Actions taken today by the Metro Board of Directors

The Metro Board of Directors held their January meeting this morning. It wasn’t a very busy agenda but some of the actions taken included:

•Item 72. The Board approved a 12-month pilot program with Google to place advertising on the Metro.net website while also asking staff to study issuing a request-for-proposals for a longer-term contract. The ads are expected to generate about $350,000 in revenue to Metro during the pilot period with no cost to Metro. Ads must adhere to Metro standards and will mostly appear in sidebars of web pages or at the bottom of the page (no pop ups). The ads are expected to appear on the website within 30 days. Metro staff report

•Item 79. The Board voted 7 to 5 to approve a one-year contract extension option with Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoors) to place advertising on Metro buses, trains and facilities as offered in a substitute motion by Board Member Michael D. Antonovich. The approval canceled consideration of the original motion to instead issue a new RFP for an advertising contract.

In a presentation, Outfront Media showed some ways that up to $1 million in additional annual ad revenue could be raised, including placing ads on the front of buses, putting more posters in rail stations, adding digital signage to rail stations, expanded coverage of bus and train windows with ads, selling line and station naming rights and putting ‘media streamers’ in trains (i.e. video monitors).

During the discussion, Board Chair Eric Garcetti said some of those ideas may be considered but he had concerns about some of them — specifically mentioning that certain type of ads (such as those promoting alcohol) should not be on the Metro system.

•Item 77. The Board approved a resolution supporting a bid for Los Angeles County to host the World Fair from 2022 to 2024. Resolution

•Item 54. The Board approved an $8.2-million contract increase to replace five of the nine escalators at the Red/Purple Line Pershing Square Station and bring them up to the new standards of the American Public Transit Assn. Staff report

•Item 22. The Board approved revising a joint development agreement with MacArthur Park Metro, LLC, which is trying to build 81 units of affordable apartments and 6,00o to 12,000 square feet of retail on 1.8 acres above the Red/Purple Line’s Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. If the developer can secure the money to build the project, the north portal would be relocated as part of the deal. Staff report

15 replies

  1. Awesome, now I’ll be getting on at “Del Mar Station brought to you by Progressive,” riding the “Dawn Dishsoap Line” and exiting at “Have it your way platform, sponsored by Burger King.”

    • While I frequently encourage people to do this (and get upset when people don’t), I think it is actually illegal for Metro to encourage this. I am not 100% sure, but I have heard many times before that escalators are supposed to be a form of transportation that you stand still on and let it do the work. And that by encouraging people to walk on them you might be legally liable if they fall.

      Again, not 100% sure on that, but I have heard my nerdy transportation engineering friends say this before (“nerdy” used with a positive connotation).

  2. First of all with the escalators, put back the escalators that were taken out at 7th St/Metro Center. Secondly, the idea of having more advertising on buses and trains is ridiculous. Some of the trains now look like a moving ad instead of a train. I also dislike those train wrap ads, they make the trains cheap looking.

    • If you have any other ideas on how Metro can make more revenue, I’m all ears. At least provide an alternate solution than complaining you don’t like ads.

      My view is I don’t care. The mayor saying there shouldn’t be beer ads is ridiculous. The whole point of making transit useful is that you are now free to drink booze without the risk that comes with drunk driving. This isn’t Prohibition era America, if alcohol manufacturers want to put ads, let them. Really, no one cares.

      • Of course, ads on the outside of a bus are often directed at people driving. But perhaps even just a condition requiring that the ads reinforce the message that you don’t drink and drive but can drink and ride the bus would be a reasonable compromise.

  3. Are there any plans in the works to update the colored pylons at the station entrances for the parts of the line that are both part of the red/purple lines? Right now, all of the ones I’ve seen are red only, which is inaccurate. Those pylons look pretty expensive and wouldn’t it make more sense to follow the lead of the Washington DC metro and just put colored dots or stripes on a simpler post, which can then be peeled off or changed as necessary as lines have their color identifier re-designated over time as the system expands?

  4. Wrapping buses over bus windows is a safety issue. With crime on transit, better vision from the outside to the inside could help see something happening.

    Riding a bus or train, who likes to look through a lot of small holes so Metro & SCRRA can get a couple extra bucks?.

    • We’ve had enough of this BS safety issue stuff like you intolerant liberals always promote. It’s a safety issue, we must get rid of jungle gyms, it’s a safety issue we must ban e-cigs, it’s a safety issue we must ban soda, blah-blah-blah. It’s getting to a ridiculous point that Americans are getting tired of all this.

      Enough is enough. Stop banning everything!

      • I think you’re missing the point. It’s one thing to ban something that private citizens do for the safety of either themselves or others. But I thought it was generally a conservative idea to stop the government from doing things that might be threats to citizens.

        That said, I really don’t think that eyes from outside the bus are very relevant to safety issues inside the bus – even on the very rare occasions when there is crime on the buses, there’s normally someone else on the bus that could see it and intervene much better than anyone outside the bus.

        The quality of experience for riders is a more legitimate concern – one big advantage of the bus over driving or taking the subway is that you really can look around and see the city as you go by, and the wraps take it away.