Los Angeles’ Blue Line has the distinction of being the first light-rail in the nation, running between downtown L.A. and Long Beach. It also has a checkered safety record, with an average of fifty-one accidents during its first twelve years of operation (1990-2002.)
For the last decade, the numbers have been relatively low, but statistics from the first half of this year show a disturbing increase: twenty-two accidents and six fatalities, four of which were ruled suicide. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, also a Metro board member, described the accident record as an “open sore” to the Los Angeles Times, and stated that it is “long past time to take a look at what’s going on.”
Why are numbers increasing, and what can Metro do to improve the situation?
Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Third District; board member at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Art Leahy, chief executive officer, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority