Seriously? Metro May Not Have Enough Trains For Our Sweet Expo And Gold Line Extensions
Don't get too excited about Metro's Expo Line and Gold Line extensions just yet. It looks L.A. could be short by 50 trains for the 2015 and 2016 roll-outs.
A story posted on L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website on Wednesday reported that if Metro isn't able to get more trains produced in the next few years, the Expo Line extension that goes through to Santa Monica and the Gold Line extension to Azusa might be facing some issues, reported LA Observed. Namely, slowing down service, delaying the opening, or using other trains in the Metro system that aren't as great.
According to the website, Metro is growing worried about the situation:
Metro is so concerned about the problem that it’s dispatching a delegation to the manufacturer’s headquarters in Japan later this month in hopes of finding a way to speed up production—a tall order for a company that the agency acknowledges is on track with the aggressive schedule mutually agreed to under its contract.
Phase two of the Expo Line expansion is expected to be open to the public by Dec. 2015 and the Gold Line one to start running two months later, according to the website.
However, this problem isn't because Metro didn't plan ahead. Metro had originally hired AnsaldoBreda Inc. to manufacture the trains, but they failed to meet specifications Metro had requested for Gold Line trains. In April 2012, Metro's CEO Art Leahy pushed forward a vote for a new company to take over the job: Kinkisharyo International, LLC.
The whole incident put Metro behind by a year and Kinkisharyo is already working at an "unprecedented" delivery schedule that's "about twice as fast as normal," Richard Hunt, who is in charged of getting Metro train cars, told Yaroslavsky. The Kinkisharyo team is looking for a solution to speed up the process even more.
Let's send our positive thoughts that they get this all sorted out by 2015!