Metro Board lifts peak hour bike restriction on Metro Rail; action also taken other issues

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:

Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Library and Transportation Archive's Flickr page.

•(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.

12 replies

  1. I recently did a school project centered on the Crenshaw/Slauson station and I have to say that Crenshaw is MASSIVE in this section. It could very easily accomodate two LRT tracks without any major sacrifice.

    I burst out laughing when I read some comment about it being a pedestrian-oriented area (and how the light rail would ruin that). Leimert Park may be nice to walk around, but this section is definitely not. It is currently a very unfriendly environment for the pedestrian with long crosswalks and relatively short walk signals. It was honestly like trying to cross a freeway, so some traffic calming wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway.

    Like

    • Hi GB;

      Good point. During the brief presentation to the Board of Directors this morning, Metro staff explained how this is, indeed, one of the widest stretches of Crenshaw Boulevard and also showed how much wider it is than some other major streets in the L.A. area.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      Like

  2. This would help tremendously. It would allow me to ride my bike to work without leaving at an ungodly hour of the morning. Also, it would mean not leaving my bike at the Metro station, where pieces of it (including the seat and pedals) have been stolen repeatedly.

    Like

  3. Can’t Metro earn revenue by converting some of the parking spaces to bike lockers? You can easily convert a car space for a compact vehicle to accommodate 4 even 5 bike lockers.

    A parked bicycle take up less space than a parked car, so you can charge bike riders like $5/month for a nice bike locker instead of those easy to steal bike racks that’s there now.

    Even the smallest of parking lots that handle 200 vehicles can then be converted to accommodate 800-1000 bicycles/motorcycles/scooters.

    Charge $5/month per bike and Metro can earn $5000/month just by renting out that space to bikes which otherwise don’t earn any revenue from parked vehicles.

    Like

  4. Well this is great news! I kept narrowly averting the rush hour timing, but it was bound to happen eventually, now there is nothing to worry about in this regard!

    @y fukuzawa – You had posted that in the latest thesource article as well, I got to reiterate that it’s a crazy idea not suited to the average bicycling Metro rider. A good bicycle is not cheap and you are proposing that bicycling Metro riders get 2, that’s awesome that this would work out well for you, for the majority of us, I think we’re trying to keep costs down, which in and of itself is one of the reasons people are riding Metro in the first place.

    Like

  5. So now the standing riders on the light-rail have to COMPETE FOR SPACE WITH BICYCLES! Beautiful! Selfish bicyclists who can’t RIDE THE DISTANCE on their bikes now have to take up even MORE SPACE on already over-crowded trains! Glad I don’t have to take the light-rail daily! Its bad enough seeing the bicyclists on buses!

    Like

  6. @natefrogg

    Huh? Bicycles not cheap? What kind of bike are you riding? I personally own two bikes, both of them cost less than $80 from Target and they’ve lasted me for ten years.

    I’d love to just use one for home station and the other at the work station.

    Like

  7. @y fukuzawa

    i am riding about 22 miles on the bike each day, bicycle and metro is acting as a direct replacement for the car. to do this, i did not want to skimp on a bicycle, i won’t get into how much the cost was, but we’ll just say that it’s nice that you can get a loan similar to getting a car loan at a lot of these bike shops nowadays.

    i feel you are making a mountain out of a mole hill, again that is great that it works for you, i doubt the majority of bicycling metro riders would be in agreement on your plan though.

    cheers and happy friday, critical mass is tonight

    Like

  8. @y fukuzawa

    I’m sure if you donate $160 to every cyclist that uses Metro (or is thinking about using Metro), your program would totally work out.

    Maybe you should pitch that. Personally, I’d rather support our economy and buy from suppliers in the U.S., in which case $160 doesn’t go very far.

    Like