Although the number of accidental deaths on the Metro Blue Line appear to be falling, the suicide rate remains “troubling and high,” transit officials announced Monday.
The 22-mile line that connects downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach has the dubious distinction as the most fatal transit line in Southern California. Since its opening in 1990, the line has seen more suicides -- 31 -- than the county’s four other light-rail lines combined. This year alone, there have been three suicides on the Blue Line. In the last 18 months, there have been seven.
Recent investments, including new signage, special gates at pedestrian-heavy crossings and 14 new safety officers who warn passengers about oncoming trains have helped stem the number of accidental deaths, officials said. This year, the Blue Line has had one non-suicide death. At this time last year, there had been four.
So far, the safety officers, all retired train or bus operators, have stopped three potential suicides.
"We can't stop them all," L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairwoman Diane DuBois told reporters Monday. The tracks intersect roadways and walkways in more than 100 places.