The new Expo Line train connecting Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles had a rough start on its first regular weekday run, as a drunk driver crashed through a fence and left his car across both the eastbound and the westbound tracks Monday.
EXPO LINE: Disruption due to auto blocking tracks. Westbound trains turn back at Expo/Western. Eastbound trains turn back at Expo/Crenshaw.
— Metro Rider Alerts (@metrolaalerts) May 23, 2016
It took roughly five hours for the wreck to be fully cleared, according to service alerts from the L.A. Metro. Police arrested the driver, who allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.21 — nearly three times the 0.08 legal limit.
… The crash occurred around 5:30 a.m., and the driver was unhurt.
The car managed to lodge across both the east and westbound Expo tracks, disrupting service in both directions between Crenshaw Boulevard and Western Avenue until the car was towed. Metro representative Jose Ubaldo told LAist that Expo trains continued to run from Santa Monica to the Crenshaw/Expo stop, and from 7th and Metro downtown to the Expo/Western station. Buses bridged the section between Western and Crenshaw, ferrying passengers the 1.5 miles between the stations so they could re-board the train. Service was delayed up to an hour, according to Ubaldo. So much for a fast and easy commute.
A local reporter, Pete Demetrio of KMX, tweeted the arrest:
— Pete Demetriou (@knxpete) May 23, 2016
No other drivers were reported hurt, and no passengers — but the image of L.A. Metro was certainly damaged, at least for the time being. Conditions at the downtown Santa Monica train station — bustling since the line’s launch on May 20 — were quiet.
The Expo Line is being touted as the alternative to cars for thousands of daily commuters and weekend sightseers. However, it crosses ordinary roads in many places, and there were two crashes bewtween cars and locomotives during the testing phase.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.