Recap of Metro Board’s April meeting

Below is the official meeting recap, which will also soon be posted to metro.net:

And here’s the agenda to the meeting (pdf and links to reports are here):

And below is the webstream of the meeting, which this month was a brisk two hours and 47 minutes in length. That’s 75 minutes shorter than the new cut of “Justice League” for the idly curious or those keeping score.

Among the items tackled with the usual vigor and enthusiasm by the Board:

•The Board approved the West Santa Ana Branch and the Sepulveda Transit Corridor projects as the next Metro project candidates for federal funding due to their high ridership expectations, the cost of the projects and other key criteria the projects meet.

Some helpful background: the West Santa Ana project will be a light rail line between Artesia and downtown L.A. with transfers to the C Line and A Line. Part of the line would run on an old streetcar corridor named the Santa Ana Branch that ran between L.A. and Santa Ana — and which Metro has owned for many years.

The Sepulveda Transit Corridor will be a high capacity monorail or heavy rail line between Van Nuys and the Westside — and eventually LAX.

Both projects are in the planning phase and have funding from Measure R, Measure M and other sources. As for federal funding, the feds won’t pay for an entire project – but they can certainly help fund a big chunk of a project. Example: Metro’s Purple Line Extension and Regional Connector have together secured about $4.4 billion in fed funds.

The Board is also being asked to authorize the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor — a light rail line between Van Nuys and San Fernando — to pursue a federal “Early Project Delivery” grant for projects that could be delivered in innovative ways. That includes a public-private partnership.

Here’s the staff report. Very wonky but important stuff.

An accompanying Board motion was approved and asks Metro staff to pursue potential federal funding for the people mover project in Inglewood that will connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s downtown Inglewood Station to SoFi Stadium, the Forum and the city’s planned arena for the Clippers.

•The Board approved a motion that asks Metro staff to report back with possible permanent funding sources for the Dodger Stadium Express.

The popular bus shuttle between the South Bay, Union Station and Dodger Stadium has been funded mostly with state grants since starting in 2010. That has been challenging at times. The hope is to ensure the shuttle remains a fixture for many years to come.

With the Dodgers allowing fans back into the ballpark, the DSE is up and running for this season if you’re headed to a game soon and don’t feel like driving or coughing up the cost of parking.

•The Board approved setting a budget of $898 million for the Airport Metro Connector project. The transit station will be located at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street along the Crenshaw/LAX Line corridor.

The station will be the transfer point between Metro Rail, Metro Bus and the LAX Automated People Mover (which is currently under construction) that will connect riders to airport terminals. If this item approved, early work is expected to begin in the next few months with major construction starting in Fall 2021 with a forecasted opening in Summer 2024. The staff report also takes a look at funding and construction impacts to rail service.

This was a bit of a long discussion that included talk about rising construction costs across the industry — a challenge for Metro and other mobility providers.

•The Board received-and-file this update on Metro’s Fareless System Initiative, which proposes a pilot program offering fareless rides to K-12 students (as early as this August) and low-income riders. A Board vote on moving ahead with a test program is scheduled for the Board’s May round of meetings.

Metro staff are currently refining the proposal and this will — for good rason — be the big item of the May round of meetings.

•The Board approved a design/build process to build a track intrusion system. The idea is to detect intruders on tracks and other unauthorized areas. This should improve safety and reduce rider delays. Staff report

6 replies

  1. Do we have any word on how the money raised from allowing the Academy to rent Union Station for a month is going to be spent? And how much that actually is?

  2. I submitted a public question to the Board for its April 22 meeting. It was: “How much did METRO charge the Academy for nearly exclusive use of Union Station, thus greatly inconvenienceing 2 million +/- travelers-owners (based on METRO estimates)? Did the Board’s reply? Did I miss it? If so, what was the price tag? The Oscars (one of the worst, if not the worst in recent memory, in my opinion) might have been worth the hassle for a few days for some publicity, but not for nearly a month! What was the Board thinking? At what meeting did the Board originally discussed the rental? I have received no reply yet from the Board Secretary, etc. This taxpayer wants to know if the Board was running a public transit system or a “Runaway Train”? METRO was quoted in the Wall Street Journal that: “We will not disrupt, delay, or cause problems for our passengers.” I visited several Union Station several times and METRO and the Academy did just that: “disrupt, delay, cause problems” for its tax paying, voting passengers. I ask these question not only as a Union Station patron but as an Academy Museum Charter Member.

    • I’ve asked this here and on many other sites’ comments sections, and I think we’re the only ones who care about this. Freedom of Information request time maybe.

  3. Federal funding for the Inglewood people mover? Seriously?

    That’s a local project that should be supported by whatever revenues the city of Inglewood generates from the Hollywood Park development, Clippers arena sight and Forum activities.

    Other than the sports and entertainment facilities, there’s little benefit to other businesses.

    If there’s a funding shortfall, Inglewood hasn’t met a digital billboard it doesn’t like.

  4. LARY, LATL & LAMTA streetcars used to carry the sign ‘NEXT CAR PLEASE’, used when the car was overcrowded or delayed. Buses no longer do that. Has anyone suggested that to LA METRO?