Inglewood: public hearing on proposed Metro bus service changes

Helen Lundeberg's The History of Transportation, Inglewood (Photo Credit: Joel Epstein)

The Metro South Bay Cities Service Council held its monthly meeting Friday at Inglewood City Hall. The meeting also served as a public hearing on several proposed Metro bus service changes impacting the communities represented on the Council. The meeting included roughly two dozen Council members and Metro staff and a few members of the public.

Scott Greene, of Metro’s Service Planning and Scheduling Department, explained the proposed changes, including a proposal to swap the buses being run on Line 40 with the larger articulated buses currently running on the 710 and 740 Rapid routes. With ridership on Line 40 generally heavier than on the 710 and 740 Rapids, Metro reasons that using the larger capacity buses on Line 40 will accommodate more riders, particularly on Sunday when the 740 Rapid does not run.

Different wait times for passengers are also anticipated by Metro should the proposed changes be approved. For example, riders would have to wait, on average, 8 to 11 minutes for a weekday morning peak hour northbound Rapid bus versus the current 12 to 15 minute wait. On Line 40, the proposed change would increase the estimated wait time from the current eight minutes to 10 to 15 minutes for the weekday morning northbound peak service.

Other changes being proposed by Metro include a minor extension and modification of Line 607, a fairly low ridership line, that would provide service to Ladera Shopping Center at La Tijera and Centinela. With regard to the increasingly popular Silver Line, Metro is proposing adding an additional bus every hour. Presently the Silver Line runs six trips per hour at peak times. Metro also proposes improving the frequency of weekend bus service to decrease wait times and ensure adequate seating for riders. If approved, all of the proposed service changes would go into effect in June.

Metro also offered a presentation of the data on the agency’s compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Under the environmental justice compliance standard, if 50 percent of the riders on a particular line are classified as minority, or 35 percent as low income, proposed service changes are subject to a higher level of scrutiny.

Metro’s Regional Director Jon Hillmer began by noting that the Metro service area covers 1,433 square miles and that the agency operates 185 bus routes and, soon, six rail lines. He then explained Metro’s civil rights compliance plan and presented Metro’s Performance Report for December. Hillmer then responded to questions from the Council members, including “How does Metro determine the racial makeup and income status of bus riders?” Answer, Metro surveys riders on its buses.

In terms of opportunities to offer feedback to Metro about proposed service changes, those who don’t have access to a computer can contact Metro by phone and request a meeting.

The presentation closed with the welcome news that pre-revenue operations had begun on the Expo Line.