Los Angeles Residents Avoiding the Metro – Site of 22 Drug Overdose Deaths Since January
In recent years, the New York subway has been in the news repeatedly. People don’t like to ride it anymore because it’s no longer safe.
In Los Angeles, the metro system doesn’t get as much attention in the news, but is apparently just as bad.
People are starting to avoid using the train system due to crime and also because it’s the site of multiple drug overdose deaths.
The LA Times reports:
L.A. riders bail on Metro trains amid ‘horror’ of deadly drug overdoses, crime
Drug use is rampant in the Metro system. Since January, 22 people have died on Metro buses and trains, mostly from suspected overdoses — more people than all of 2022. Serious crimes soared 24% last year compared with the previous.
“Horror.” That’s how one train operator recently described the scenes he sees daily. He declined to use his name because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Earlier that day, as he drove the Red Line subway, he saw a man masturbating in his seat and several of what he calls sleepers, people who get high and nod off on the train.
“We don’t even see any businesspeople anymore. We don’t see anybody going to Universal. It’s just people who have no other choice [than] to ride the system, homeless people and drug users.”
Commuters have abandoned large swaths of the Metro train system. Even before the pandemic, ridership in the region was never as high as other big-city rail systems. For January, ridership on the Gold Line was 30% of the pre-pandemic levels, and the Red Line was 56% of them. The new $2.1-billion Crenshaw Line that officials tout as a bright spot with little crime had fewer than 2,100 average weekday boardings that month.
The Daily Caller has more on this:
The security chief for the transit agency previously said she’ll request that its board, which includes Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, expand the number of transit officers beyond the 200 already on the force, according to the LA Times. The board is also soon to decide on the issue of whether or not to extend their contracts with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Long Beach Police Department.
Some, however, are concerned by the efforts to increase policing. The transit authority allocated $122 million over the last year to add 300 unarmed “ambassadors” to help report crimes, according to the LA Times.
“What will harassment and jailing people who use drugs do to address drug use rates?” Alison Vu, a spokesperson for the ACT-LA, a social justice advocacy coalition that advocates against the agency’s contracts with law enforcement, said. “We’ve poured so much money into policing, without any measurable impact on care or safety for transit riders.”
The Metro clearly needs more policing, and naturally the left thinks this is a bad idea.
Is there any wonder why normal people are choosing to drive instead?