Reminder: Metro Board of Directors meet tomorrow — station name changes to be considered

The final Thursday of the month is upon us, meaning the full Metro Board of Directors will convene at Metro HQ in downtown Los Angeles tomorrow at 9 a.m. for their regular meeting. The meeting, of course, is open to the public; the Metro building is adjacent to Union Station.

Here’s the agenda, along with links to staff reports and motions related to the various items.

As Board meetings go, this one doesn’t appear to be action-packed. Most of the items are administrative in nature — there are no big-ticket project approvals as we’ve seen in prior months.

Thumbing through the agenda, four items stand out — the links below are to staff reports:

•The Board will vote on whether to make the following name changes to Metro rail and bus stations:

A. “Imperial/Wilmington/Rosa Parks” to “Willowbrook/Rosa Parks;”

B. “103rd Street/Kenneth Hahn” to “103rd St/Watts Towers/Kenneth Hahn;”

C. “Vermont Av/I-105″ to “Vermont Av/Athens;”

D. “Hawthorne Bl/I-105″ to “Hawthorne Bl/Lennox;”

E. “Venice/Robertson” to “Culver City;”and

F. “Artesia Transit Center” to “Harbor Gateway Transit Center.”

Here’s an earlier post about that issue.

Keep reading for more items and a map of potential bus rapid transit corridors in the county.

•The Board will vote on hiring a consultant to identify bus rapid transit corridors around Los Angeles County. This item is in response to an earlier motion by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is currently the Board Chair. The staff report includes the map below and mentions many corridors that could be candidates and recommends hiring a consultant to build upon an earlier study of bus routes in the county.

•The Board will be asked to consider a contract worth up to $57.5 million to extend the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department contract to patrol Metro trains, buses and stations.

•Four Board Members have submitted a motion asking that testing of locked gates be continued at busier rail stations, including 7th/Metro in downtown L.A. The idea is to generate more data about the type of fare media that Metro patrons are using, as well as better numbers on fare evasion and the types of Metro passes that customers have.

•The Board will consider a $37.3-million contract to CH2M Hill Inc. to prepare the environmental studies for the 710 gap project, which will consider a variety of alternatives for improving traffic in the 710 gap area between Alhambra and Pasadena.


26 thoughts on “Reminder: Metro Board of Directors meet tomorrow — station name changes to be considered

  1. About the transfer at 7th/metro:

    Um what?! I assumed that the lack of turnstiles between the red/purple lines and blue/expo was intentional to facilitate an easy and free transfer like most other metro systems already have. Does Metro seriously expect patrons to exit the turnstiles, re tap or buy a new ticket, then re enter the system?! If so, that is the most nonsensical approach to fares I have ever seen. People rightfully assume that it’s just a simple transfer, no catch 22s, hence no fare “evasion”. Why would anybody assume you need to exit the system to pay a second fare that should not even be there in the first place. Metro needs a sensible one way fare structure which charges per trip, not per line especially where there is no place within the system (at 7th/metro) to tap between said transit lines.

  2. @GaryB

    Part of which I agree with you is that the gates itself are those narrow spinning turnstiles similar to what they have at Magic Mountain entrance as opposed to wider fare gates like those used by BART.

    Wide fare gates that remain open but slam shut without properly tapping in helps keeps a smoother and seamless flow of human traffic through the gates. In contrast, narrow width turnstiles which one has to physically push with your hand or belly causes human traffic jams. A big contrast is seen on what’s in place for automated fare checks on the NYMTA (old narrow width turnstiles) versus the London Underground (wide width fare gates).

    Not to mention the turnstiles are a pain in the butt to carry large items through like bicycles or rollerboards.

    But I guess turnstiles were what Metro could only afford at the time. At least the wider fare gates are used for wheelchair passengers, so I’m sure those who get the “hang” of it will go tap through them instead of dealing with annoying metallic turnstiles.

  3. @Connor

    The transfer at Imperial/Wilmington between the Blue and Green Lines and the Red to Gold transfer at Union Station also have to be considered as well.

    This is one of the failings of Metro’s pay-per-boarding payment system; it fails to account for “secure zone” transfers between rails.

    This is a stark contrast to say, the London Underground or the rail system in Tokyo where once you tap into the secure zone, you’re free to move and do as many transfers as you wish without paying again until you actually tap out of the system at your final destination.

  4. Every addition of a new line into the Metro system has had a project built in singularity with thought about how it would fit into the system as a whole.

    As a result we ended up with the current red/gold transfer @ Union station, the blue/green transfer @ Willowbrook, the Red/Orange transfer @ North Hollywood, and the expected transfer of the At-grade Expo line with the Below-grade Crenshaw line at Exposition and Crenshaw. These types of transfer stations make it difficult to provide a secure zone free transfer ala Tokyo or London.

    The best way to deal with the current transfer penalty between rail/brt lines without having to spend massive amounts of money on redesigning the transfer stations is to implement a free time-based transfer. That way if a customer has to leave the fare zone to transfer to another line they would not be penalized. Of course this should also be done in conjunction with a zone/distance base fare system so as not impact revenue.

    From what I heard Metro makes a significant amount of revenue from people who actually pay to ride the short trip on the red/purple line to transfer between the blue and gold lines,

  5. @Mospeada

    “Metro makes a significant amount of revenue from people who actually pay to ride the short trip on the red/purple line to transfer between the blue and gold lines”

    Of course that is based on the assumption that transit riders will continue to pay whatever flat rate amount the public transit agency sets without regards to distance.

    But as shown in other transit agencies, there is a limit to what people will pay and eventually ridership numbers stagnate by seeking alternative methods for shorter rides.

    A good example is the NYMTA: flat rate fares keep on increasing, but the net effect is that on a per distance calculation, flat rate fares becomes a worse deal for shorter rides and more people would opt to start bicycling. In the end, the pay-per-boarding becomes contradictory to the increased ridership goal.

  6. A few points that I think need to be made:

    1. If those screaming about the cost of renaming stations would take the time to read the staff report, they would discover that the renamings will not happen immediately, but instead when other funded projects involving those stations take place. There are still three Gold Line station renamings that were approved by the Board over five years ago that have not been implemented, for precisely that reason. But the new names need to be approved in advance so that the renaming can be incorporated into those future projects.

    2. @John McCready: Apparently you have bought into the BRU rhetoric that there would be plenty of money for bus service if various construction projects were cancelled. This is NOT the case; only certain funding sources are legally operations-eligible (primarily fare revenue, advertising revenue, lease income from Metro-owned properties occupied by non-Metro concerns, specified percentages of local sales taxes, and the State Transit Assistance Program). Metro uses every penny of those funds on service operation. Construction projects are entirely funded by sources that legally cannot be shifted to service operation. The projects you cite are funded with money that CANNOT BE USED TO RUN BUS SERVICE. (And it is not Metro that made the determination of what is and is not operations-eligible … that determination is made in Sacramento and Washington.) An “Occupy the MTA” movement wouldn’t do anything to change those legal realities.

    But thanks for playing. Don Pardo will tell you what your consolation prizes are.

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