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Metro conducts safety crackdown on Blue Line as fatalities rise

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is making a rare appeal for the public's help to stop the increase of suicides on Blue Line rail tracks.
September 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is making a personal appeal to the public in an attempt to help stop suicides on their Blue Line trains.

According to the transit agency, there have been seven suicides on the Metro Blue Line in less than two years and 31 since 1990.

The total number of suicides on all other rail lines since their inception totals 12.

"We've reached the point where we must appeal to the public," said Metro spokesman Marc Littman.

Metro is reportedly working on a lot of safety improvements to cut down on the problem surrounding the Blue Line trains but they need the public's help.

On Monday, officials in Los Angeles began focusing on the issue, asking the public to extend help for people who might be contemplating killing themselves - before they make it onto the tracks.

Theartis Blue shared his experiences as a former Blue Line train operator and said drivers cannot stop their trains on time.

"It takes that train three football fields to stop once in motion," said Blue. "The driver doesn't have a chance. It doesn't affect just the person, it affects the driver too."

Metro officials were joined by law enforcement at the Blue Line Willowbrook station Monday. They citied pedestrians and drivers for unsafe behavior around the rail station and tracks.

The Blue Line traverses some of Los Angeles County's poorest areas on its 22-mile route between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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