Friday, January 22, 2010

Gold Line Drama

This past week in L.A. there's been a deluge of rain and wet weather, but luckily for this public transit commuter the actual trip time hasn't been severely affected. That is until this morning when around 4:00am a tree fell on the tracks and caused closures from Sierra Madre Villa Station to Southwest Museum Station. As my home station is Mission in South Pasadena, I knew I'd be in for an adventure to get to work. I assured the bearded man not to worry and feel free to take our one rain proof vehicle (Scooter in pouring rain didn't sound like a good idea). I departed at 8:10am hoping to at minimum catch Route 176 that travels to Figueroa and York and transfer to Route 81 that travels down Figueroa through Downtown L.A. Lucky for me I managed to walk right on the bridge bus transporting passengers between the stranded stations and Southwest Museum Station. For the 2 stops we visited (Highland Park and Southwest Museum) I found Metro staff to be informative and quickly moving people along as best as possible. I made it to work in about 50 minutes, or about 3 times as long as it would take on a normal operation day.

I did hear from other co-workers at stations farther northbound (Fillmore) there was little to no Metro presence or explanation regarding the situation. I understand that it is difficult to react quickly, but information is key. With the no-cost, instant ways to transmit timely information via Twitter, there is little excuse for Metro in not keeping their riders informed of service disruptions. I know a few months ago Metro was looking for a blogger to keep the public abreast of developing transit issues, but it appears they have a greater need for a Twitter account manager transmitting issues like today's in real time.

Luckily for me, close to 25% of my department takes the Gold Line to work so there was much sympathy and understanding when I arrived to work 30 minutes late. Looking forward to taking the Gold Line Eastside extension this afternoon to Mariachi Plaza for a michelada at Eastside Luv!

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