Recap of Metro Board of Directors’ December meeting

The Metro Board of Directors last week held their final meeting of 2019.

Here’s the agenda from the meeting with the links to staff reports:

The recap with votes is below and will also be posted to this page:

Here’s a recording of the webstream from the meeting, which was 20 minutes shorter than “The Irishman:”

The Board:

•Approved programming $105 million for the first phase of the SR-71 Gap Closure Project to upgrade the 71 between Mission Boulevard and the San Bernardino County line. Upgrades include adding an HOV lane and general lane in each direction and closing the three intersections with the 71 in this stretch. Staff report

•Approved a contract for $27.5 million to WP USA for study and planning work on the 405 ExpressLanes project to run between the 10 and 101 freeways. This is a Measure M project. Part of the work includes figuring out whether there could be one or two ExpressLanes in each direction. Point of emphasis: this is not a freeway widening project. Staff report

•Approved amendments to the ordinance on how Metro enforces ExpressLane tolls (staff report). The updates will:

–Allow Metro to implement a pay-as-you-go system that will allow motorists to use the ExpressLanes without a transponder. Those who do will be mailed a bill for the toll plus a $4 processing fee.

–Allow Metro to implement an occupant detection system to ensure transponders are set correctly for the number of people in a vehicle. If the system detects the number of occupants declared in the vehicle was less than the number verified by the system, the transaction is flagged as a violation. Motorists will be mailed a bill for the toll plus a $4 processing fee and will have 30 days to respond before an additional penalty of $21 is added to the bill.

•Approved $7.5 million for final design work on the Lone Hill to White project to add a second set of tracks to Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line between the cities of San Dimas and La Verne. The San Bernardino Line is 67 percent single track, which creates bottlenecks as trains have to wait on sidings for other trains to pass. The project will also provide upgrades to 12 street crossings where trains will no longer have to blow their horns, meaning less noise for residents who live near the tracks. Staff report

•Approved extending the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement and Planning Document with Watt Companies for an additional 12 months for the joint development at the intersection of the Expo Line and Crenshaw/LAX Line. The development program includes a minimum of 400 total rental units (15% of which will be restricted to households earning 30% or less of area median income, and 5% of the total units restricted to households earning 30-80% of area median income), and at least 40,000 square feet of commercial and community space. Staff report

•The Board was also given an oral report on the reopening of the A Line on Nov. 2 and subsequent service issues. Presentation



9 replies

  1. Glad to see Metro building freeways (the SR71 project) in this era of melting polar ice and bad air days year round!

    • And just as the 710, it might also face opposition. But hey, if said communities want it and wanna fork the remaining cash needed, I’d say go ahead.

  2. Can I also now pay my Metro fare later with this additional $4 fee? Just send me a bill!

  3. I have read that Caltrain in Northern California is being electrified. Why is this not happening to Metrolink as well? I really do not understand why Metroliink is so slow about making positive changes.

  4. How will the occupancy detection system work? Will it have the capability to photograph babies whom are in car seats? Will it have the capability to film children whom are in the car’s back seat, or babies in car seats which are mounted in the back seat?

    • Hi Dominick;

      I don’t have all the details at this time but we’ll write more about it as it gets closer to launch. I understand your concern given that children and babies do count as carpoolers.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • I don’t understand the reasoning behind counting children and babies as carpoolers. The purpose of carpooling is to take potential drivers off the road, but children and babies aren’t potential drivers. Seems like only people of driving age should be considered carpoolers.