Preview of Metro Board of Directors March meeting

pdf download here

The Metro Board of Directors meets at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 25, for its regular monthly meeting. As has been the case since last spring, the meeting will be held virtually due to the ongoing pandemic.

In addition to the agenda above, this page also has links to all agenda items and will have a link to the livestream shortly before the meeting begins.

A recording of the meeting will be archived if you want to view or listen at a later date or watch in smaller chunks (not a bad idea, as these meetings can be loooooooong).

Public comment is changing a bit this month — all public comment will be at the beginning of the meeting:

–You may join the call 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

–Dial-in: 888-251-2949 and enter either the:

–English Access Code: 8231160# or

–Spanish Access Code: 4544724#

–To give public comment, enter #2 (pound-two) when the comment period opens. Please note that the live video feed lags about 30 seconds behind the actual meeting. There is no lag on the public comment dial-in line.

-You can email your comment by 5 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 24) to

One governance note: Whittier Councilmember Fernando Dutra was sworn in to the Metro Board on March 17 to replace Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who did not seek reelection to the Board.

Among the more interesting items the Board is scheduled to tackle:

•The Board will consider a $36-million increase to Metro’s five-year law enforcement contract with the Los Angeles Police Department, Long  Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to cover additional costs through Dec. 31 of this year. This item was previously scheduled to be heard last month when the increase was a proposed $111 million.

Among the extra costs covered by the contract increase are Metro programs to connect unhoused riders to social services and shelters and the cost of deploying more officers on the system.

As part of the increase, Metro’s new Public Safety Advisory Committee — which is meeting for the first time this spring — would have the chance to make preliminary recommendations for the last six months of the contract, which ends June 30, 2022. 

Here is a previous Source post on the law enforcement contract and here’s the current staff report.

•The Board will consider two contracts for Pre-Development work on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project between the San Fernando Valley and Westside. One contract, worth up to $69 million, would go to Bechtel to develop a heavy rail line and the other contract, worth up to $63.6 million, would go to LA SkyRail Express to develop a monorail line.

The work with these firms to develop and refine these concepts will coincide with the environmental review of the project by Metro. Once the Metro Board chooses a route and type of transit for this project, Metro will have the option to select one of these firms to design, build, and help finance the project, and potentially fulfill roles in operations and maintenance. Metro also has the option to select other options for the project. 

The next step for the project: The range of alternatives for environmental review will be presented to the Board in April 2021 and the public scoping period would begin later this year. Scoping gives the public the chance to help shape what issues the environmental study needs to cover.

There’s plenty to consider, including how the new line will access key communities in the Valley and on the Westside, including the UCLA campus. Staff report and Presentation.

•The Board will hear an update on Metro’s Fareless System Initiative (FSI), which is exploring a phased 18-month pilot program that would provide fareless transit for low-income and K-12 riders. Staff report and Source post.

Six Board Members have also authored a motion asking for more details on going fareless — including funding sources.

•The Board will consider asking Metro to begin development of a pilot program on fare capping. Fare capping would allow customers to pay as they go when it comes to passes. For example, under fare capping the most a rider would pay for a day pass is $7 or a monthly pass is $100. This is something riders over the years have requested. Staff report

•The Board will consider adopting recommendations to modernize Metro’s Highway Program and release them for public review.

What exactly does this mean? Feel free to dive into the staff report. But for those who don’t speak Government, it means that highway funds can be used for a broader array of projects, including ones that would benefit transit riders (bus lanes!) and pedestrians and cyclists (Complete Streets!).

To put it even more plainly, this is a widely supported move by local governments in L.A. County to get away from past policies that heavily favored moving cars over everything else.

•The Board will consider establishing a life-of-project budget of $649 million to add HOV lanes to the 5 freeway in the Santa Clarita Valley between the 14 freeway and Parker Road. The project will also extend some truck lanes, add some auxiliary lanes and widen seven bridges.

Those of you with long memories may recall this project was originally slated to be an ExpressLanes-type project but has evolved over the years. Staff report 

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

•The Board will receive an update on Customer Experience Survey results from 2020. Results and Presentation. Here are three slides that tell a story:

•The Board will consider approving the use of a progressive design/build method to build the G Line (Orange) Improvements Project. The project proposes to build bridges for the bus way over Van Nuys and Sepulveda boulevards and to install railroad style gates at other intersections to reduce the potential for accidents.

Again, for those not fluent in Government and/or Project Management,. PDB allows the contractor to get involved earlier in the design process earlier, thereby reducing overall time to build a project. If you crave more deets, the staff report is filled to the brim with them.

•The Board will receive an update on Metro’s plan to have a zero emission bus fleet by 2030 — 10 years ahead of the state deadline. Staff report, the plan and presentation. Metro is currently in the midst of adding more zero emission buses to the G Line (Orange).

•On the bus rapid transit front, the Board will consider approving five potential corridors for future BRT lines (funding permitting, as usual). Those corridors are Atlantic, Broadway, Cesar Chavez, La Cienega and Venice. Metro staff recommend Broadway as the top candidate.

As part of the same item, the Board is also approving BRT standards and design guidelines. Long story short: standards and designs ensure that BRT lines are fast, frequent and easy to spot. Much more in the staff report.

•The Board will consider a $170.3-million contract with Kinkisharyo to perform midlife overhauls on the P2550 fleet of light rail vehicles, which were originally made by a different manufacturer, AnsaldoBreda. Work will be done at Kinkisharyo’s facility in Palmdale, thereby creating 143 good jobs.

Those who are keen on all-things-light-rail-cars may recall that’s the same facility where Kinkisharyo assembled 235 light rail vehicles for Metro over the past seven years.

•The Board will consider approving Metro and the city of Inglewood creating the Inglewood Transit Connector Joint Powers Authority to own, manage, and oversee the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a 1.6-mile automated people mover between the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Downtown Inglewood Station, the Forum, SoFi Stadium and the future basketball arena.

SoFi Stadium is the home to the Rams and Chargers and will be a key part of the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

From the staff report: The JPA does not require Metro to make any capital contributions to the Authority. Any future contributions of capital or services will be made at Metro’s discretion, pursuant to separate agreements between Metro and the Authority.

And that’s a wrap. See you Thursday!



4 replies

  1. “ •On the bus rapid transit front, the Board will consider approving five potential corridors for future BRT lines (funding permitting, as usual). Those corridors are Atlantic, Broadway, Cesar Chavez, La Cienega and Venice. Metro staff recommend Broadway as the top candidate.”

    – The Hypocrisy behind this. Metro just gave almost all Rapid Lines a judgement date and here Metro is saying, “Hey, these corridors seems like good candidates for a more enhanced version of a type of bus service we just canceled, let’s waste even more money on this.”

    If the ridership for BRT was there (I personally believe it is for Venice and Broadway), then why on earth did Metro just cancel the Rapid service when it could’ve just remained when I mean let’s be real, ridership didn’t really justify the means to keep 3 of the 5 Rapid Lines that operated on Corridors just mentioned?

    Venice and Broadway Rapid Lines could still continue operation, while waiting for Bus Only Lanes and eventually full conversion to BRT and Ultimately rail, but nope.

  2. Save the $63 million and kill the monorail folly. HRT is the only serious solution for the Sepulveda Pass.