COVID-19 update and Metro News Now; June 2, 2021

A few housekeeping items to begin:

•With life still getting back to normal-ish, we’re seeing an uptick in riders. Which is good. Friendly reminder: Metro and all transit agencies still require riders to wear face masks, as required by federal law.

Forgot your mask? Metro has installed mask dispensers on numerous buses, trains and at stations to make it easier for riders who may have forgotten or misplaced their masks.

•There are now four vaccination sites at Metro stations — El Monte Station opened yesterday and vax clinics at Harbor Gateway, Crenshaw/105 and Del Amo debuted last month. A site at Union Station will also open soon. All the deets are here.

Metro is trying to make it as easy and convenient as possible for riders to get a COVID-19 vaccination — the shot can be a quick stop during their commute.

And this: we’re offering four free Metro Micro rides in the El Monte zone to help people reach the vax clinic at El Monte Station.

•Metro is restoring more bus and rail service on June 27 as part of our twice yearly service changes. Info here. The plan is to restore bus service to pre-pandemic levels in September.

•I’ve written this a few times and will mention again: We think riding transit can be extremely safe especially if you wear a mask and get vaccinated.

In non-COVID agency news…

A ceremonial sodbusting was held for the Purple Line Extension’s Section 3 last week — this is the segment that will run between Century City and the Westwood VA Hospital — with another station at Westwood and Wilshire boulevards. Not-so-bold prediction: once the subway opens, Angelenos will oft wonder how we lived so long without it.

Construction is well underway on the segments between Wilshire/Western and Century City, btw.

•As you may have heard on the news, the Metro Board last week voted to continue the development of a fareless pilot program for students and low-income riders.

We don’t know yet when the pilot will begin. Metro staff will be working on a funding plan and nailing down other important details. Among the many public speakers at last week’s Board meeting, there certainly was a lot of enthusiasm for this important project.

Stephanie Wiggins had her first day on the job Tuesday as Metro’s new Chief Executive Officer. Stephanie was the CEO at Metrolink since late 2018 and prior to that was the Deputy CEO at Metro, among other jobs here. We extend a warm welcome back to Stephanie — and you’ll be seeing her name on the blog often.

•The group planning the aerial tram between Union Station and Dodger Stadium is holding two virtual meetings this week to learn more about the route and how the project will work. Info here.

•Good opportunity from Metro Art for an arts organization to create and show off a new mosaic mural at the Westwood VA Hospital subway station construction site. Many thousands of people pass the construction site on Wilshire every day. More below:

And in the news…

•Here’s coverage in the LAT of the Metro Board vote on the fareless pilot program.

•I’ve been keeping an eye on telecommuting and remote work coverage — as telecommuting and traffic seem to have a yin and yang relationship. This LAT article looks at yet another worker survey and finds that most employees do not want to be in their offices five days a week. Not exactly a shocker.

good news, as mentioned above, is that our transit service is in the process of getting back to normal and transit will be an option for those not looking to drive. We think riding transit can be extremely safe especially if you wear a mask and get vaccinated.

•Ninety percent of miles logged by on-demand vehicles by 2030 — i.e. Uber and Lyft — must be done in electric cars, so says the California Air Resources Board, reports Cal Matters. As you might have guessed, a lot of details (such as who pays for the cars) need to be worked out.

•Speaking of fully electric cars, LAT columnist Steve Lopez almost bought one — but like other consumers, ran into some issues and doubts.

Things to listen to whilst riding transit or thinking of one day riding transit again in hopefully the near future: A good Planet Money podcast on the burning in 1921 of Black Wall Street, i.e. the neighborhood in Tulsa that was destroyed by a white mob.

 

6 replies

  1. re: electric cars…i intend on buying out of state when California decides that their populace will no longer be allowed to sell or purchase new gas-powered cars within its borders. I’m even going to attempt to buy in a place with a higher sales tax figure, so as to avoid giving the state my money for the difference in tax rates. Out of spite.

    • You do know, don’t you, that unless you move out of state, you will still have to pay the CA sales tax even if you buy out-of-state and you register the car in CA? People who live in the Washington state suburbs who try that trick by buying their cars in Portland (Oregon has no sales tax) often get an unwelcome surprise.

  2. Sent an email to Metro regarding the proposed revamping of Hollywood Blvd #180 line which will now come every 7-10 mins but will be the ONLY bus going to Pasadena and down Fairfax making ALL local stops while eliminating #181/217 and the Rapid 780. They have not yet responded.

    People want a FASTER way to travel on a bus and that only happens with a RAPID ride. It is crazy to take away this option and choice from residents. This is MORE about saving money than increasing services.

    It makes no difference that the window of time waiting for bus will be shorter on #180. A LONG LOCAL RIDE IS STILL A LONG LOCAL RIDE. And adding more buses does not change anything. Nothing is worse than being stuck in street traffic on a bus that ONLY makes local stops you do not need.

    Unless my info is not correct. This will be a travel nightmare.

  3. Eliminating 90% of RAPID Service and merging local bus routes is not pre-pandemic Service. Metro is doing an injustice to the people of Los Angeles.

  4. “ I’ve written this a few times and will mention again: We think riding transit can be extremely safe especially if you wear a mask and get vaccinated.”

    Uhh, I think there are far worst issues than someone refusing to mask and for whatever personal reason refusing a vaccine on LAs buses and trains, I’ll tell you that much.