About This Blog

This blog is about recurrent problems with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's public transit system. My particular crusade involves flagship line 910 (the "Silver Line") and its persistent, institutional unreliability after 9 PM.

I have been dealing directly and in good faith with Metro for some time now on this issue, but that private dialog has not resulted in any improvement in service. I started this blog in an attempt to provide another more public source of motivation for Metro to address their systemic failures.

Below I have posted my entire email exchange with Metro on this subject, and I will continue to update as the saga continues. The correspondence begins in November of 2011 only because that is when I discovered how to contact customer service. The problems with the silver line (and its transitway predecessors) started well before then. This email chain is unedited, except that I redacted my own name and contact info, and I removed redundant quotes of previous messages. Names and email addresses of Metro personnel have not been removed. I encourage you to contact them with your own thoughts. Also, feel free to leave comments here. I will probably delete anything vacuous or off topic, but if you have other complaints that aren't getting any traction, or if you have any suggestions that might improve service, please let me know.

For new visitors, the best way to read this blog is chronologically from bottom to top. The earliest entry is dated 2011-11-30. Since I can't seem to force all the posts onto one page, you'll have to start by clicking "2011" in the "Blog Archive" just below, or scroll all the way down and click "Older Posts."



From: fixmetro
Subject: Re: silver line MIA
Date: July 13, 2012 01:30:30 PDT
To: HorneT@metro.net
Cc: AlejandroF@metro.net, borja.leon@lacity.org, GreenwoodM@metro.net, CustomerRelations@metro.net, BoardSecretary@metro.net, SOTOPA@metro.net, ALARCONR@METRO.NET, Hollandr@metro.net

Since you implemented your "fix" I have only attempted to take the nighttime silver line a few times. This is partly due to vacation and travel, and partly due to obvious trust issues. I think I successfully caught it twice at harbor freeway station after 9 pm in the last couple of weeks. 

Tonight, July 12, the 9:03 bus did not arrive at harbor freeway station. Since my green line train was plenty early, I actually went down to the freeway level first, just to verify that the temporary signs were still up indicating that buses after nine come on the street level (they were). I was on Figueroa at about 8:50 at which time nextbus said the nine o'clock was 17 minutes out. It never came and eventually disappeared from nextbus. 

So I hung around for the 9:33. That never came either. That, too, was on nextbus, but never arrived on the street level. 

Purely out of indignant curiosity, I continued to wait for the 10:02 bus. It arrived at 10:20. I think at that point I was actually hoping it wouldn't show up. At least I was able to write most of this email during my hour and a half wait. I hope you will also be hearing from the poor SOB who could not get his bike on the rack and had to wait ANOTHER hour (you know... assuming the 11 o'clock actually showed up). 

I trust metro is not happy with ~50% reliability, but clearly you're not THAT bothered by it. If I did my job that poorly, it would cost billions of dollars, and possibly human lives. Actually, I'd certainly be fired for incompetence long before it ever went that far. I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around how difficult it could possibly be to keep a bus line running. I'm not even talking about on time. I mean how hard is it just to get buses to show up AT ALL? This ain't rocket science. 

No doubt the drivers are unionized and require 300 completely missed shifts before you can fire them. But what level of dereliction is required to fire a manager? Something drastic needs to happen. 

I must admit you did raise my hopes there for a little while, but I am back to writing just for catharsis. Please do keep me in the loop as to what further half-assed measures you plan to try in hopes of herding your silver line cats. In the meantime, I'll be resorting to the internet and my county supervisor for satisfaction. And I'll probably go back to driving my single-occupant vehicle... not all the time, but a lot more often than I do currently. 

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