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Stupid Cars Keep Ruining LA's Newest Train

Whoops. (Image: @KNXpete)
Whoops. (Image: @KNXpete)

Los Angeles’s Expo Line, the first passenger train to go from downtown LA to Santa Monica in 60 years, started officially running on Friday afternoon. But Monday morning was the first time that thousands of eager commuters boarded it for work. That’s right about when a drunk driver crashed onto the tracks. Jerk!


According to ABC7, a car crashed through the barriers near USC around 5:30 a.m. and stopped right on the tracks. Service was interrupted for about two hours, but buses ferried passengers around the car until it was cleared and the train was reopened.


This isn’t even the first time the brand-new Expo Line has had a run-in with a car. Last week a truck turned into the train while the train was doing its final safety testing.

This isn’t altogether unusual, nor is it an LA-specific problem—people are idiots everywhere)—but it points to a big issue with all trains that share streets with cars. In addition to possibly being inconvenienced by intoxicated operators, streetcars and some light rail trains have to stop at certain places to let vehicular traffic by. There are calls for the Expo Line to prioritize the train over cars in several at-grade crossings to make the train travel faster.

The drunk driver in question this morning was arrested after blowing .21 at the scene. I hope that driver has to ride public transit for the rest of their freaking life.




Alissa is the former urbanism editor at Gizmodo.

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“Stupid cars”? Stupid drivers more like.

I don’t know why some American drivers have such trouble driving around trains. I think I hear more cases of someone doing something stupid that holds up the train each year here in California, than I heard in my 30 years of living in the UK.