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Metro Debuts $1M Mobile Unit For Emergency, Large Event Operations

LOS ANGELES ( — Transportation officials Thursday debuted a new state-of-the-art mobile command post designed to help keep bus and rail operations running smoothly in the event of an emergency.

KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports Metro's Mobile Command Center may look like a giant black mobile home from the outside, but officials say inside it's nothing less than a rolling intelligence hub.

Metro Debuts $1M Mobile Unit For Emergency, Large Event Operations

Outfitted with fiber optic links for satellite communication, the 45-foot-long command center features 15 workstations that allow operators to monitor any information or data channel that is being used at any time, according to officials.

The van — which can be placed throughout various sections of Metro's network and operates via microwave, satellite, direct connectivity and cellular communications — is designed for both catastrophic as well as general deployments, such as in the event of natural disasters, security threats, or major sporting or community events, officials said.

Duane Martin, deputy director for Metro security contracts, said the mobile unit could also be used in the event that Metro central operations at the Gateway Plaza Office in downtown Los Angeles were ever damaged or destroyed.

"If we had to evacuate the Gateway building for whatever the reason, we can run bus operations out of here and deploy this," Martin said. "It takes us 20 minutes to set this up."

Purchased with a $1.2 million California Transit Security grant under Proposition 1B, the Mobile Command Center ultimately came in about $200,000 under budget, officials said.

But at least one Angeleno commenting on Metro's website was less than impressed with the expenditure.

"What does this mobile home do that an old Metro bus can't do? Is it nuclear radiation proof or something?" wrote the anonymous user.

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