Actions taken today by the Metro Board of Directors

A gastropub is coming to the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station thanks to a lease approved today by the Metro Board of Directors. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

A gastropub is coming to the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station thanks to a lease approved today by the Metro Board of Directors. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

A few highlights from the meeting (agenda here) of the Metro Board of Directors on Oct. 2, 2014:

•Item 7: The Board approved a lease with Eric Needleman and Cedd Moses for a new gastropub for the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station. Staff report and earlier Source post.

•Items 5 and 6: The Board also approved leases for two kiosks in Union Station’s East Portal. One will serve bento boxes and the other kiosk will offer coffee.

•Item 23: The Board approved moving ahead with the design and environmental review of a new portal and pedestrian passageway between 7th/Metro Center Station and the shopping center across 7th Street now known as The Bloc. In plain English, this project will add an entrance to the busy 7th/Metro Center from the south side of 7th Street. Staff report

•Item 20: The Board approved a budget of $1.4 million to add approximately 200 parking spaces at the Red Line’s North Hollywood Station using “temporary parking surface material” in order to lower the cost and make the project more feasible. Staff report

•Item 77: The Board approved calling the new 788 Rapid Bus between the San Fernando Valley and Westwood the “Valley Westside Express” — the bus will use the HOV lanes on the 405 freeway to get across the Sepulveda Pass. Please see this earlier Source post for a map of the service, which begins Dec. 15.

•Items 74 and 75: The Board approved motions by Members Ara Najarian and Pam O’Connor calling for Metro to incorporate the names of two Board Members — Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina — into the names of the North Hollywood and East Los Angeles Civic Center stations, respectively. Item 74, Item 75 and earlier Source post.

•Item 26: The Board approved a schedule to update the Metro’s long-range transportation plan to incorporate projects for a potential ballot measure in 2016. Under the schedule, a draft expenditure plan and potential ordinance would be ready for Board review between March and May 2015. Staff report

•Item 72: The Board gave approval for Metro to begin seeking a federal New Starts grant of $1.146 billion and federal TIFIA loan of $307 million to help fund the second phase of the Purple Line Extension between Wilshire/La Cienega and the Century City station at Avenue of the Stars/Constellation. Metro hopes to use the money to complete the second phase by 2025, one year ahead of the agency’s long-range plan schedule. Staff report

•Item 57: The Board approved a motion directing Metro to create a $10-million pilot program for a “business interruption fund” to help small firms whose businesses suffer as a result of construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the first phase of the Purple Line Extension and the Regional Connector. Motion

•Item 83: The Board approved a motion to direct Metro staff to continue working with DTLA Arts District residents for design improvements to a new subway maintenance building that will be adjacent to a new park under the new Sixth Street Viaduct. Several Arts District residents in public testimony said they were not happy with progress on the redesign. Motion

•Item 78: The Board approved a “resolution of necessity” to begin eminent domain proceedings to acquire 25 properties needed for construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Owners of the properties either have not accepted a written offer from Metro or have not reached a negotiated sales price with the agency. Staff report


24 replies

  1. If Molina and Yaroslavsky want to do something for their legacy, they would say, “thanks, but no thanks.” Showing the voters that you can be humble looks way better than a plaque at a rail station, and could help you in the future if you’re planning on running for another office. But humility has no place on the LAC Board of Supervisors, it seems.

  2. OK, I think we can all agree that the station naming for the supervisors is idiotic, but comments to the effect of, “OH, I will never vote for any more transportation projects!” because of this action is equally idiotic. Talk about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face!

    • I disagree. Metro and the Board will always continue to come back begging for money and waste them on things like this unless the people draw the line and say no more.

      It’s the people and the taxpayers that need to take a stand against these kinds of wasteful spending. Otherwise, Metro and the politicians that run the Board will keep pushing the envelope.

      The US is a democracy, not a dictatorship.

    • Here’s another way of looking at it: you want the vote in 2016, then stop this naming of stations after politicians. That costs zero dollars for a likely pass on a tax hike. Go at it, then it would be millions of tax dollars wasted in renaming stations and a no vote on the tax hike.

      Wasteful spending is a cancer here in California, and the actions taken by the Metro Board today is a fine example of that.

  3. What’s next? Mike Antonovich Station? The Mark Ridley-Thomas Line? Renaming One Gateway Plaza to Eric Garcetti Plaza? Will there be giant posters of smiling Metro Board politicians hung around all the stations like third world dictatorships? The possibilities of wasting tax payer dollars are endless!

    What Metro has done today will have severe repercussions in their planned Measure R2 2016 tax increase proposal. If you look at the comments page of The Source article that discussed this station renaming issue, it has a low one star rating by 21 readers with 68 angry comments against it.

    Look, a lot of people today disagree on many things like fare evasion, gating, fare restructuring, flat rate vs distance based, but one thing in common is that people who usually disagree with each other practically all lined up AGAINST the idea of naming stations after living, currently serving Metro Board members. That should’ve given you guys a hint that this isn’t a good idea. But you went ahead anyway. You just showed us that the people on the Metro Board do not care about taxpayers, when it’s the taxpayers who are the ones that vote these politicians into office.

    • I don’t agree with it either, but it really is a minor issue. The public can vote them out, but won’t.

      • The problem is these people are not voted to the Metro Board, but they use Metro for their own political gain. All five County Supervisors, Four from L.A. City and four more from various regions.

        We need to have the Board Elected Directly by the people with those running for office have expertise in transportation.

    • Well said. Metro has lost my support for any future tax increases. Anyone who says this is a “minor issue” doesn’t care about politics and aren’t like to vote anyway.

  4. It’s time for those traveling thru the Westside to make a statement. With continual grid lock on our East-West streets like Santa Monica Bl. the MTA board should be proposing and set to start immediate construction on a Light Rail Line along Santa Monica Bl., State Highway 2. Item 26 seeks to put on the ballot in 2016 a tax increase to fund further rail construction. We should make it absolutely clear that unless said transit project is the number one priority said ballot measure will be opposed.

  5. If you oppose the motions by Members Ara Najarian and Pam O’Connor approved today “calling for Metro to incorporate the names of two Board Members — Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina — into the names of the North Hollywood and East Los Angeles Civic Center stations, respectively,” as reported here, please consider joining this newly created Facebook group called “Sensible Names for Los Angeles MTA Stations”:

    Please click here:

  6. Meaningless, tacky in the extreme, and singularly unpopular, at least outside of the Metro boardroom.

  7. EVERYONE IS OPPOSED TO THIS!! Doing your job at the well-funded expense of taxpayers does not give you the right to plaster your name. Stop this nonsense pandering. I love Metro but this is repulsive.

  8. I agree with what Robert said above. Apparently, the MTA Board does what ever it pleases and does not care about what the public feels. I think it is tacky to name stations after board members who have not passed away.

    In addition, I wanted to say that I have visited your Customer Relations Office in the MTA Headquarters Building at Gateway Center. The way the employees treat customers that walk in to that office is deplorable. Employees who have attitudes should not be working at the Metro public counters.

  9. Congratulations, Metro Board! Since you insist on wasting taxpayer money on re-naming stations after yourselves, I am now highly motivated to begin campaigning AGAINST any and all potential tax increases you propose for the 2016 election. Did you not realize how bad this would make you look to the public? You have forever tarnished your reputation and this is exactly the sort of thing that will cause the failure of any measure you propose (Measure J was so incredibly close, but things like this will ensure that never happens again – it won’t be close this time). But do Zev and Gloria care? Of course not. They’re termed out and don’t care about the future of transit in LA, only themselves and having their names on giant plaques. This whole matter is disgusting, and just shows how messed up the Board’s priorities are. Instead of spending an extra SECOND on this ridiculous motion, you should have been working on efforts that actually do something to improve transit service in LA.

    • It isn’t the hubris-motivated plaques that will cost excessive money (they will surely soon be taken to a recycle center by a metal thief), it is the cost of reprinting every map, every timetable and all the other info-graphics related costs that ought to be taken out of the pensions of these two egoists.

  10. Item 83, Metro once ditches an opportunity to add a new station near the maintenance facility. Metro believe that it sole priority is to please fellow politicians by renaming the stations. Those stations will be renamed again when the politicians pass way.

  11. I will be very interested in the bento box kiosk. Too bad it will be at the “wrong end” of the station as far as my Union Station travel habits are concerned (mostly Amtrak bus). But then, there’s always Famima!!

    Incidentally, the Japanese word for such a thing would be “ekiben.”

  12. I doubt anyone on the Metro Board ever bothers to read The Source..or that anyone working for The Source, including Steve, are given any sort of communication with the Board. You would think after the outcry from the previous post, someone at Metro would have let the Board know how angry the public was about this effort to rename stations after Board members. It’s sad that they don’t realize how much this harms Metro from a PR perspective.

  13. So the Board approved the motion to incorporate “Gloria Molina” and Zev Yaroslavsky” into station names. Does the Board not read The Source? Citizens commenting here were strongly opposed to the motion for all kinds of good reasons, yet the Board went ahead and did as it pleased. I’m frankly disgusted at this tacky display of the cult of local “personalities.”

    • Well they have to provide a report at the January 2015 Board meeting, based on the motion. Therefore that is the time for people to organize and shut this down. There will be a couple thousand in staff time wasted on doing the report, getting the information, reviewing it, etc. so we can’t stop that, but also in 2015 a new Board will be present, with two new supervisors and possibly different councilmembers, who might have a different opinion.

    • It is plain unethical to name stuff after setting Board members. There are plenty of retire or dead people to name stuff after. You have to hold your nose at this kind of stuff.