Actions taken today by the Metro Board of Directors

The Metro Board held their final meeting of 2014 this morning; audio of the meeting can be heard by clicking here. It was a short agenda with three receive-and-file items (in other words, items that serve as reports and don’t require a Board vote) on areas of reader interest:

•The Board received an update from Los Angeles World Airport officials on their Automated People Mover project (known as APM) that will include a transfer to the Crenshaw/LAX Line at Aviation/96th Street.

The current airport plan is to build three APM stations in LAX’s central terminal area. One station would serve Terminal 1, 6 and 7, the next station would serve Terminals 5 and 6 and the last station would serve the Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminals 3 and 4. Moving sidewalks would be used to help passengers get from the stations — which would be within the terminal horseshoe road — to the terminals. Another nugget: officials said that they want APM vehicles to be large enough to accommodate passengers with luggage on SmarteCartes.

The current plan, according to LAWA, is to start construction of the APM in 2017 or 2018 with construction taking five to seven years. Airport officials say they are mindful of one potential deadline: the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Los Angeles area is preparing a bid and is vying with three other cities — San Francisco, Boston and Washington D.C. — to represent the U.S. in the international competition to determine which city will host the Games.

As for the APM, it will also stop at a new Intermodal Transportation Facility that will have parking, serve as a shuttle bus stop and pickup and drop-off area for passengers. The next APM station would be at the Aviation/96th Station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line — a station that Metro will build that is planned as being terminal-like and much more robust than the usual light rail platform.

The final APM station would serve a consolidated rental car facility to be constructed east of Aviation Boulevard. As the name implies, the facility would bring together the more than a dozen rental car companies that serve LAX. Airport passengers would use the APM to reach rental cars, thereby removing the need for shuttles from rental car companies to endlessly circle the horseshoe road serving the airport terminals.

•The Board received a Metro staff report on the budget development process for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that begins July 1. The report looks at both Metro’s short/long-range revenues and expenses and suggests that the Metro Board at some point will have to revisit the question of fare increases (the Board approved the first of three increases recommended by Metro staff last year) and trimming operating expenses, perhaps through transit service changes. Metro staff is scheduled to give another financial update in February. Point of emphasis: nothing happens fare-wise or service-wise without a civil rights analysis (and hearings for a fare increase) and final approval of changes by the Metro Board — the 13-member body of mostly elected officials that oversees Metro.

•The Board also discussed a receive-and-file report from Metro staff on a change in policy that would allow all police officers to ride Metro for free whether on- or off-duty and whether in uniform or not. During the discussion, Board Members said there was a need to increase police presence on transit but some Board Members questioned whether police in plain clothes would serve as a useful deterrent. The item will likely be revisited in 2015.

17 replies

  1. Yeah, enough with the fare hikes. Gas prices are dropping below $3.00 a gallon, yet fares keep going up. At a point, it’s starts sounding idiotic that people have to pay the same price regardless of distance traveled.

    Metro can jack up fares to $2.00 or $3.00, but those should be fares for long distance travelers. The rest of us do not need to ride the bus for two hours across multiple buses and only want to use it to go to work 5 miles away shouldn’t have to be subject to the same fare hike as long distance commuters. Why should someone living in East LA commuting to DTLA pay the same price as someone going from Santa Monica to DTLA?

    The fare structure is the one that’s needs fixing, not the fare price itself!

  2. One correction. There are actually 8 terminals + TBIT.

    Also note that when all the LAX projects are done, the terminals won’t be numbered 1-8 + TBIT by that time. Terminals 1-3 will be consolidated to “North concourse” and terminals 4-7/8 will be consolidated into “South concourse.” A lot of renovations are going on at other terminals too along with adding and opening up interior corridors so that one can get between different terminals inside the terminal buildings and post security.

    Furthermore, airlines nowadays is all about alliances. In the future, all oneworld flights (American+US Airways, JAL, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia, LAN Chile, British Airways, Iberia, Qantas, airberlin) will be consolidated into where Terminal 4 and the southside of TBIT. Same thing with United and their Star Alliance partners, and Delta with their Skyteam partners.

    Those who keep clamoring for the APM to be a loop that brings them to the front doorstep of each terminal need to understand the bigger picture of what LAX is doing.

  3. It is amazing to me that it is always on the table when it comes to security for the ones who are actually taking the beatings and abuse, I wish some of the people that sit and make decisions about our lives would take our lives more seriously. We have families just like you that sit and decide our fate,just as you go home to yours we like to go home also. We are not just badge numbers. With the billions of dollars being poured into the growth and development of Metro I would think that the people that actually operate the system would get more consideration.

  4. I think Metro should optimize its bus service before it consider a fare increase. For example, why Metro assigns the 40-foot buses to run 686 & 687. These lines should be given away to the City of Pasadena because the ridership is so low. Why Metro assign the 32-foot buses to run Line 256 in which is always over crowded. Why Metro assign 45-foot buses to run the Orange Line shuttle between Warner Center and Chatsworth? 32-foot buses would do the job.

    I don’t understand why Metro only use 40-foot buses for lines 68,70 and 770? These lines very crowded between 4 pm to 6 pm. Maybe other readers out there may have more examples on Metro’s mismatch of resources for the bus and rail operations.

    • Reading is fundamental, but apparently not mandatory for all. While the current APM approach isn’t optimal (loop would be better/smarter), there is no additional shuttle required once you get off of it. As the article indicated, the plan is to install moving walkways to get travelers pretty much to the front door of the terminals they are headed to.

  5. Great planning by the MTA and LAWA on the APM. Now riders with their luggage must transfer from the Green or Crenshaw lines to the APM then again at the terminal area where they will still have to transfer to a shuttle bus to get to their final terminal. An APM loop stopping at each terminal would eliminate this additional inconvenient transfer and can replace the current terminal shuttle bus with every other train making the loop and every other train going to the 96th connection and the rental car stations, This would make for a much more convenient and faster trip to the 96th station and for riders going to another terminal,

  6. “Metro’s short/long-range revenues and expenses and suggests that the Metro Board at some point will have to revisit the question of fare increases”

    Here we go again. What’s next? Two dollars per ride? Three dollars? When will the constant fare hikes stop? Didn’t Garcetti recently go on a fact finding mission to Asia? What did he do there? Chauffeured around in a limo, never once taking a ride on Asian mass transit that is able to post annual profits with no fare hake for years of operation?

    • most great Asian transit systems cost more than $1.75 for 2 hours of travel across a region as large as LA County. $1.75 is even cheap compared to great American transit systems, like New York and Boston.

      • And most Asian transit systems don’t start off at $2.00 or $3.00 either and force riders to pay the same price regardless hey’re going to the supermarket or commuting 20+ miles either. They start off around 60 cents and gradually goes up.

        If fares go up to $2.00 per ride and you can’t use it for roundtrips, it’ll cost $4.00 just to go to your neighborhood Ralphs. How stupid is that? Not everyone needs a full 2 hour ride.

        Just because NY and Boston is doing it doesn’t mean LA should follow suit. You know, kinda like what UTA is beta-testing where fares start off at 50 cents up to a max of $2.50?

      • Everything California does is following the trend and better examples from other countries in the world, not following examples of other cities and states in the US. We have more tighter gun laws than most states and cities. We have strict requirements on how gasoline should be refined; that’s why gas is more expensive here in CA than other states; but it’s all in the interest for better air quality. The rest of the nation doesn’t have strict environmental laws and regulations as California does. We’re investing in high speed rail and alternative energy, following a trend in what other countries are doing.

        So why should we keep following failing examples of other cities and states in the US? So what if fares are more expensive in New York and Boston and that their fares also keep going up? Why should we copy their failures? That’s not what the people here in Los Angeles want; we want a fare structure that doesn’t keep going up all the time. That’s what the people want. We don’t want a fare system that keeps goes up to $2.00, $3.00, $4.00, like New York and other cities. What we want is stability in fares.

        If stabilizing fares requires moving to a distance based fare system, I’m all for it. Because that’s what matters in the end – how much it costs for my wallet to get around. If it means keeping fares fair and stable, I’ll learn how to use a distance based fare structure, just like how I learned to use a computer to get a job.

        Stop underestimating the people’s intelligence. We can figure it out. We’re not stupid to learn new things. If moving to a distance based fare system means I have to learn and remember how to tap-out at the exit, so be it. It’s nothing fancy or hard to do. Just like how people adapted to tapping in and going through turnstiles and gates; people learn to adapt. And nothing chaotic happened, people still ride Metro today under the gated system and Metro is doing a lot better than the stupid honor system they shouldn’t have done in the first place!

  7. So on the timeline described, the Crenshaw Line will almost certainly open before the APM, right? Will the Aviation/96th Street station open with the rest of the Crenshaw Line or will at wait until the APM opens? Will there be any kind of improved shuttle bus connection to the airport before the APM opens?

    • Yes, Crenshaw/LAX Line will likely be done before the APM under current schedules. The last that I heard the agency is still working out the timeline for finishing Aviation/96th although Aviation/Crenshaw will open as part of the main project. I don’t know about any additional shuttles but I’ll ask around — as you know, it’s still some time before the line opens.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source