By Miriam Raftery
August 29, 2014 (La Mesa)--Two security officers caught on video beating a passenger on a trolley in La Mesa on August 18th have lost their jobs, Transit Systems Security has informed Metropolitan Transit System. MTS contracts with TSS to provide security services on trolleys and busses countywide.
“This incident never should have happened and we will take all appropriate steps internally and with TSS to help prevent future occurrences,” said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski in reference to the altercation between a passenger and two TSS security officers. “We do not tolerate that kind of behavior.”
TROLLEY BEATING IN LA MESA NOT THE FIRST ALLEGATION OF ABUSE BY TROLLEY SECURITY; RACIAL PROFILING ALSO ALLEGED IN PAST
By Miriam Raftery
August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Surveillance video of two Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) security officers brutally beating a passenger in La Mesa has prompted suspension of the officers and a police investigation, as ECM reported. But now an ECM investigation reveals that it may be only the tip of an iceberg.
A Facebook page titled “Stop MTS Harassment and Brutality!” with the logo shown at left was launched back on March 3, 2014 by Bertha Guttierez of Chula Vista. Posts and links at the site reveal at least three additional excessive use of force cases involving MTS security officers, two of them also involving victims who alleged racial profiling , racial slurs and taunts by the officers.
April 3, 2013 (San Diego) – Padres baseball returns on Tuesday, April 9, and MTS has scheduled extra service for the Green Line and Blue to get people out to the ball game in time for the first pitch. And, while supplies last, MTS will give fans a Coca-Cola beverage and a box of Cracker Jacks to encourage fans to get on board early.
Extra service on the Green Line – which now goes from Santee all the way to ball park area stations – begins at 1:30 p.m. with more frequency between the Qualcomm Stadium station and downtown. Blue Line extra service begins at 1:45 p.m. from San Ysidro.
By Miriam Raftery and Janis Mork
February 15, 2013 (La Mesa)--It’s not often that a mayor accuses a councilmember of lying in a public meeting, or that a councilmember contends the mayor is engaging in schoolyard banter. Both happened in La Mesa this week, where Mayor Art Madrid and Councilmember Ernie Ewin engaged in a terse dispute over appointments to three regional boards plus travel expenses.
January 31, 2013 (San Diego) – MTS has completed its transition from paper Day Passes to Compass Cards. To help riders, it has a new YouTube video (click here) showing how easy it is to purchase a 1-Day Pass on Compass Card from a Trolley ticket machine and to use it on MTS Trolleys and buses.
By Miriam Raftery
January 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A reader asked ECM to look into why graffiti along trolley lines in El Cajon have not yet been cleaned up despite complaints spanning a year. “Several citizens have been more than frustrated,” wrote Maryann Ostermeyer, who said that to date, neither the city nor Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) has taken responsibility for cleanup.
“It has taken a long time, but it is due solely to MTS regs about who and how people work within their ROW (right-of-way),” City Manager Douglas Wililford wrote in an e-mail to Councilman Gary Kendrick in response to ECM’s inquiry. “We have been diligent about this and will continue to be," he wrote, then cited progress in efforts to work with MTS.
By Nadin Abbott
December 18, 2012 (San Diego)-- it was raining and it was cold this morning at Qualcomm Stadium, as union members prepared to give 500 families the fixings for a Christmas Dinner and toys for their children.
One of the recipients was Veronica, who did not share her last name. She is a member of the ATU, local 1309. She drives transit buses for a living. We just talked for a second. But the problem Veronica has, like many other low income families in San Diego, is that she does not get enough hours to make ends meet. She is a mother of several children.
September 1, 2012 (San Diego) – Beginning September 2, all trolley lines end in the downtown area, providing single seat service to downtown from everywhere on the Trolley network. It’s all part of the Trolley Renewal project, designed to improve Blue Line and Orange Line stations and bring low-floor cars to the entire Trolley system.
Now, the Green Line will travel through Old Town and terminate at 12th & Imperial via Seaport Village, Convention Center and Gaslamp Quarter stations. Blue Line trains will travel between San Ysidro and America Plaza. Orange Line trains will travel between El Cajon and Santa Fe Depot.
In addition to an improved Trolley network, the Metropolitan Transit System will add considerable bus services on September 2.
An Open House at the El Cajon Transit Center will be held April 14 with others around the county throughout the month.
April 10, 2012 (San Diego) -- For the first time since the economic downturn began in 2008, the Metropolitan Transit System is planning to add Bus and Trolley services. MTS will hold several open houses at transit centers to get rider input on planned service improvements and the opportunity to learn about proposed changes and ask questions in an informal setting.
- Lemon Grove considers downtown rule change (UT San Diego)
- Fletcher bolts GOP as San Diego mayoral race nears (Sacramento Bee)
- Former college official, architect arraigned (UT San Diego)
- Underemployment holding back San Diego economy (KPBS)
- Candlelight vigil held for slain Iraqi woman (10 News)
- Redevelopment pigs back at the trough (San Diego Reader)
- MTS boosts benefits for boss by $20,000 (10 News)
- Records Suggest Move Against Racist Icon Tom Metzger in Bombing (SPLC)
- California Legislative Democrats balk at Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts (Sacramento Bee)
- California GOP lawmakers push budget plan to cut state workers’ pay, nix tax increase (Sacramento Bee)
- Gov. Jerry Brown’s solar energy campaign (Sacramento Bee)
December 19, 2011(San Diego) -- The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is expanding Trolley service for the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 21. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. and fans can park for free at MTS park-and-rides to avoid traffic and parking hassles.
November 16, 2011 (Santee) -- If you are looking for a family event that is guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit, mark your calendar for the City of Santee Holiday Lighting Celebration. The event is scheduled for Friday, November 18, at the Santee Trolley Square from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The cost is free. It is an event that celebrates the start of the holiday season.
May 7, 2011 (Jamul) – A landscaper on his way home from work was struck by a passing MTS trolley in National City on May 4 at 2:07 p.m. He was transported to a hospital, where despite life-saving measures, he was pronounced dead soon after arrival. The San Diego Medical Examiner’s office has identified the victim as Stephen Palmer, 64, a married resident of Jamul.
December 7, 2010 (San Diego) – Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) aims to load up ten buses with 8,000 pounds of food for hungry families this Saturday, December 11, at ten Vons stores across San Diego County.
“So many hard-working San Diegans, many of whom are members of our military, are struggling...Let’s all pitch in and share in the true holiday spirit,” said Councilwoman Marti Emerald at a kick-off for Metropolitan Transit System’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign today. “The need this year is unprecedented. Within the City of San Diego alone, requests for meals have increased by 72% over the past two years, with equally stunning numbers from other cities in San Diego County."
San Diego – Those wanting to see the fireworks light up the sky on July 4 won’t have to worry about the hassle of traffic and parking. Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) has extended service for the holiday. All three trolley lines will operate expanded service after the fireworks end--whether you're heading to the beach areas or relishing 4th of July fireworks displays in East County. There are also special rates and hours throughout this holiday week.
November 21, 2009 (San Diego) -- Sales tax shortfalls and the improper elimination of State Transit Assistance funds are forcing the Metropolitan Transit System to reduce its expenses by more than $7 million. To preserve the network of weekday services and to impact as few riders as possible, MTS is proposing to substantially reduce service on Sundays. The Metropolitan Transit System hosts outreach at transit centers this weekend to notify the public of plans to reduce Sunday bus andt trolley services.
Need for food in East County cities rises sharply
November 7, 2009 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Chargers and Metropolitan Transit Service are partnering to run a series of food drives starting Nov. 10 and ending with a game day food drive at the Chargers vs. Philadelphia game at Qualcomm Stadium Nov. 15. Starting Tuesday, Nov. 10 MTS will host “Stuff the Bus Food Drives” at select Vons supermarket parking lots, where the public will be invited to stuff an MTS bus full of food to feed hungry San Diegans over the holiday season.
From January to June, the amount of food distributed by San Diego Food Bank to the needy doubled and tripled across the county. The number of meals distributed by the Food Bank in San Diego alone increased from 1.6 million to 2.4 million. In Lemon Grove, food distributed skyrocketed by 144%. Spring Valley food distribution shot up 80%, while La Mesa and El Cajon rose 31% and 32%.