@Metrolosangeles Twitter Tuesday, March 19 edition

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, our roundup of the latest Metro related tweets. To get our attention, add the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

If having problems viewing this post on your browser, please see part one and part two on the Storify website.

Many more tweets posted after the jump!

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Metro to hold public hearings on unmet transit needs in North County and City of Avalon

Metro will be holding a series of Transportation Development Act (TDA) Article 8 public hearings for the use of TDA Article 8 funds in the North County and the City of Avalon.

The TDA Article 8 funds are for those areas of Los Angeles County that do not have Metro service because they are located outside Metro’s service area. These areas include Antelope Valley (Palmdale & Lancaster), Santa Clarita Valley and Santa Catalina Island (City of Avalon). These hearings will determine TDA Article 8 budget funding allocation for FY 2013-14 for the North County and Avalon.

This year the hearing board consists of Michael Cano, representing Supervisor Antonovich’s office, Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist, Palmdale City Council member Steve Hofbauer and Julie Moore representing Supervisor Don Knabe’s office.

The following is a list of upcoming TDA Article 8 hearings scheduled in March and April.

  • Monday, March 18, 2013, (2 p.m.) Newhall Public Library, Community Room, 24500 Main Street, Santa Clarita.
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2013, (2 p.m.)  American Heroes Park Building, 701 West Kettering, Lancaster.
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (4:30 p.m.) Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, Lilac Room, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale.
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2013 (7 p.m.) Avalon City Hall, 410 Avalon Canyon Road, Avalon.

Those unable to attend the meetings and would like to comment can do so by sending their comments to: Metro Article 8 Hearing Record, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Mail Stop 99-24-1, Attn: Armineh Saint or email sainta@metro.net. Comments must be received by April 30, 2013.

Researchers identify eight things that drives customers from taking mass transit

In the latest news from the Ivory Tower, researchers at UC Berkeley have published a list of the eight things that are most likely to tick off transit riders to the point where they’ll give up on transit. The study was done by talking to riders and ex-riders on San Francisco’s Muni system.

The research paper is titled “Passengers perception of and behavioral adaption to unreliability in public transportation.” Forbes has published an article about it, too, emphasizing that customers can cope with extenuating circumstances. What drives customers bonkers are problems they believe are within control of a transit agency.

I’m not sure that any of the following is an earth-shaking revelation. That said, I do think it’s a nice reminder to transit agencies how their service is experienced by customers. Here are the top eight things that really tick off customers:

1. Delayed on board due to transit vehicles backed up or problems on the transit route downstream.

2. Experienced long wait at a transfer stop.

3. Missed departure due to wrong real-time information. 

4. Unable to board or denied boarding due to crowding.

5. Delayed on board due to emergency or mechanical failure.

6. Experienced long wait at origin stop.

7. Ran to stop but the bus or train pulled away.

8. Delayed on board due to traffic.

The Forbes article has more, including recommendations for transit agencies to keep their customers, well, their customers. Is this list missing anything, Source readers and transit riders? Go ahead–get it out of your system…

Survey shows what patrons most want from an improved Union Station

USMP_online_writeins_wordcloud_02

A word cloud of write-in answers to the most desired amenities.

In a recent survey, Metro recently asked patrons what they would like to see in an improved Union Station. Among the upgrades requested:

  • Easier access to surrounding neighborhoods
  • Better connections between transportation services
  • More options for dining and shopping
  • Enhanced passenger information & help guides
  • Additional or improved signage
  • Better bicycle access and parking
  • Additional transportation options

Metro Research & Development worked with the Union Station Master Plan team to conduct the survey of Union Station visitors. The survey collected data on how people are currently using the station, as well as which new amenities are most desired in and around the new station. Metro purchased Union Station in 2011 and the Master Plan will create a blueprint on how to upgrade the station and develop the areas around it while, of course, preserving the famous structure.

The survey was conducted online from January 28 to February 6 and with paper surveys that were distributed in and around Union Station on Jan. 31. All told, 329 paper surveys and 1,735 online surveys were collected.

When looking at the results, keep in mind that web respondents tended to be less frequent users of the station (not regular-commuters), while paper survey respondents were more likely to use the station on a daily or weekly basis (regular commuters).

frequency-01

We asked patrons how they arrived at Union Station and how they left to reach their destination. Online survey respondents were more likely to be Metro Rail riders, and less likely to walk, bike or take Amtrak or Metrolink.

mode-01

Presently, most people who frequently use Union Station are currently doing so only for transportation. However, others are also taking advantage of shopping, dining and recreational activities. A third of users are coming to the station for recreation and entertainment, and a quarter are using it for dining and shopping.

usage-01

Out of 12 suggested improvements, seven stood out as being more desired than the others:

  • Easier access to surrounding neighborhoods
  • Better connections between transportation services
  • More options for dining and shopping
  • Enhanced passenger information & help guides
  • Additional or improved signage
  • Better bicycle access and parking
  • Additional transportation options

The other suggested improvements were:

  • More space to circulate through the station
  • More public art and activities on station property
  • More waiting areas and seating
  • Increased security
  • Additional parking (tip: there is usually space on level four of the parking garage).

greatlyneeded-01 

More graphics after the jump — keep reading please! 

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@Metrolosangeles Twitter Tuesday, March 5 edition

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, our roundup of the latest Metro related tweets. To get our attention, add the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

If having problems viewing this post on your browser, please see part one and part two on the Storify website.

Many more tweets posted after the jump!

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Looking ahead to March Service Council meetings

Metro’s round of monthly Service Council meetings will kick off this Wednesday night (March 6) with the San Fernando Valley meeting in Van Nuys. For the first time in several months, there will be no additional or date/time changes to any of the meetings since each Service Council has conducted their public outreach session to receive input on the corridor studies they are all conducting.
For information about the Council’s corridor studies, including details on the lines each Council is focusing on to improve service, click here to read a recent posting on The Source on the subject.

For a listing of all Council meeting dates, times and locations, click here.

As always, the public is encouraged to attend and share their comments with the Service Councils on improving bus servicethroughout LA County. If you would like to provide input to a Council but cannot attend a meeting, you can submit your comments in writing through the Service Council web page or send them to service councils@metro.net. If your comments are for a specific Council, please make sure to indicate which one you are addressing in your e-mail.

For more information about each Service Council, click on the name of the Council listed after the jump.

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Transportation headlines, special edition: LA Streetsblog’s post “You can’t fix traffic, you are the traffic” is a must read

Traffic on the 405. Photo by malingering, via Flickr creative commons.

Traffic on the 405. Photo by malingering, via Flickr creative commons.

If you have three minutes to spare, I highly recommend Damien Newton's post in response to an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times griping about Westside traffic.

In the Times, editorial writer Carla Hall complained that Los Angeles City Council candidates for the Westside seat (11th district) didn't say much about fixing traffic at a recent Streetsblog forum. She's a longtime Brentwood resident and motorist and doesn't think transit and cycling improvements will help improve her commute to downtown Los Angeles.

I thought the article was intended to be more provocative than informative — it's hard to blame Westside motorists for venting/blowing their stack. Damien apparently thought likewise.

I think the issue that we both had was the notion that traffic can be fixed solely by focusing on traffic. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of evidence from around the world that traffic gets “fixed” — chokepoints can be smoothed, roads can be managed differently (i.e. the ExpressLanes) but it's pretty hard to make traffic go poof and vanish without without wrecking the economy or making it literally illegal or too expensive to drive.

Take it away, Damien:

But to your specific problem, living in Brentwood and commuting via car Downtown there are really only three solutions: move, get a new job, or get over it. That commute is a result of decisions you made and are making. Thanks to a wife that makes quite a bit more than I do, we could live in Brentwood if we wanted to, but we live in Mar Vista. Why? Because the Expo Line and Bike Path are coming. Brentwood may have a legendary private school system and some of the nicest real estate in L.A., but Mar Vista will have much better bike and transit options.It’s all part of the decisions we make. It’s the governments job to make it possible for you to live where you want and can afford and work where you want and can get a job. It’s not their job to make it as easy and smooth as possible. Your commute is part of the price you pay to live in Brentwood and work Downtown.And if you think there are too many cars on the street, remember that you are in one of them. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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