's incredibly overhyped "Carmageddon," the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Blue Line light rail system will not be running in my city this weekend because some trees along the line need to be trimmed.

The MTA has assured riders stops along the line will be opened as the work is complete and that buses will be running along the line to transport passengers. The lack of hype surrounding this shutdown made me chuckle. Granted, I know that this is not as big a deal as "CARMAGEDDONNNNNNNN!!!" but it is significant to those in the area who need to get to Los Angeles for work. Seems more important to me that public transit is shut down for a weekend than some area of the freeway, but maybe I'm being irrational.

I also wondered how often public transportation systems have to shut down for similar reasons? How come these shutdowns don't touch off an outcry like we saw here in Southern California last week? (The Northeast Corridor is excluded from that statement, of course.)

So, what does your public transportation system do in the event of a major shutdown? Are they well-publicized? And, does it ever cause a public outcry as great as we experienced here last weekend?

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Transit to rescue city from 'Carmageddon'" here.

Alex Roman

Managing Editor


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  • John Lciht[ July 22th, 2011 @ 11:45am ]

    Wait a couple months. We are positive that the good folks in Chicago, Cleveland, New York will more than happy to forward a winter bluzzard. By the way. Merry Christmas. It is only a little over four months away, and the season inventory rush has started. JML

  • markpanitz@yahoo.com[ July 22th, 2011 @ 2:41pm ]

    there will be service to.from willow to downtown los angeles your posting give the impression that ENTIRE LINE would be shut down its only the streetrunnig portion that wont have service

  • Alex Roman[ July 22th, 2011 @ 3:03pm ]

    Indeed Mark, thanks.

  • Bob L.[ July 22th, 2011 @ 4:02pm ]

    Could not the tree trimming be done at night during non-revenue hours. Yes, it would take longer, but the train service would not be interrupted.

  • Jeff Brown[ July 25th, 2011 @ 3:47am ]

    Someone asked why the tree trimming can't be done at night. This is a project that involves chain saws and a big wood chipper to dispose of the branches into the back of a truck; often a cherry picker is used to reach the branches. Night work would involve lots of bright lights at all angles to allow workers to see the tree branches and how they will fall. Safety would be compromised, and most neighbors object to that sort of thing.

  • Keith Charles Edwards[ July 25th, 2011 @ 1:19pm ]

    I thought L.A. had better sense. They must be learning from New York's bad habits.

  • MWilson[ July 26th, 2011 @ 3:46pm ]

    Your damned if you do, damned if you don't. It's just like road construction, if you do it at night, you got the lights and noise and dear "Johnny" can't get to sleep, if you do it during the day, dear "Johnny" can't get to work or is delayed due to detours or closures. No one is ever happy with routine maintenance.

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