Laura J. Nelson on Muck Rack

Laura J. Nelson Verified

Los Angeles
Transportation and Mobility Reporter — LA Times
As seen in:  LA Times, Hartford Courant
Covers:  trains, transit-oriented development, cars, congestion, light rail, pedestrians, bikes, southern california, parking, los angeles, highways, buses, traffic, streetcars, roads, commuting

Transportation reporter at the Los Angeles Times

Laura J. Nelson's Biography

I write about transportation issues, including light-rail, buses, parking, commuting and the bike/ped community, and cover LA's county and city transportation agencies.

I've previously covered national news, business-tech and local politics. I grew up in suburban Kansas City and studied French and journalism at USC.

If your pitch has a Los Angeles angle, I want to hear it:

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How do you prefer to be pitched on stories?

By email (, tailored to my beat, and nothing canned. Tell me in three or four sentences why the story matters.

Blind man survives being run over by Metro train — This post has been updated A blind man who fell off the edge of a subway platform Thursday afternoon and into the path of an oncoming Metro train survived the accident mostly unharmed, officials said. "It really is a miracle," Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeman Paul Gonzales told The Times.

Amtrak train strikes car in Camarillo; no serious injuries reported — An Amtrak train bound for Los Angeles on Sunday night struck a car that had been left on the tracks in an agricultural area just outside Camarillo, officials said. The crash occurred about 8 p.m. at the intersection of 5th Street and Pleasant Valley Road, less than a mile from the Camarillo Metrolink station, said Mike Lindbery, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

Spending on rail crossing safety upgrades varies widely across Southland — When a Metrolink train slammed into an SUV on railroad tracks in Glendale a decade ago, the horrific chain reaction wreck prompted a major campaign to improve the safety and security of Southern California grade crossings. Last week's crash involving a commuter train and a pickup truck in Oxnard was a reminder that progress has been decidedly uneven.

Metro trains ran 83 red lights in four years, study finds — Los Angeles County light-rail and subway trains ran 83 red lights in the last four years, according to agency data. The Blue Line, which connects Long Beach with downtown Los Angeles, recorded two-thirds of the violations, and averaged more than one per month from 2012 through last year.

Metrolink crash: NTSB to examine lighting, visibility at grade-crossing — Federal investigators are examining whether the intersection near Tuesday's Metrolink crash in Oxnard was "adequately illuminated" in the early-morning darkness, officials said Wednesday. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are studying whether the railroad crossing at Rice Avenue was clearly marked and well-lit early Tuesday, when a heavy-duty truck turned onto the railroad tracks and was struck by a commuter-rail train carrying 50 passengers and crew members.

Metrolink train crash: Actions of truck driver remain a mystery — Investigation continued Wednesday into the actions of a truck driver arrested after a Metrolink train slammed into his vehicle on the tracks in Oxnard. Early reports suggested Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez's truck got stuck at a crossing before Tuesday's crash, but a National Transportation Safety Board member official said after the incident that it appears the driver had been traveling down the tracks just before the collision.

NTSB: Driver apparently drove truck on tracks before Metrolink crash — The truck involved in a Metrolink train derailment Tuesday morning in Oxnard that left dozens injured appears to have been traveling down the tracks just before the collision, an NTSB official said late Tuesday. "It was not stuck, it was not bottomed out on the track or something like that," Robert Sumwalt, a National Transportation Safety Board member, told reporters.

New Metrolink cars' safety features probably reduced casualties — Metrolink's investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in safety improvements after a series of deadly collisions probably reduced casualties in Tuesday's Oxnard crash, but the accident also highlighted the limits of the ongoing campaign. Three crash-resistant cars in Metrolink's new $263-million fleet of state-of-the-art passenger coaches performed well in their first test involving a major crash, rail officials said.

Metrolink crash: Oxnard crossing most hazardous in Ventura County — The Oxnard rail crossing that was the scene for Tuesday's Metrolink derailment is the 23rd most hazardous in California, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration. According to data from the U.S. agency, the Rice Avenue crossing had two collisions in 2010 and one in 2009.

1 in 5 riders face unwanted sexual behavior on L.A. Metro, survey says — More than one in five Metro passengers were subjected to unwanted sexual advances or behavior while riding Metro trains and buses in Los Angeles County during the first half of 2014, according to a new survey.
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Mar 04, 2015

RT @kyoshino: California gas prices jump $1 in one month - more expensive than anywhere else in the nation. via @tiffhsulatimes

Mar 04, 2015

RT @shelbygrad: Most troubling stat of LA election: Each council member reps 250,000 ppl. Here's how many votes winners have so far:

Mar 04, 2015

@saba_h Ha, Groupon! Thanks! Although I wish the heart were in Southern California.

Mar 04, 2015

@libbyanelson Yes! Also, did you know that Keebler (I think it is) sells off-brand Caramel deLites?

Mar 04, 2015

@darth @ronlin @RosannaXia @gaufre As a proud purveyor of ABC Bakers' Thin Mints, I grew up with holes in my cookies. That is correct.

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