Some audio and video from today's public hearing on fare changes

The public hearing on fare changes saw many Metro riders and community leaders turn out to let the Metro Board know what they think.

Video featuring a few of today’s public speakers:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y_IinXTyWc]

And here’s audio-only from some speakers earlier in the morning:

Reminder: public comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. today at PublicHearing@metro.net.

9 replies

  1. I was there. Here is a recap of what I observed:

    As I observed throughout the meeting, I noticed that there were two distinct groups: the BRU socialists and the civilized. Sadly, majority of them were BRU socialists who made silly arguments like the advocacy of making bus rides free, legalizing fare evasion, unrealistic goals like making Los Angeles “totally car free” and other feel sorry for me sob stories. They frequently went over the time limit, acted uncivilized, and even called for a “revolution.” One woman name called the Chairwoman, Ms. DuBois to “leave the room” as Ms. DuBois was trying to keep order in the room. It was followed up with a nasty comment of “[derogatory word for a female dog] why you still here?” They never said thank you at the end, they literally demanded to speak over their allotted time, and of course the racism issue. There was even violence against a police officer at the end. And you could tell by how they were dressed that they had no respect to go at the microphone to speak in front of their elected officials.

    In sharp contrast, the civilized were the people who dressed up nicely, talked politely, made good arguments, kept their comments brief to the point and well within their allotted time. Many of them had the manners to say thank you to the Metro Board members at the end for listening to their statements. They remained calm and never let their emotions get over them as they spoke. The civilized consisted of those who were for the gradual fare increase to $2.25 as it was acceptable that it balanced out with free transfers, some mentioned about looking into a cap system in place after they fix the bugs in TAP, increasing the transfer time limit to 90 minutes and those who called for the Metro Board to look into an “option 3” where fares will start out low as $0.80 but gradually increase to $2.25 based on how far a rider travels. One can tell a mile away the difference in the civility, mannerism and the intelligence of these folks compared the BRU. If the BRU were the far left socialists, the civilized were the moderates and Libertarians.

    Unfortunately the civilized were the minority speakers in this fare hearing. It was a shame that I couldn’t hear better and longer arguments from the civilized over the loud roars of the BRU as they controlled the mob.

    For a moment it really seemed like the BRU wanted to start a Bolshevik Revolution. If these are the people who ride Metro everyday, than no thanks. I’ll stick to driving my car. My safety is more important than surrounding myself with a bunch of thugs and those with rude manners. And it’s such a shame that this is despite that there are those who make good arguments in a civilized manner.

    And for that matter, I applaud Metro for taking the proactive approach to place extra tight security into the fare meeting so that it wouldn’t turn violent and deadly, which clearly would have if it were not for the officer presence in that room. I applaud the members of the Metro Board, especially Chair Ms. Diane DuBois and First Vice Chair Mayor Eric Garcetti for keeping order in the room when it got out of hand. And I applaud those civilized speakers who kept to the rules of speaking in front of the members.

    As for the BRU, well I am ashamed that you are a part of Los Angeles society.

  2. This is ridiculous! Horrible audio quality. I can barely understand what people are saying. Way to go Metro – keeping us in the dark.

  3. It is so ridiculous that bus fares have to go so high I will accept to pay another quarter, but not pay almost 3 dollars just one way. I cant afford a car at this moment and now I cant afford the public transportation. I am thinking you guys are going to loose more money by increasing the fare because you are going to loose customers of a metropolitan transportation.

  4. It’s amazing that I have to agree with a Republican for once. I was at the meeting too but chose to not speak as I already sent my comments by mail. I’m glad I did because if I had, I wouldn’t be able to think what I was saying and would’ve paused every time as the Bus Riders Union members kept yelling and hollering all the time with their boisterous behavior.

    Does Metro have a list of all the Metro Board members that were present at the meeting? I’d like to send them an e-mail to thank them for keeping order.

  5. Additional note:

    I liked the comment by the UCLA student who mentioned how they got into student groups and frequently discussed how sorry Metro and public transit service in America is compared to the transit agencies over in Asia and how that Metro should bring in groups who are familiar with how transit is run elsewhere so that Metro has a better idea on how transit services operate across the world.

    As a globe-trotting frequent flyer who uses mass transit services when I travel, this really struck a chord with me, and is a comment that I frequently leave on The Source. I agree that Metro should incorporate broader ideas from the world, especially those who have better transit services, and learn from them rather than sticking to tried-and-true “American” methods which is not working.

  6. The issue is that some people don’t want to follow the rules set for everyone. The BRU is effective for political theater and that has its place. The 2007 fare increase hearing was a total debacle – Metro staff have tacitly admitted it by scheduling this on a Saturday and allowing for five months from the hearing date until initial implementation. But the BRU is not helping by being disruptive. The Board of Supervisors has had many controversial issues come up during the years with dozens if not hundreds of speakers – redistricting, the runoff tax, and development projects – but they never have to arrest anyone. I concur that sixty seconds is too short and well below most cities which give three minutes or even more, but the volume of public comment is such that it may be better to make the points in writing.

  7. I don’t know why people are complaining that they can’t afford the bus anymore because the prices has gone too high and that they can’t buy a car. Why don’t you guys buy a moped or something? Problem solved. If you go to any third world country, that’s what they all use because it’s cheap and it gets great gas mileage. Do you mean to tell me people in Los Angeles are poorer than those in Cambodia or Myanmar who live on less than a dollar a day? Gimme a break.

    And LA is practically becoming a third world country anyway so it’ll fit right in!