Preview of Metro Board’s August meeting

The monthly meeting of the Metro Board of Directors is 10 a.m. Thursday. As has been the case since March, this will be a virtual meeting due to the ongoing pandemic. You can listen/watch the webstream — a link will appear here when the meeting begins. If you can’t attend the live meeting, an archive of the webstream will be posted a day or two after the meeting concludes.

The agenda is here and includes links to staff reports and presentations.

The following are some of the more noteworthy items:

•The Board will receive a presentation on the amount of bus and rail service that Metro plans to provide in its fiscal year 2021 budget. Source post and presentation.

Metro is requesting Board approval to amend the Purple Line Extension Section 1 project budget from $2.77 billion to $2.97 billion. This additional $200 million request represents an overall seven percent increase to the budget and is needed to fund mitigations taken since construction began in 2015.

Section 1 of the project will run for 3.9 miles between Wilshire/Western and the new Wilshire/La Cienega Station– an area with some of the most complex underground conditions. These include issues with water containment and gas and tar sands — particularly in the areas surrounding the La Brea Tar Pits. There have also been increased costs due to third-party requests and safety-related items.

Section 1 is now nearly two-thirds complete. More than 85 percent of the tunnels have been completed. Excavation for all three planned subway station boxes beneath Wilshire Boulevard has also been completed and three miles of tunnels dug. Metro anticipates completing the last mile of tunneling to Wilshire/La Cienega this winter. Staff report.

•The Board will consider a $48.3-million contract with HNTB Corporation, Terry A. Hayes Associates Inc. and AECOM Technical Services to do the required environmental studies and advanced conceptual engineering for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project. Here is a recent Source post with an update on the project and the Predevelopment Agreement process. Staff report.

•The Board will hear an oral report on the operating plan for the Regional Connector, which is under construction and will tie together the A (Blue), E (Expo) and L (Gold) Lines via a 1.9-mile tunnel under downtown Los Angeles. Metro staff have looked at three primary service scenarios and found that running trains between East Los Angeles and Santa Monica and between Azusa and Long Beach performed the best.  Presentation.

•The Board will consider advancing three possible routes for the Crenshaw Northern Extension project, as well as a $50.3-million contract for environmental analysis and advanced conceptual engineering of the project. Source post and staff report.

•The Board will receive an update on the construction progress of the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Presentation

•The Board will consider programming $3 million toward the planning of a private high-speed rail line between Palmdale and the Victorville area. Desert XPress, a private firm owned by Virgin, is trying to finance and build a Victorville-to-Las Vegas rail line along with a high-speed connector between Victorville and the Antelope Valley following the east-west path of the proposed High Desert Corridor freeway. Staff report.

•The Board is receiving an update on Metro’s Equity and Race program in this staff report. There is a lot of detail in the report — I encourage you to read. Metro will continue to target infrastructure and service investments toward those with the greatest needs and work to enhance communities and lives through mobility and access to opportunity.

•The Board will receive a staff report on Metro Art’s ongoing efforts to “uplift the human spirit” during these challenging times with more art and cultural programming to help soothe our collective souls, brighten our communities and help with the reimagining of transportation. An accompanying motion calls for dedicating $400,000 to these efforts. To learn more about our Metro Art program, check out the Instagram stream.

•The Board will consider establishing a new adopt-a-bike program. From the staff report:

Metro collects 400-500 bicycles per month left on the Metro system and on Metro property which are subsequently transported to Metro’s lost and found facilities. Seventy-five percent (75%) of these bicycles are never claimed by their owner. After the bicycles are stored for 90 days as required by state law, the current Metro procedure dictates that unclaimed bicycles are to be sold at auction.

Under the pilot program, bikes instead would be given to groups who could distribute to those in need. See the report for all the details.

•The Board will consider authorizing an Exclusive Negotiations Agreement with the Walter J Company (Proposer) for the joint development of Metro-owned property at Westlake/MacArthur Park Station for 18 months with an option for 12 more months. A recent update to the plan added more income restricted and workforce housing to the project. Staff report

•Authorizing Metro staff to create a voluntary separation program incentive for Metro staff should that program go forward. Staff report


2 replies

  1. Hi so I tried to email my comments to on items 16(Crenshaw light rail northern extension), 26(regional connector service plan update), and the general public comment for the 8/27/2020 board meeting. The front cover of the agenda says email by 5pm the day before the meeting. When I watched the board meeting my name was not mentioned on the items 16&26 and the general public comment portion. How come? Did they forget to read my emailed comments during the meeting for the record? If they did, then what’s going on here? I typed my email comments for item 16,26, and general public comment to be read out loud to the board members and now my name was not mentioned for the record? What’s going on here?can anybody please tell me why my name was not mentioned in item 16,26&general public comment for the 8/27/2020 board meeting? I need to have an answer about this please!!!!!!!!
    Please respond back to me as soon as possible!!!!
    Thank you!!!!!

    • Hi Bill;

      I’ll try to find out what happened and if your public testimony was received.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source