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L.A. Metro audit found nearly 2,600 rail service disruptions in 2016

The audit called on the agency to better identify root caues of service problems.
Photo – L.A. Metro


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) rail system experienced 2,585 service disruptions in 2016, according to a recent audit.

Of that total, 441 delays involved passenger health incidents or policing issues, while the remaining 2,144 occurred due to equipment problems and staffing shortages.

Of the agency's five rail lines, the Blue Line recorded the most incidents at 689 disruptions. The Blue Line, which opened in July 1990, is Metro's oldest.

The audit's authors questioned whether Metro's $4.8 billion state-of-good-repair budget for the next decade would be enough, agency officials wrote in a blog post. The audit was prepared by the agency's office of inspector general.

"While expansion of the system is critical, it cannot take place at the expense of maintaining the existing system," the audit stated. "Setting this balance, however, requires a firmer understanding of the condition of the core infrastructure. Expediting the work currently underway will position Metro to better make these tradeoffs."

In addition, the audit recommended that Metro better identify the root causes of service problems to ensure they’re resolved.

The report made 57 total recommendations that Metro can work on to track and reduce incidents that could cause service disruptions. In particular, the audit called on Metro to finish asset inventories in an expedited fashion and then use them to lay the foundation for a revised state-of-good-repair plan.

Additionally, the report asked the agency to perform more thorough investigations and analysis to determine the root causes for high-frequency failures.

The service disruptions notwithstanding, trains have arrived on-time about 98 percent of the time for the last three years, according to Metro's blog.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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