Among the actions taken today by the Metro Board of Directors:
•The Board approved going forward with a technical study of two light rail alternatives for the Eastside Gold Line Transit Corridor Phase 2 study. One alternative would extend the line to South El Monte, mostly along the 60 freeway, and the other alternative would extend the line to Whittier but eliminate the Garfield Avenue section of the route (the technical study will seek to find a different route). Please see this earlier Source post for more about the project. The technical study will precede the start of the final environmental study for the project.
A motion by Board Members Diane DuBois and Don Knabe asked staff to study potential connections with the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor project, which seeks to build a transit project between downtown L.A. and Santa Ana via an old streetcar right-of-way.
•The Board approved a $44.4-million contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to patrol Metro trains, buses and facilities for the first six months of 2015. The extension provides Metro staff with the time needed to complete the procurement process for a new policing contract, according to the Metro staff report.
•The Board approved a request by Metro staff to begin the process of requiring 64 new vehicles for use on the Red and Purple Line subway. Earlier Source post with Metro staff report
•The Board approved a motion asking Metro to launch a study of potential new ExpressLanes corridors on Los Angeles County freeways. The Board last summer had also asked for a study of expanding the ExpressLanes to the 105 freeway between the 605 and the 405. Earlier Source post with Board motion
•The Board postponed three items on the agenda — 13, 14 and 15 — on potential new transit-oriented developments on the Eastside Gold Line, one at Mariachi Plaza and two near the Soto Station. In both the Board’s Planning Committee last week and at today’s meeting, many community members expressed concerns about the size, scale and affordability of residences in the projects. The items were postponed in order to do more community outreach, said Board Member Gloria Molina.
•The Board approved a motion by Board Members Eric Garcetti, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Jackie Dupont-Walker and Mike Bonin that would require 30 percent of the units to be affordable housing at future Metro joint developments. Thus far, about 25 percent of the 550 residential units jointly developed by Metro qualify as affordable housing. Garcetti told the Board that the increase would help residents of Los Angeles County who are struggling with soaring housing prices that could still rise higher due to the area’s improving economy. Motion
UPDATE: The next Board meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 4.