Actions taken Thursday by the Metro Board of Directors

You can view the agenda online or download it here. The agenda includes links to all staff reports.

Among the actions taken by the Metro Board of Directors today:

•The Board approved three contracts for new Metro buses, with two of those for a total of 95 electric buses. Please see this Source post for more information. The Board also approved a motion endorsing Metro’s plan to transition to a zero emission fleet of buses by 2030. The motion also details several ways that Metro can accelerate the development of electric buses and be a leader in the transit industry on the conversion to electric buses.

•The Board received-and-file this report on bus speeds and on-time performance. Metro is working with cities on identifying ‘hot spots’ where projects can be done to improve bus speeds. Excerpt from staff report:

The path forward is to work with local jurisdictions to identify congestion hot spots and come up with short/mid/long term solutions. Metro needs the commitment of local jurisdictions and funding to fix this problem. One-time capital expenditures to implement transit priority solutions will be far less costly than the ongoing operating expense to address speed and reliability declines as a result of adding more service hours to provide the same service.  In addition slower and less reliable service will result in less ability to attract and retain ridership.

Unlike other transit agencies such as SF Muni, King County Metro, and Chicago Transit Authority, Metro does not have an in-house traffic engineering department with expertise in traffic signal optimization, intersection and street configuration, transit signal priorities, and traffic modeling and analysis which is dedicated to working with local jurisdictions on improving speed and on-time performance issues across the system.  In addition, many jurisdictions do not have the staffing capacity to provide significant assistance in these efforts.  Therefore, as a first step in working with local jurisdictions on such improvements, staff will secure the assistance of a full time contractor with expertise in traffic engineering and operations to advance efforts for improving speed and on-time performance on key corridors within the Metro system.

•The Board eceived-and-filed a staff report on short-term and long-term improvements to the Blue Line. On the near horizon, Metro says it will work with the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach to get more green lights for trains. On the far horizon, the agency will continue to study issues such as grade separation for the junction with the Expo Line (at Washington and Flower in DTLA) and potential for express tracks. A lot of interesting stuff here; one obvious challenge for the big stuff is identifying funding. Staff report:

There was also a short discussion of the item. Some nuggets:

•Of the 72 light rail vehicles used for the Blue Line, 22 of them are new Kinkisharyo light rail cars. That number will rise to 54 by August 2018.

•Eight of the new pedestrian crossing gates have been installed with 10 more by September. Another nine will be installed after that.

•Supervisor and Metro Board Member Janice Hahn said that looking back, it probably would have been wise to build more grade separations when the Blue Line was originally built. She said that she wants to take a deeper look at Metro’s grade separation policy to avoid such issues in the future for the Blue Line and other rail lines.

•The Board approved going forward with a study of potential frequency improvements to Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line between Burbank and Lancaster. Metro is one of the five county transportation agencies that funds Metrolink. Motion.

•The Board approved collective bargaining agreements with five labor unions representing Metro employees. Staff report and Source post.



7 replies

  1. Any moves to improve Blue and Expo performance would be minor without grade separation on Flower.

    I’d like to see a comparison between bike speed and the Expo line between the Galen Center and Pico. Depending on what train you’re on, the biker would probably win in rush hour

  2. Not a single discussion to relieve the overcrowding of peak time passengers on the Gold Line? What is this? Train conductors screaming “Doors closing” up to 6 to 8 times! Get more trains or more 3 car trains on the Gold Line Thank you.

  3. •Supervisor and Metro Board Member Janice Hahn said that looking back, it probably would have been wise to build more grade separations when the Blue Line was originally built. Really? Why then is Metro not grade separating the new Gold Line extension around the area of Pomona, Claremont, instead of just moving the Metrolink / freight tracks to the side and keeping the same, dangerous at grade crossings? Career politicians and their paid bureaucrats have perfect hindsight, but when advised of pending errors, become amazingly silent. There are funding tools available:

    Yes Mr. Hymon, I’m addressing you too….

  4. Metro needs to study the cost and funding to improve Antelope Valley Line for the High Speed Rail from Las Vegas to LA. Maybe the state can find some money to help the project…

  5. The minimum wage for the city of LA, and also the state, is rising annually until it hits $15. This will enable more people to afford purchasing a car. That will likely have a negative impact on ridership for Metro.