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.
While PTC may have just recently entered the consciousness of the public at-large, it has been an issue for freight and commuter rail systems since Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) (P.L. 110-432) in 2008 following the collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles. Since that time, rail organizations have been working toward meeting the federally-mandated PTC implementation deadline of December 31, 2015. With less than six months to go, several commuter rail systems have said that, not only will they not meet the deadline, they will need several more years before having full PTC implementation on their trains.
Disruptive technologies and the new era of information sharing are helping to evolve and advance public transportation in our nation’s greatest cities. Nearly 300 mayors and government officials convened in San Francisco June 19-22 for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 83rd Annual Meeting, featuring remarks from President Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I was invited to speak in front of these influential government leaders to discuss “Technology and the Transformation of Urban Transportation.” This article will give readers an inside look at the conversation.
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