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Suspicious Subway Package Leaves Thousands Stranded

November 04, 2005|From a Times Staff Writer

A suspicious package at a subway stop in Universal City on Thursday temporarily stranded as many as 20,000 evening rush-hour passengers, many of them headed for the newly opened Orange Line bus service into the San Fernando Valley.

"This is making it tough for a lot of people. You can ditch your car and take public transportation, but you have to be willing to put up with stuff like this," said Orange Line passenger Charles Orndorff, a courier company employee who lives in Simi Valley.

Surging crowds rushed shuttle buses that had been hastily brought to Hollywood to carry passengers to the San Fernando Valley before it was determined that the package was harmless.

"Come on, guys, let's be civilized," one harried MTA employee yelled as he tried to keep order at the door of a bus.

Some of the bus drivers didn't know how to reach the Orange Line. Passenger Raquel Benadda, a respiratory therapist who lives in Reseda, went to the front of one jammed bus to give directions to the driver.

"You turn left on Lankershim and go straight to Chandler," Benadda instructed as passengers in the back of the shuttle bus yelled, "Let's get this bus moving."

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