Carson officials ask Metro to suspend transit service throughout LA County

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Friday, April 3, 2020
Carson suspends bus service, urges LA Metro to follow suit
The city of Carson has stopped its transit service to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is urging Metro to halt service throughout Los Angeles County.

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- City of Carson officials are urging the Metro transit system to halt services throughout Los Angeles County after one driver tested positive for coronavirus.

At a city hall news conference Thursday, the entire Carson city council urged the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to stop all bus service in the county.

At the Carson facility, Metro reports that one driver tested positive for the coronavirus.

Carson has just under 100,000 residents. City officials are working on a deal with Lyft to drive residents around the city to do their errands at a discounted rate, with the city paying part of the cost.

Officials aren't pulling any punches as to why they want bus service to be stopped.

They say someone on the bus could be infected and spread the virus to passengers and then out to the general public.

"Churches are essential, but they've been closed down. Many other businesses that provide essential services have been closed down. Have done the responsible thing. But for L.A. Metro to not be responsible, not care about their own employees, not care about the passengers, not care about the community at-large and immediately suspend their operations is just irresponsible," Carson Mayor Albert Robles said.

They're urging neighboring South Bay cities to join their effort demanding Metro to halt all bus service.

In Santa Clarita a driver with that city's transit system has died from COVID-19. Two other bus drivers have tested positive for the virus.

Metro released this statement: "The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) intends to continue providing service to L.A. County. Because Metro is a critical entity for Southern California's health, business and civic infrastructure, we are committed to continuing our operations to ensure that public transportation remains available for first-responders, healthcare workers and other key members of the workforce who need to move across Los Angeles County. Metro is still carrying approximately 300,000 people per day - that's how many essential workers rely on the service. Our agency has strengthened cleaning of our buses, trains, and at Union Station and our other major transit hubs. This includes an elevated focus on cleaning high touch point areas such as handrails, elevator call buttons, and ticket vending machines. On a daily basis we continue to review our agency's cleaning protocols to ensure that they are up-to-date as the current situation evolves. We are doing everything possible to maintain a healthy and safe system for our customers who rely heavily on Metro buses and trains as their lifeline to get where they need to go through LA County. Metro will continue to provide service as long as we possibly can."