- Page 3 of 18 -Fix Expo Campaign is a project of United Community Associations – an all-volunteer South L.A. Nonprofit.
There is absolutely no mention of system age among the factors listed in the 1998 MTA report. The causesdetermined are all behavioral or environmental and have to do with the operation of the line. The conditions onthe Blue Line are replicated or worse on the Expo Line.The fundamental difference is that in major American cities like New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.lengthy urban rail systems with frequently running trains intended to carry nearly 100,000 people a day are builtprimarily grade separated (no street crossings and primarily underground or elevated) in the urban core.
The Blue Line has 104 crossings, while the Expo Line has only 38 crossings, including 11 grade separated crossings where the trains are separated from vehicles and pedestrians.
Expo has 57 crossings, including 19 that it shares with the Blue Line from 12th/Flower toWashington/Flower. Indeed, the Flower St section of the Blue Line is the most accident-prone section of light railin the country. In that 0.6-mile portion 154 accidents were recorded in 18 years - an average of 9 per year in just a little over 1/2-mile. It's a testament to MTA's callous disregard for safety that, not only have they neglectedthe problems in this portion, they now propose DOUBLING the number of trains in the most accident-pronesection of light rail in the country! And what exactly is MTA/Expo's point in comparing the number of crossings? Are they insinuating that we'll
have half the number of deaths on the Expo Line as the Blue Line?That the Expo Line will
be the SECOND deadliest light rail line in the country?That instead of 500 deaths and 4500 accidents in the 100-year life of the project (the current pace of the BlueLine), Expo will
have 250 deaths and 2250 accidents?MTA/Expo's line of reasoning can only be defined as legally insane. Additionally, even MTA's own report shows they're expecting accident rates on Expo to be
than the BlueLine. (More about that on the website).
Light-rail fatalities, 1990-2002
City Miles of track WeekdayridershipFatalities
Los Angeles (Metro Blue Line) 22 70,000 61San Diego 47 75,000 22Portland, Ore. 38 81,000 14Sacramento 21 31,000 14San Jose, Calif. 31 30,000 9San Francisco 73 164,000 8Philadelphia 69 84,000 7Boston 51 231,000 6Denver 17 35,000 6Salt Lake City 18 28,000 5Baltimore 29 24,000 4Dallas 44 39,000 3New Orleans 16 14,000 2St. Louis 34 42,000 2Pittsburgh 18 25,000 2Buffalo 6 23,000 1Cleveland 15 15,000 0Newark, N.J. 9 8,000 0If age and lack of "technology" arethe primary reasons a rail line ismore deadly, then one wouldexpect other systems, which aremuch older and have FEWER safetymitigation measures to have moredeaths and accidents, correct? Butthe stats show that this is NOT thecase. In 2002, USA Today surveyedthe American Public Transportation Association statistics on light raildeaths from the Blue Line’sinception date in 1990 to 2002 andfound that in all categories the BlueLine was by far the deadliest lightrail system in America.
(The graphfrom the article is to the left.) Almost all of the systems areOLDER than the Blue Line and havefewer or similar safety mitigationmeasures as the Blue Line, yet theyall have a fraction the number of deaths as the Blue Line.
Graph is from the referenced USA Today article citing American Public Transportation Association statistics