Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro board member Janice Hahn is demanding that Metro replace some of its oldest buses after a CBS Los Angeles report revealed that seven of these buses have caught fire since 2015.
According to the report, the buses are older diesel vehicles operated in the South Bay by a private company on Metro’s behalf. No one has been injured in the fires, but a driver tells CBS2 that passengers have been on board buses when flames broke out.
Metro aims to replace all 52 of the vehicles by this summer, but Hahn submitted a motion Wednesday asking Metro officials to take the buses out of commission sooner.
“I am concerned about the safety of the bus drivers and the passengers who ride these buses regularly,” Hahn said in a statement. “Not only do I want these buses replaced, I also want a full investigation into these incidents.”
Relying on interviews with drivers and data gathered from driver logs, the CBS2 report highlights a host of potential safety issues with the buses, including unresponsive brakes and excessive smoke.
On Wednesday, Hahn described footage of firefighters dousing a smoldering bus as “shocking.” That footage was aired as part of the CBS2 investigation.
Hahn’s motion also calls on Metro officials to review its contracts with third-party bus operators and to explain why the board wasn’t notified when vehicles caught fire.