Metro staff proposes installing four ticket vending machines at new El Monte Station

El Monte TVM staff report by

The Metro Board of Directors will be holding its committee meetings today and Thursday. I’m going through the agendas and will post staff reports and proposals that I think will be of the most interest to readers.

This one certainly qualifies. It’s a proposal by staff to install four ticket vending machines at the new El Monte Station. This is something that several Source readers requested after the station opened last fall as the machines are a convenient way to purchase TAP cards or replenish them without having to go online or go out of your way.

The final decision on the machines will be made by the full Metro Board at their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 24.

 

16 replies

  1. Best news news I’ve heard all week!!! Seems ridiculous to brag about it being the busiest bust station west of Chicago, yet not have the simple commodity of a TMV.

  2. It’s unfortunate that the leadership structure requires these sorts of decisions to be made by the board. If the staff can find it within their budget, they should be able to get it done.

    I realize that the recommendation is asking for a change in the contract, getting more machines and therefore costing more money, so it may very well be that there is no such money in a “budget” for these and that’s why it has to come to the board. But it seems everything would be much more efficient if the board allowed the staff (those who actually operate and plan and run the system) to use money to make things like this happen without having to wait for board meetings and discussions every time. It would also free the board up to concentrate on general direction, oversight, and other big umbrella things, rather than be bogged down with operational details like adding a couple TVMs to one station.

  3. A member of Southern California Transit Advocates has asked that machines be installed at the Harbor Gateway Transit Center, which seems like a reasonable idea…

  4. Good grief. Why would Metro even consider opening a station that doesn’t have any ticket vending machines? Maybe I am missing something obvious, because that just sounds insane.

  5. I know this is unrelated to the artical but is there anyway to get some sort of seats or benches at the 7th st/ metro center station at platform 2? When I have to wait 20 min for the expo line, I end of sitting on the floor.

  6. Perhaps the most interesting point in the staff report however is the request to streamline their ability to do things without asking the board for approval every time. As some of us realized with that funding flowchart the other day, there is quite a bit of red tape involved in getting things done sometimes.

  7. Steve and Collin1000

    I know. That bureaucratic diagram was a fine example why nothing gets done and why it takes forever to do the most simplest of rationale things.

    But unfortunately, Metro is a local government agency which has to answer to taxpayers. So long as it remains that way, elected local politicians run the game instead of Metro.

    If Metro wants to go the independent route, they’ll have to look into becoming a private company. Personally, I’m finding myself leaning towards that idea nowadays.

  8. A few questions… particularly about their claim that San Francisco’s tag system can get away with not having a fee due to economies of scale:

    – How many people use San Francisco’s system less than 4 times a month?
    – What is the average toll to use the SF system compared to the LA system?
    – Are the SF transponders compatible with the LA transponders? If they are then there is already cannibalization between the agencies.

  9. Privatization worked for transit in LA many years ago until GM and their cronies bought them out with the Great American Streetcar Scandal. After that, it was turned over to the local governments and paved our way into becoming a car culture city.

    But seeing that suburbia and the car culture coming to an end, perhaps we need to look at privatization again. Just this time, we need to do our part to not fall for that trick that GM pulled off the last time. If the City of LA would let go of Metro and become a private company, we all can do our part by everyone becoming shareholders of Metro. Then our direct input would go directly into the new Metro corporate board members without politicians getting in the way.

  10. Steve,

    I have to disagree. I’m not really keen on the idea of giving government agencies too much power over how tax dollars are to be used.

    It may sound like a good idea to get things done faster, but it can also lead to corruption and things like $800 hammers and $1200 toilet seats.

    Who knows what Metro employees might start doing once you give them the power to use tax dollars without oversight. It’s already bad as it is with them asking for more tax hikes year after year to keep the system running.

    And let’s face it, Metro employees are not the brightest either when you compare them to their counterparts in the rest of the world. Metro’s FasTrak’s report on account maintenance fees shed light to their level of financial intelligence that anyone who has spent their time in the corporate world would see through their nonsense. If you give them too much power and lack of oversight, they could be going on Vegas trips and paying for expensive prostitutes at taxpayers’ expense. I don’t want that.

    If the choice is between the higher chance of corruption further eradicating tax funds and the bureaucratic red-tape as it stands today, I’ll still take the latter. We need elected officials in control to serve as a firewall to prevent corruption.

    If it’s the choice between the existing bureaucracy and privatizing, I’ll consider that idea as well. At least privatization gives shareholders the control of Metro.

  11. I must second Matt Baume’s comment: Why on earth doesn’t every station (and maybe also downtown stop) have a T.A.P. vending machine? If it is supposed to be Bus Rapid Transit, off-board fare payment seems to be a must where possible.
    If Metrolink can have TVMs in Santa Barbara and in San Diego…

  12. “We need elected officials in control to serve as a firewall to prevent corruption.”

    Thanks. I needed a good laugh.

  13. ITS ABOUT TIME THEY INSTALL THE TVMS AT EL MONTE STATION. THEY ALSO NEED TO install them at EVERY station of the Metro Silver Line.

  14. To me, it looks like the contract was poorly thought out in the first place. It should have been larger (initially) and more flexible. Then when changes were needed, no need to have change orders done, it would be part of a wholistic service contract. More money on the front side with a smarter contract can save money on the backside.

    TVM’s would also be good for locations that are expected to have high generation of riders. Like on the street in Hollywood, maybe near line 780 stops, at Staples itself, at the Coliseium itself, in each of the terminals at LAX and Burbank (if the Flyaway could handle TAP that would help!), any locale where 2 Rapid lines cross, etc.

  15. Absolutely. The Silver Line can go cashless, even if going Proof of Purchase may not work, if TVMs are installed near all Silver Line stations. The ticket vending machines also facilitate the Silver to Silver promotion, since someone boarding at El Monte Station who needs to use Metro has to first find a Metro bus and pay for a day pass before using the day pass on the Silver Streak.