The Metro Board of Directors held its final meeting of 2021 on Thursday. The agenda for the meeting and an archived livestream of the meeting are above.
Please see this separate Source post for a description of the actions taken by the Board regarding public safety and law enforcement contracts on Thursday.
Among the other noteworthy items the Board took action on were:
•The Board received-and-filed a funding plan for a project to build light rail between the city of Artesia and downtown Los Angeles. (The project’s official name is the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor).
The funding plan outlines strategies for bridging a funding gap for the project and potential sources of funding — applying for federal New Starts grants, seeking additional state grants and the possible use of available local funds. Metro staff were asked to return to the Board with more information on how more of the project could be built as soon as possible. Staff report
•The Board approved $5 million in funding for 13 Open and Slow Streets events through Dec. 2023 — these are events in which streets are temporarily closed to vehicles and opened to walkers and cyclists.
•The Board approved changes to the agency’s Code of Conduct for riders. This paragraph from the Metro staff report explains it best:
The effect of this change would create a new remedy [for] reclining on, placing objects on, or blocking a seat, and (G) occupying more than one seat in the form of a warning, referral placement preconditioned removal, and/or other remedy such as to a safe bed, bath, and breakfast location, instead of just an unsafe ejection to nowhere. Subsection (E) preventing a door from closing would remain as a warning or ejection. Security and enforcement personnel would be able to give warnings for all these subsections with a new Schedule remedy addressing violations through alternative means.
•The Board approved the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for a project that will make track improvements that allow Metrolink trains to run every 30 minutes between downtown L.A. and Santa Clarita and every 60 minutes between DTLA and Lancaster. Staff report and FEIR.
•The Board approved a budget of $156.4 million for a project to build a bridge for the BNSF freight tracks over the intersection of Rosecrans and Marquand in the city of Santa Fe Springs. About 130 Amtrak, Metrolink and freight trains pass through the current street level track crossing each day — and this will be a considerable and long-awaited safety and traffic improvement. Staff report.
•The Board approved a motion that would require Metro to include in its reports how projects and programs will reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled, also known as VMT. In recent years, VMT has become a key way to measure how much people are driving and a way to measure how driving is impacting the climate.
The motion also called for Metro to adopt the same VMT goals as L.A. County did in their OurCounty Plan in 2019. At that time, the per capita VMT in L.A. County was about 21.9 miles. The VMT goals for L.A. County and Metro are:
Reduce average daily VMT per capita to 20 miles
Increase to at least 15% all trips by foot, bike, micromobility, or public transit
Reduce average daily VMT per capita to 15 miles
Increase to at least 30% all trips by foot, bike, micromobility, or public transit
Reduce average daily VMT per capita to 10 miles
Increase to at least 50% all trips by foot, bike, micromobility, or public transit
•The Board approved a motion asking Metro staff to develop an action plan to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the Metro Bike Share system. Motion