COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: San Jose, California – September 14, 2018
Light Rail service in San Jose’s Japantown was shut down on Friday night, after a woman became pinned under a VTA light rail train near 1st and Jackson streets.NBC Bay Area and Mercury News report that the woman, who sustained “unknown injuries”, was rushed to the local hospital after being hit by the train at approximately 9:30 PM. Passengers were required to disembark trains and board a bus bridge, and service was disrupted for a total of 1-and-a-half hours as Valley Transit Authority (VTA) was not able to restore light rail service until about 11:00 PM.
The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway. Incidents like this where LRT trains are involved in collisions with vehicles or pedestrians can prove fatal for those who are hit, and generally necessitate complete shut downs of that segment of the LRT system.
In July of this year, San Jose’s VTA light rail was disrupted after a horrific crash between a train and two vehicles, which caused extensive damage to the tracks and overhead lines. The crash was captured on surveillance video that showed the two cars being slammed into by a light rail train at high speed. Two people died in this incident, and some passengers and the train operator were injured.
Surveillance video of the @VTA light rail crash from @HapasBrewing.— Katie Nielsen (@KatieKPIX) July 9, 2018
You can see a car stopped at the crossing in the upper left. A car comes from the right, doesn’t stop & gets hit by the train. People on the patio duck for cover as the train & car barrel down the tracks.@KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/iKBispVSel
Light rail service in the area was shut down starting at 12:30 PM and disruptions continued for the entire day. Repairs to extensive damage to both the track and the overhead lines were not completed until the next morning at 5 AM. That’s a total of over 16 hours of service disruptions from one accident!
According to a recent safety campaign by the VTA for National Rail Safety Month, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours in the United States.
“It felt like a tin can was crunching,” said Train Passenger Jose Zarate. “You see the walls coming down on you. You don’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if it was a bomb. I didn’t know what it was. I just didn’t know it was a car.”
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT).
With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.
Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be a trustworthy and reliable service. A street-running LRT system will not deliver one.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]