Southern California breaking news and trends

Metro bus driver attacked at the wheel; passengers grab suspect

metro bus busses mta

Photo by Metro Transportation Library and Archive via Flickr Creative Commons

A Metro bus driver was attacked at the wheel early Monday morning, according to officials. The incident occured near LAX just before 2:30 a.m.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority representative Rick Jager told the AP that the bus driver was struck on the head multiple times by a male passenger who tried to take control the wheel. The attack was stopped by several passengers who grabbed the alleged assailant. 

The suspect, along with a number of passengers, hit the windshield when the driver applied the brakes during the scuffle. 

About a dozen passengers were on board at the time of the attack. One was treated for cuts; the suspect was was treated for leg pain and arrested on suspicion of carjacking. 

A motive for the episode was not immediately clear.

In May, Metro bus driver Alan Thomas was killed in a shotgun attack on a West Hollywood route after a passenger allegedly pulled a weapon from a suitcase shortly after boarding the vehicle.

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Fee ride: Possible end of the line for LA subway honor system

tickets la subway metro

Photo by Frederick Dennstedt via Flickr Creative Commons

Metro ticket machines at the Hollywood/Highland station in Los Angeles, CA.

A meeting on Thursday may determine the future of the L.A. subway honor system.

Rogue rail-riders may be forced to pay after more than two decades of what has essentially been an "honor system" for regional train travel.

The board of Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to vote Thursday on whether or not to start locking gates at its stations.

If approved, the lockdown would begin in July at select stations. Passengers would be required to tap a pass or a ticket with a microchip in order to gain access.

The roving, at-random ticket checking system that's currently in place has cost the authority approximately $7 million a year, according to official estimates. 

Experiments in gate-locking were tested at 10 stations last year. Ticket purchases reportedly rose by 68 percent.

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