The January meeting of the Metro Board of Directors is in the books. The agenda is here. Among some of the notable items tackled:
•The Board approved releasing the draft NextGen Bus Plan for public review. Please see this Source post for more info about the draft plan.
•The Board approved a motion by Board Members — see below for the exact language — directing Metro to study providing free transit to high school and community college students.
There was certainly support from many Board Members for the idea — but Board Members also said they wanted more information about costs and the need in various school districts, including the LAUSD (by far the largest in L.A. County). Many of the potential benefits of such a plan were cited: improving mobility for young people, cost savings for families and increased transit ridership.
•The Board authorized a pilot program on the I-10 ExpressLanes that would provide toll-free travel to buses and registered vanpools as part of the I-10 the ExpressLanes/Busway Pilot Implementation Plan.
What happens next: a robust public outreach and education campaign will be conducted. A phased approach to implementation is planned beginning with Phase 1 which will allow only buses and registered vanpools to travel toll free. Following data collection and analysis of Phase 1, implementation of Phase 2 could allow vans and carpools of fiver or more to also travel toll free on the I-10 ExpressLanes.
The changes associated with this the Pilot are in response to slower speeds in the ExpressLanes due, in part, to motorists misrepresenting occupancy to evade tolls, and the need to improve transit on-time reliability. Phase 1 of the Pilot would not begin until later this year and would also include extensions of the customer loyalty and rewards programs. Staff report
•The Board approved Metro’s program with Via for six months to offer on-demand rides to/from to or from Burbank Metrolink, Burbank Airport Metrolink, North Hollywood, El Monte, Artesia, Compton, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks, Avalon, and Long Beach stations — and to extend hours and weekend service. Staff report and attachments and the Ride With Via page on metro.net.
•The Board authorized a $32.5-million contract with STV Incorporated (STV) to provide environmental, advanced conceptual engineering design and optional preliminary engineering for the Green Line Extension to Torrance light rail project. Staff report and attachments