Metro News Now: Monday, Dec. 13, 2021

Art of Transit – Late autumnal afternoon on Vermont Ave. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Key Metro Updates

•Service changes are coming Sunday, Dec. 19. This is the third of three changes to implement our NextGen Bus Plan — the first big overhaul of the Metro Bus system  in 25 years. The idea is to bulk up more frequent service on our most used routes and adjust other routes to reflect today’s travel patterns. See the changes here and here’s an online tool that lets you see if/how your bus line is changing.

•Face masks are still required to ride Metro because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The federal TSA recently extended the facemask order through March 18, 2022.

•Fare collection resumes on Metro buses on Jan. 10. Metro has also been rolling out discount fares to help everyone keep riding — in addition to our GoPass that provides free transit for K-12 and community college students at participating schools and districts.

•The Metro Board earlier this month had a long discussion and took action on several items related to public safety and Metro’s law enforcement contracts. This Source post explains what transpired.

•The public comment period is now open for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project, which is beginning its draft environment report phase. The project will be either a monorail or heavy rail between the Van Nuys Metrolink Station and the E Line (Expo) on the Westside. There are six alternatives. Check ’em out here and please submit an official comment.

•Ridership-wise, our numbers ticked up slightly in November — even with Thanksgiving.

For sake of comparison note — we’re back to about 70 percent of our weekday pre-pandemic ridership, whereas the New York bus and subway numbers are tad lower in recent days (see below from the New York MTA). These are pretty typical numbers for transit across the nation and shows the toll the pandemic has taken. Lots of folks are still telecommuting and it will be interesting to see how many people return to offices here and across the U.S. in 2022.

Around the horn on social media

Some posts that caught my eye…

Directly related to above ridership item — this shows there are many people who heavily rely on public transit.

The gist of it — traffic in many places hasn’t returned to 2019 levels because of telecommuting. Interesting to see our region not topping these kind of lists as in years past.

Good, pertinent messaging.

Much-needed water falling this week in the Sierra. Does not look like a fun day to be on I-80 over Donner Pass.

From the media

•Seattle was able to add about 60K housing units in past decade — an impressive number — but still couldn’t keep pace with population growth, reports the Seattle Times. Other cities, including those in our region, are grappling with the same problem with housing. There just isn’t enough and it’s often not built where needed the most.

•The NYT recently looked at challenges in getting big infrastructure built in the U.S. in recent years. Among the issues: cost, rising construction costs and lengthy federal requirements.

•Some good news on the infrastructure front via the LAT: funding is almost complete to build a wildlife bridge over the 101 west of Calabasas — thanks to a huge fund-raising push. The bridge could help mountain lions survive in the Santa Monica Mountains.

•The NYT also dove into the race to be the next mayor of L.A. with the primaries this coming June. The winner gets an automatic seat on the Metro Board of Direcrors and can appoint three Board Members.

Sportsing

We know for sure that one NFL playoff game will be at SoFi: the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. Both the Rams and Chargers have a good chance of making the playoffs — but both need to win a lot of games down the stretch to win their respective divisions and host a game. The Rams play at Arizona tonight and the Chargers host the Chiefs Thursday — both games key to the playoff picture. Here’s how to ride Metro to SoFi.

3 replies

  1. Wow Chicago is the worst. They have the El and Metra and they still have bad traffic.

  2. I take Metro buses daily. I still come across with bus operators who only open the rear door to let people get on the bus. Isn’t front-door boarding a system-wide policy now? Sometimes it is like a guessing game because I don’t know whether the operator will open the front and/or rear door. Some people solve this issue by getting ready in the middle of the two doors! I hope Metro asks all bus operators to follow the front-door boarding operation with the 12/19 shakeup.

    BTW, wish us all good luck during the first few days (maybe weeks) starting Jan 10. I can already picture the delays on all bus lines when fare collection resumes.

    Back in March 2020, it took ONE ride for people to completely get used to not having to pay. Being asked to pay again? …….. It’s just human nature.

  3. Numble on Twitter revealed something that had flown beneath the radar even of activists about the Sepulveda proposals: option 6 is with rail equipment compatible with the Red/Purple. 4 and 5 is smaller.

    Another example that getting information on this project is like pulling teeth.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/numble/status/1466119329649463297

    To get the lowdown on snowpack in the Sierras check Bulletin 120 of the Water Resources Department next year around February 10th. Subsequent editions will be issued monthly during the first week of March through May. Very informative.

    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/bulletin120/