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Metrolink holds safety workshop for regional transit agencies

March 20, 2012 |  9:11 pm

Metrolink trains pass in Colton.

The Metrolink commuter railroad on Tuesday held a safety workshop for officials responsible for overseeing transportation agencies that operate buses, trains, subways and light-rail lines throughout the region.

The one-day program at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles brought together federal and state safety experts, transportation agency executives and members of transportation commissions in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

The program included presentations by National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt and former Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mortimer Downey, who now serves on the Washington Metro board of directors. Sumwalt and Downey were joined by safety experts from the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, which co-hosted the workshop.

Metrolink officials said the program was the first of its kind to reach out to high-ranking officials who oversee public transit systems.

The workshop also is part of an effort by the railroad’s chief executive, John Fenton, to improve the safety of regional transportation and restore Metrolink’s reputation in the wake of the deadly Chatsworth crash in September 2008 that killed 25 people and injured more than 130.

With 512 miles of track, Metrolink is the third-largest commuter rail service in the nation. It averages more than 40,000 riders per weekday from six Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.


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Photo: Metrolink trains pass each other in Colton. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times