By Matthew Hetz, October 30, 2015
SIGNS OF TROUBLE ON METRO-I just returned home from a trip to
Downtown Los Angeles. I parked at the Expo Line Culver City Station,
took Expo to the 7th Street Station to the subway and got off at the
Civic Center Station for a social function at the Los Angeles County
Hall of Administration.
The return home was the reverse. I took
the subway from the Civic Center Station to the 7th Street Station.
After climbing the stairs from the subway to the light rail platform I
turned and saw a train on the tracks. If this was my train, it was
ideal. A very short wait, and off I’d go. However, the sign on the
middle of the three cars listed “Los Angeles.” I wanted “Culver City.”
was rather odd to see the Los Angeles sign on a train already in Los
Angeles, at the 7th Street Metro Station, so I rightfully assumed it was
for the Blue Line which shares the tracks and station with the Expo
Line. The Blue Line runs between DTLA and DTLB (Downtown Long Beach.)
So, if the train was in Long Beach heading north, the sign for the train
car should read “Los Angeles;” it just needs changed to “Long Beach.”
front marquee of the last car of the train was dimly showing “Long
Beach.” Yes, this makes sense, I thought, the train at the platform with
doors open, ready to roll, should be going to Long Beach.
However, the station monitors listed the Culver City Expo Train
departing in three minutes, and the Long Beach Blue Line departing in
seven minutes. This didn’t make sense. The train at the platform said
Los Angeles and Long Beach, but it wasn’t due to leave for seven
minutes. The Culver City bound Expo train was leaving before it -- in
three minutes. The Expo train should have been the one at the platform
-- but that train showed “Los Angeles and Long Beach.”
to the front car that had signs for “Culver City.” There were three cars
on that same train, each with a different designation. This was quite
confusing. A fellow rider said the one at the platform was the Expo for
Culver City. Maybe…I wasn’t sure.
I tried to track down a train
operator to confirm this. A few shouts to him and a thin reply was
returned…yes, it was the Expo Line. Three different cars, three
different destinations, one train. It was almost impossible.
This is one of Metro’s weakest points: confusion created by their signs.
don’t know if this is due to carelessness, ignorance, not caring about
the riders or the inability to properly run a rail line. But this is not
the first time this has happened to me with this train at this
It cannot be that difficult to make sure that when a
train pulls up to the platform, it is ready to roll. That means it must
have clear, uniform and non-conflicting signs on each car. Every sign on
every car must have the same correct designation.
This is becoming a joke. A sad, repeated bad
joke. How hard is it to make sure that when a train pulls up to the
platform to pick up and carry riders to their destinations that every sign on every car for that train has the identical and correct designation? I mean, how hard is that?