The Metro Board of Directors are currently finishing up their regular monthly meeting here at Metro headquarters in downtown L.A. Here is the agenda and below are a few key issues they tackled:
•(Item 22) The Board approved lifting the ban on bringing bicycles on Metro trains during peak hours effective immediately. Although the rules have been loosely enforced, many bike advocates told the Board that this would help increase ridership because many people would use bikes to make short trips between their homes and work and rail stations.
Here is a previous post explaining the lifting of the rule. Metro staff are also planning to remove some seats on trains to accommodate more bikes. The Board on Thursday also approved a motion by Board Members Don Knabe and Diane DuBois asking for more information about passenger crowding on trains before seats are taken out.
DuBois said her specific concern is whether it’s a good idea to increase the number of standing passengers on trains. Metro staff told the Board that they had decided not to remove seats on the Blue Line and instead encourage cyclists to use the ends of each car.
Metro CEO Art Leahy also told the Board that that frequency of Red Line and Gold Line trains may be increased and that more trains will likely mean less standees. Leahy also said that many people forced to stand don’t have to do so for entire trips.
•(Item 14). The Board the Arbor/Vitae site as the locally preferred alternative for a maintenance yard for Crenshaw/LAX Line trains. The site is in the city of Los Angeles. Here’s a Google map showing the location. An attorney for the one current owners of the land told the Board that there are several issues involving impacts on the site, which must be purchased by Metro. Excerpt from the Metro staff report on the issue:
This site is adjacent to other industrial uses with no immediate adjacent residential uses and is compatible with the surrounding area. The potential significant environmental impacts associated can be entirely mitigated. Based on public comment received to date on the SDEISIRDEIR, few comments were received on this site. The cost of developing this maintenance facility is estimated to be $280 – $290 million, which is cost-effective compared to the other sites studied.
•(Item 15) The Board received and filed a Metro staff report analyzing whether the Crenshaw/LAX Line should be built underground between 48th and 59th Streets in the Park Mesa Heights area. The report concluded the train can safely be built down the middle of Crenshaw Line in this segment. In a presentation, Metro staff also noted that the Yellow
Line Cars once ran down the middle of Crenshaw Boulevard. See below:
•(Item 1) The Board approved a motion to develop a plan to improve the Metrolink Antelope Valley Metrolink line. Among possible improvements: double tracking to possibly speed travel times between Palmdale and Lancaster and downtown Los Angeles. Metro Board Member Mike Antonovich said that he would like to see train travel between the Antelope Valley and downtown L.A. reduced to an hour. It’s about a two-hour trip at present between Lancaster and downtown L.A.