Metro fields questions everyday about the agency. Many questions are routine and concern the operation of Metro’s bus and rail lines.
Others, however, aim to get a deeper understanding of how the agency works. In many cases, journalists, citizens, community groups and private businesses use the state Public Records Act seeking information about contracts, ridership data, employee salaries and correspondence dealing with policy decisions.
Like many other government agencies, Metro has in recent years put a lot of information online — more than many people may know about and perhaps not as much as others would like. Not all the information is easy to find and that’s something Metro is trying to improve upon.
In the meantime, here’s a guide to finding some of that information (Journalists should always check with Metro’s media relations department to ensure the information is the most current.):
•Basic facts: The online “Facts At A Glance” provides a good overview about the size of the Metro fleet, ridership, budget and the like. http://www.metro.net/news/facts-glance/
•Salaries: The California State Controller actually has a website with salary information on hundreds of public entities throughout the State. Here is where you can find Metro’s salary information: http://lgcr.sco.ca.gov/CompensationDetail.aspx?entity=SpecialDistrict&id=15551907000&year=2010&GetCsu=False. Metro’s website also includes a page showing the salaries of the agency’s top executives. http://www.metro.net/about/board/executive-compensation/
Financial: Annual budget and financial reports for Metro: http://www.metro.net/about/financebudget/financial-information/#budget
Ridership: Basic information is here: http://www.metro.net/news/ridership-statistics/
and if you are seeking ridership data by individual bus line, you can check this out: http://isotp.metro.net/MetroRidership/Index.aspx
Current Board and Committee agendas: http://www.metro.net/about/board/agendas-2012/. This includes audio of the meetings. Please note that we advise you to locate the corresponding meeting minutes to verify that an item was passed by the Board of Directors, and what motions, if any, may have modified the staff recommendation(s).
If you want to dig back further, current Board Reports and minutes and those from predecessor agencies as far back as 1951 can be full text searched with Google:
http://www.metro.net/boardarchive. Use the check boxes to limit searches. Uncheck the default “All” and check boxes for Items, or Minutes, or Agendas. Check the box “Board Box” to view routine correspondence with the Board. Check the box for “Predecessor Agencies” to view SCRTD, LACTC, RCC and LAMTA meeting minutes from 1951-1993.
Contracts: Recently awarded contracts can be found on this page: http://www.metro.net/about/business/awards/. To search the above databases for older Metro contracts, use the term “award contract” to search the above databases. More information about how to do business with Metro, current solicitations, pending awards and more can be found here: http://www.metro.net/about/business/
Environmental reports: for projects currently in planning or construction can generally be found here: http://www.metro.net/projects/toc/. However, if you’re really interested in reports from the pre-internet days, try this link: http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/eirs/EIR_List.htm
Still can’t find what you want? Metro’s Transportation Library is a great resource with over 50,000 items available. You can search their catalog at http://librarycat.metro.net or send them a question at email@example.com. They’re located on the 15th floor of the Metro headquarters building and are open to the public on Mondays and Thursdays and by appointment on other days.
Formal public records requests are handled by Metro’s Records Management Center. You can find all the relevant policies and an online request form at www.metro.net/Records. They are located on the Plaza level of the Metro headquarters building and are open weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.