Suicide by train is a touchy topic, with many transit agencies worried about copycats if they talk about it.
But on Monday, LA Metro began focusing on the issue, asking the public to extend help for people who might be contemplating killing themselves before they make it onto the tracks.
Since the beginning of last year, seven people have thrown themselves in front of trains on the Blue Line, which traverses some of the county's poorest areas on its 22-mile route between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Before the recent increase, suicides had averaged one per year since the line opened in 1990, according to Metro spokesman Marc Littman.
"We've reached the point where we must appeal to and engage the public" Littman said.
The message included that the suicides have other victims the drivers who, helplessly, cannot stop their trains on time.
Roman Alarcon was driving his normal Blue Line route when a man stepped onto the tracks between stations. The train was going about 25 mph when it hit him.
"It affected not only his family but others, like law enforcement who responded to the scene and myself. We have to live with this the rest of our lives," Alarcon said.
That was in 1994. It took Alarcon several months to begin to talk to co-workers about it. Once he became comfortable, he made a point of counseling other drivers who experienced what he did.
It's hard to judge whether the increase in suicides on this one route is more than an anomaly.
Nationally, suicides in which someone was hit by a subway or light rail train peaked when 74 people killed themselves in 2011, according to federal data. The total dipped back to a more typical 55 people in 2012. New York City subways stand out as the transit system with the most suicides, according to the data.
Metro already has taken steps to decrease suicides, including sending retired bus and train operators to Blue Line stations. Littman said these "safety ambassadors" have stopped three people from killing themselves since December.