In remarks, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti outlines his goals as Metro Board Chair

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti delivering his remarks on Thursday morning. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti delivering his remarks on Thursday morning. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

As noted earlier, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is the Chair of the Metro Board of Directors for the next year. At the start of today’s Board meeting, Garcetti briefly outlined his goals as Board Chair. Here are some highlights from his comments.

•”When you’re talking about transportation, the top priority has to be reducing traffic.   Traffic, especially in Los Angeles, defines our lives. It keeps us from being with our loved ones and enjoying life’s daily moments. But it’s equally important that we provide good service for our customers and build for the future.

“The only way we can do that well is by working together as a region. We all know that traffic doesn’t care about borders. And none of us can serve our constituents well if we only care about what happens inside our city limits.”

•”How we do that? Innovation and technology. That’s not only the obvious things — like having cell service in our stations or creating an app where riders can load their tap cards on their phones so they don’t have to wait in line at the ticket machine.”

•”We must always be looking at where there is new demand and build projects in our most heavily traveled corridors. We must complete projects like the Exposition line all the way to Santa Monica. We must plan to build the Gold Line extension to Claremont. We must improve service between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside. We must make sure the Blue Line is fixed, and our highest [ridership] rail line runs like it once did. And we must find a way to open the train to the planes by the time the Crenshaw Line starts running.”

•”I’m committed to keeping the momentum going on our construction projects — and making sure they’re done on time and on budget. We cannot repeat the cost overruns and sinkholes of the 1990s.

“When I became Mayor, I was told the new lane on the 405 project wouldn’t be open until the fall. So I called an old friend, Nick Patsaouras, and asked him to volunteer his time and talents to get it done sooner. He came through big for us. As Chair, I am calling on him to now lend his expertise and provide construction oversight of the Crenshaw Line.”

•”Over the last year, we were successful in securing over three billion dollars from the federal government. I’m confident that success will continue if we work together across the region to get our fair share from Washington and Sacramento. But we also need to think creatively about public-private partnerships and innovative financing. People are impatient, people can’t wait.”

10 replies

  1. You need to increase Metro customer service presence. You should have service reps in Union Station on weekends, and longer hours during weekdays. You should also have a Customer Service location on Westside. The one on Wilshire and Vermont is not west enough for many riders, and their hours conflict with most working hours. Basically, it’s great that you’re increasing infrastructure, but you also need to increase people/ service locations/ and hours so more people could ride more transport.
    I was in Union station on a busy weekend, with lots of people wanting to take trains or busses, but not knowing what to do or where to go. They didn’t know where to get a TAP card or how to pay for it or where to use it. You need in-person help. Especially for tourists and short-term visitors from other states.
    You also need more frequent time and number of dash buses to tourist locations like Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Bowl. And also offer longer hours of service (start earlier, and end later into the night). This would dramatically reduce traffic.
    Thank you.

  2. The money comes from all those extra commuters riding the rails and busses! If other large metropolitan cities can do it, why not LA? If you want more riders you’ve gotta give them information, tap cars, and maps so they can ride.

  3. Lena T, how would creating more “customer service centers” “dramatically reduce traffic”? How would increasing the frequency of buses to “tourist” areas alleviate traffic?

  4. Lena T,

    You need to learn how transit works around the world.

    More ridership does not mean more money when it’s run by government and taxpayers. Every single US transit agency, all of them run by municipal transit agencies, yes, even NYC metro system in the US with the most ridership numbers, DOES NOT MAKE ANY MONEY. With all that ridership numbers that NYC Metro and Subway has, the farebox recovery ratio is barely 50% and New Yorkers have to pay $2.50 per ride.

    In contrast, the metro systems that actually make money are those in Asia. And the difference between them and the US is that Asian transit operators are actually for profit corporations. Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, all posts 100%+ farebox recovery ratios. And the fare system is a lot better because fare prices change depending on how far you go; the shorter the trip, the cheaper you pay, the longer the trip, the more you pay. For example, on the Taipei Metro, fares vary from as low as $0.40 to as much as $3.00 depending on how far you go.

    Sure other cities around the world can do it. It’s simple as privatizing Metro. Are you for that idea?

  5. Yes, let’s waste more tax dollars by printing maps and provide information when a smartphone app does the exact same thing. Majority of the info is online anyway, smartphones can be bought at 7-Eleven for less than fifty bucks, why would you need a live person help in this day and age?

    All that’s needed is a TAP app so you can do direct payments right from an NFC enabled smartphone. Look ma’ no need for a TAP card, my smartphone does the exact same thing!