Actions taken by the Metro Board of Directors at December meeting

pdf here

The Metro Board of Directors met for the final time in 2020 last Thursday. Video of the meeting, which clocked in at a sleek 4 hours and 47 minutes, is above, as is the agenda. This page has links to all agenda items, too. The official item-by-item recap is at the bottom of this post.

For those scoring at home, the 13-member Board will have some turnover when they next meet on Jan. 28. Metro Board Member John Fasana — who has been a Board Member since Metro’s founding in 1993 — is retiring and will be replaced with a representative from the San Gabriel Valley. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who served on the Board briefly in 1993 and since late 2008, won election in November to the L.A. City Council. He will be replaced as an L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member by Supervisor-elect Holly Mitchell, who is currently a State Senator.
Among the items the Board took action on Thursday:

•The Board approved — and had deservedly kind words for — Metro’s 2020 Customer Experience Plan. Read and download it here.

From the staff report: “The purpose of the 2020 [Customer Experience] Plan is to take an honest look at pain points riders tell us about, and to make improvements that are responsive to those issues. The Plan examines 10 areas for improvement, ranging from service reliability to how Metro addresses homelessness.”

The plan ties together many different ongoing efforts across many different Metro departments. Among the many — some new ideas on how best to connect homeless who use the Metro system to social services they need and a pilot elevator attendant program. And there are deadlines!
Below are the recommendations, which I think cover the vast majority of rider (and non-rider, for that matter) concerns that we hear on The Source and our social media channels:

 

•The Board certified and approved the Final Environmental Impact Report for the East San Fernando Light Rail Project, which will build an 8.5-mile rail line with 14 stations between the Van Nuys G Line (Orange) station and the San Fernando/Sylmar Metrolink Station. The FEIR includes an option to build the project in phases. Staff report and Source post.

The Board also approved a motion calling for Metro staff to develop an updated traffic and safety study in the portion of the project that is in the city of San Fernando and runs alongside Metrolink’s Antelope Valley tracks.

•The Board approved the first/last mile plan for the East San Fernando Light Rail Project and returning to the Board with a report on implementation guidelines. Staff report and recent Source post.

•The Board approved the following names for stations on the first section of the D Line (Purple) Extension at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The official station names will be…drum roll please…the blissfully sensible Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. 🙌 Staff report

•The Board received an oral report and presentation on construction progress for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project.

•The Board received an oral report and presentation on the agency’s pandemic Recovery Task Force final recommendations.

•The Board approved a motion by several Board Members calling for Metro staff to develop a mobility concept plan for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics to be held in the Los Angeles area. The plan would include potential permanent transportation improvements, including potential bus lanes, a transit connector to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (where many events will be held) and first/last mile improvements around event sites, among other items.

•The Board approved a motion by several Board Members asking for Metro staff to report back on the possibility of using buses with doors on the left side of vehicle — instead of the right side. Context: Metro is studying several bus rapid transit projects and buses with doors on the left or both sides have more flexibility when it comes to building stations. For example, a station platform in the middle of a street could serve buses going in both directions if buses had doors on the left side.

Below is the official recap:

4 replies

  1. Would Metro please consider converting the windows of the newest buses so that they can be opened?
    I noticed the newest buses placed in service recently have their windows completely sealed, making it impossible to circulate air thoroughly. They are the new artic buses, including those on the orange line, as well as a typical local bus.
    In this pandemic era, ventilation is even more critical for passengers’ safety and health. And as you might be expected, buses A/C can fail at times. The new windows design also ignores the guideline from CDC to keep windows open at an indoor place for better ventilation. Not to mention that you should also convert the windows of the trains so they can be opened for ventilation and emergency purposes. Finally Please Please Please clean your bus and train more frequently after each trip, they are dirty and disgusting at times. Can’t stress enough to mention that nothing is more important than health and safety ride in the era of pandemic.

  2. Why has Metro decided (according to your customer relations office) NOT to provide new printed schedules for each of the bus lines for which major modifications to schedules and/or routes will take effect on December 13, 2020?

    For many, many years (decades?), Metro regularly has provided new printed schedules at each of the semi-annual “shakeouts” for every bus (and rail) line that has made any change at all to either its time-table/schedule or route (or both).

    Remember that Metro’s own passenger surveys consistently have shown that a substantial fraction (approaching 50%) of all Metro bus riders DO NOT CARRY SMART-PHONES with them when traveling on Metro–often because those bus riders cannot afford the initial or monthly costs of such service, or else may not own a smart phone for some other reason.

    Second, a substantial (if possibly smaller) fraction of bus riders do not have internet access at home (often for financial reasons).

    Third, almost all public libraries have been closed since last March, thereby eliminating the option of using their public computers (and printers) to print out any of your bus schedules (which could entail substantial cost, anyway, for those county residents who rely solely upon Metro for local transit.

    Fourth, when I finally was able to find a place where I could try to print out the new schedules for a couple of your bus lines (using Chrome), I was unable to print more than two pages of the schedule–thereby eliminating the Sunday schedules for each line.

    Even for those who have the ability to use the schedules/routes on Metro.net, it may be much easier to plan a trip (especially a trip involving connection with more than one bus or train) by using the printed folding bus-line brochures you used to provide than by trying to find the information on your web site.

    Sorry, but this problem shows yet again how little concern Metro actually has for its riders.

    • Hi burbox —

      My apologies for the delay in responding. The primary reason that we did not print timetables for last June’s schedule changes is that we feared they would quickly become inaccurate as we adjusted service due to the pandemic — which we have been doing between our regular twice-a-year changes. We have the same concern this time around — the pandemic is still going strong and there is the good possibility we will likely make adjustments on some lines prior to June. We are encouraging everyone to use our digital offerings and our official Transit app is a great way to plan a trip and has all the latest scheduling info. Riders without internet access can always call our customer service representative for most current update at 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876).

      Hope that helps and, again, I’m sorry for delayed response.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. What a disappointing reply! I thought my comment made clear that I do not have a smart phone or internet access at home. (This message is being sent via someone else’s internet connection.)

    Maybe you do not know that (besides the substantial inconvenience of having to call your schedule information phone number every time one wants to board/connect with even one Metro bus line), Metro does NOT provide schedule information, even by telephone, for customers who want to use any bus or train after about 7:00 p.m. (weekdays) or 4:30 p.m. (weekends and holidays). Therefore, your claim that we “can always call” Metro for transit information seems not to be true. (Is this “fake news”?)

    The “shake-up” planned for December 13th will be EXTREMELY different from the more ordinary type of semi-annual change your customers are used to, in that this upcoming shake-up will radically alter the schedules for many Local lines (as the former Rapid lines along the same routes are merged into the similar Local lines),

    Considering the magnitude of the upcoming changes, surely most would agree that Metro owes those thousands of customers without smart phones more (and more conveniently available) information on the changes schedules (and routes).

    I’m not asking that you place new schedules on every single bus, but at least you should make schedules available in the customer-service office on the first floor of Metro HQ for those customers who are willing to make a special trip downtown to get a few printed schedules.

    Surely, that is not too much to ask.