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: August 16, 2012 01:41:48 PDT
To: HorneT@metro.net
Cc: GALVANJ@metro.net, AlejandroF@metro.net, borja.leon@lacity.org, GreenwoodM@metro.net, CustomerRelations@metro.net, BoardSecretary@metro.net, SOTOPA@metro.net, WoodsonJ@metro.net, Hollandr@metro.net, MCano@lacbos.org, SNemer@lacbos.org, SCruz@lacbos.org, KBarger@lacbos.org

So has the problem been "fixed" ... again? I have completely avoided the silver line for a month now, since the last time two consecutive buses failed to show up. I haven't exactly been holding my breath, but I was expecting to hear back eventually. 

Please tell me metro has done something substantial this time, like a leadership change, regular face to face meetings with ALL of the drivers, and frequent secret shoppers at harbor freeway station (or is that my job?). I have zero faith that leaving notes in drivers' cubbyholes and hoping for the best will accomplish anything. 

Or if metro has just given up on ever getting the silver line to run properly, let me know and I'll continue my current mix of longer routes and solo driving. 


  1. You do seem to be in the vortex of Silver Line problems, boarding at the Green Line station on a detour which some drivers take and some drivers don't. This is supposed to be a permanent detour but it is not listed on the route sheets.

    Incidentally, since we KNOW that the route is on a permanent "detour" for beyond the length of one shakeup (this has gone on since February 2011), what should have happened originally is operationally is that the night route be given an "A" designation, and a physically separate map and turn by turn directions be given for those trips. You can look at the schedules for Line 70 and 76 and that is how they do their night service. It should be done the same here.

    My biggest complaint is the botched connections at each end of the line to the former through routes (246/247 and 484/490), especially at night. At least the Silver Streak and 70/76 operate as alternates from downtown to El Monte. The Artesia side doesn't have anything coming from downtown at all.

  2. I've been looking at the Silver Line tonight off and on using the Nextbus public API (pasting GPS coordinates into Google) and TransSee (http://doconnor.homeip.net/TransSee/RouteStops.php?a=lametro&r=910) which has an option that lets you find out how late the bus is. On this semi-random night you have the late buses 20-40 minutes late, and I know from past experience one driver out of the two takes his full allotted break at each end, while the other driver doesn't. Using GPS tracking one driver got off at Atlantic and decided to use Valley Boulevard to get on the Busway (!!!) which means that it will probably blow the 2 AM last 246 bus out at Artesia. You at least have it easier since your Gold Line connections are every 20 minutes. Mine to the the east SGV are hourly and usually I opt to drive to El Monte because of the bad service and greater options of taking 70/76 if I just want to get on a bus.

    Bugging the politicians is good but remember that if you are in the SGV you can also bug John Fasana. Also Art Leahy at leahya@metro.net - although he is swamped with emails like the President he does sometimes pick a few to personally take care of. Also, post your web site on the various blogs that discuss the Silver Line - LAist and Curbed did articles about this as well. Get the word out there how unreliable it is.

    Really, the best solution is upping it to every 20 minutes at all hours of service, like the other colored lines. This solves most of the problems with connections and management. There will still be odd 40 minute gaps in service but with Nextbus and advanced Nextbus tools like TransSee you can manage around it.

  3. Hi calwatch. Thanks for the comments. Hopefully metro will be reading them, too.

    I've posted to more sites now, including laweekly. In his message on 8/16, Tom Horne of customer service added Art Leahy to the distro list. I don't know if that means anything in terms of this really having his attention, but it can't be bad, I suppose.

    It seems that metro has so far refused to devote any significant resources to fixing this, and they think a 7 day pass will make this all go away. So I'd be pretty surprised if they suddenly decided to increase service to 20 minute intervals. It would be nice, though.