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Power outage briefly stops Blue Line between Long Beach, L.A.

July 16, 2012 |  8:14 am

A power outage briefly shut down service to Metro's Blue Line between Long Beach and Los Angeles, temporarily threatening the Monday-morning commute.

The transit agency reported on Twitter about 7:15 a.m. that the line was closed between the Anaheim and Del Amo stations and said buses were being brought in to shuttle passengers along the affected route.

But Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said as it turned out the buses weren't necessary, as crews were able to reenergize the tracks by about 7:25 a.m., restoring service in both directions. The outage was first reported about a half-hour earlier, he said.

Stretching from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles, the Blue Line is one of the nation's busiest light-rail routes with 26-million annual riders. But the 22-year-old line — which is also the oldest and most-used in Los Angeles County — has been plagued by a rash of delays and breakdowns.

When reporting an uptick in late or canceled Blue Line trains earlier this year, The Times learned that at least $239 million in maintenance on the line had been put off over the last decade, part of a $1.3-billion maintenance backlog over the entire Metro network.

Most of the work elsewhere involves service vehicles, stations and other facilities, but the Blue Line's to-do list includes more critical elements, such as tracks, signals and passenger cars.

Metro officials said the agency was working to address the Blue Line's maintenance problems and planned to put $558 million into the system by 2020, including $203 million for new cars.


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Photo: Commuters wait for train at the Blue Line's Pico station in Los Angeles the morning of Feb. 23, when a power outage caused up to two hours of delays. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times