Among the actions taken by the Board:
•As part of the NextGen Bus Study to restructure the Metro bus system, the Board adopted “Regional Service Concepts.” The concepts are relatively simple. Faster service. Frequent service throughout the day. Service that reflects current travel patterns and demand. Better network connectivity and less waiting time to transfer. More standardized schedules and better coordination with other bus agencies that operate in L.A. County.
The next step after this action will be for Metro to release the redesigned bus routes this coming winter with public hearings to follow. The goal is to begin implementing our new bus system in June 2020. Staff report with attachments
The Board also approved the following motion asking for a report on other potential bus improvements, including more all-door boarding:
•In support of the NextGen study, the Board also approved this motion calling for Metro to draw up a list of bus infrastructure projects that would help speed up bus service. These could be bus lanes, signal priority, que jumps or island boarding areas. Motion
•The Board authorized Metro to finalize negotiations with the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority for Metro to commit $126 million to fill a funding shortfall and ensure the first phase of the Gold Line Extension reaches Pomona — where riders can transfer to/from Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line.
The funds would come from Measure M subregion equity funds for the San Gabriel Valley if agreed upon by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. Metro and the Construction Authority plan to work together on a funding plan to extend the line to Claremont and would coordinate with San Bernardino County to support extending the line to Montclair. Staff report
•The Board authorized Metro to go forward with soliciting up to two Pre-Development Agreement contracts with private firms on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project. As we put it in last week’s Source post on the project:
One way to tackle the funding issue is being considered this Thursday when staff are asking the Metro Board to approve using a Predevelopment Agreement (PDA) in which the agency would bring in a private firm or firms to help advance the design of the individual concepts.
The idea behind this approach is that early involvement from the private sector could help find ways to improve the project and lower costs. If the PDA is successful in developing a feasible project that is chosen by the Metro Board of Directors, the firm would then have a chance to make Metro an offer to build the project as a Public Private Partnership (P3). The private sector partner would also supply a portion of financing as well as potentially operate and maintain the project. Metro could accept the offer, refuse it or pursue another concept for the project altogether.
As part of Metro’s PDA approach, the public will still have every opportunity to comment on proposals, just like with any of our projects. Metro will have final say on all project design decisions, as well as running the project’s environmental review process. The Metro Board will be making the ultimate decision about what the project will be and how to proceed with the PDA partner.
•The Board adopted a “Micro Mobility Vehicles Pilot Program.” Translated to English that means a set of rules to ensure electric scooters and other similar devices that belong to private firms get parked in areas where they won’t get in your way. And, yes, Metro will be asking private firms to pay a very reasonable fee to allow their scooters, etc., to be parked in designated areas at stations. Staff report
•The Board adopted the Metro Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which outlines how Metro is fighting and preparing for climate change. The CAAP identifies ways the agency can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, sets emission targets and identifies steps to increase the ability of our system to bounce back and withstand extreme weather and long-term climate impacts. Staff report and attachments.
•The Board heard two staff reports about incrementally improving more trains on Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line, including the stretch from Union Station in DTLA to Burbank and the entire line to Lancaster. Metro is one of five county transportation agencies that provides funding for Metrolink commuter rail, thus our involvement. The Board also approved this motion to support work leading to hourly train service between Union Station and the North County.
In the short-term, more trains could be added — including late night weekend service. More expensive would be making track improvements — and adding track — so that more trains could run on the line. The idea is to get the planning work done so that funding can be pursued for the bigger projects.
•The Board authorized Metro to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Destination Crenshaw art and streetscape project and to provide $15 million to help fund a park at Crenshaw and Leimert Park boulevards, near the rail line’s Leimert Park Station. Staff report