Metrolink crash worries students

Aston Tan

The Metrolink accident that has so far claimed the lives of 25 people, including a CSUN student, has left some with mixed feelings about the state of public transportation here in the southland.

‘I’ll be scared now since I have to take the train to go home,’ said 18-year-old Pierce College student Tifanny Wilson. ‘What if anything were to happen?’

Investigators have discovered that Friday’s collision, according to Metrolink over the weekend, was the most disastrous in 15 years and was caused by an engineer running a red light. Further reports by various media outlets said that the engineer was text messaging right before the accident and that the collision could have been avoided if more sophisticated warning and control devices were installed.

Senior CTVA major Erik Hohenberger, however, remains unfazed by the accident.

‘I haven’t taken the train before but I would still, mainly because if you look at the track record, most of the trains here in the United States run very efficiently,’ he said.

‘If we only have a crash every 15 years, the chances of meeting another one tomorrow is really slim,’ said Hohenberger.

‘If a train accident is caused by someone’s oversight, that’s just bad luck,’ Hohenberger added.

‘I don’t take it often, but even still I would probably take it to like, San Diego,’ said David Ta, 23, a video digital art major who takes public transport because of high gas prices.

Sports medicine and psychology major Brenyale Watson, 19, said that as a result of the crash she was switching to buses exclusively, even if it meant taking a longer route.

‘If that’s where you have to go and if you have to get a ride, I wouldn’t trust the Metro,’ said Watson, who is a regular train rider.

Others said that the Metrolink plays too big a role in Los Angeles’ public transit system and that completely cutting it off would be unrealistic.

Metrolink is taking steps to get the system up and running again. Service through the Ventura County line through Chatsworth is slated to resume service Monday at 3 p.m. and buses will be provided at Van Nuys station for people to complete their trip.

‘I have faith in our public transportation system because it has worked quite well before,’ said Hohenberger. ‘It’s a tragedy but it is not some thing that will happen everyday. You can’t revolve around something like that.’