To download a pdf of the agenda, click here.
The Metro Board of Directors had its first full meeting of 2022 today. The webstream of the meeting will be posted soon and we’ll add the link here as soon as we can.
Here are some of the highlights of the meeting:
•The Board was briefed on Metro’s plan to temporarily adjust bus and rail services levels to allow for more reliable service in the face of a significant shortage of bus operators.
Like so many organizations across the country, Metro has been facing staffing shortages in all areas of our operation since the onset of the pandemic. These shortages have been especially acute with our bus and rail operators. Although we are seeing significant progress in our recruitment efforts, the COVID-19 spike combined with restoration of service hours to meet the needs of our riders who are most dependent on transit has stretched our operators to their limits.
As a result, we strongly believe the best option for our riders and our operators at this time is to temporarily and strategically reduce some of our service offerings throughout the network. This will not only reduce service cancellations and improve reliability, but it will also allow Metro to deploy resources in the most equitable way possible during this period to keep our system, our riders, and our drivers safe.
The key word here is ‘temporarily.’ And to emphasize that point: the Metro Board approved a motion Thursday to set a goal to return to full service levels no later than June 2022.
We’re working on the details of the upcoming changes and will post that information soon. In the meantime, this slide from the Metro staff presentation outlines the approach we are taking to the service adjustments:
We also want to emphasize that Metro is currently hiring more than 500 bus operators and is offering a $3,000 bonus for coming aboard. This is a great career opportunity. Metro offers competitive hourly rates starting at $17.75 for a 30-hour job as bus operators with benefits that include health insurance, tuition reimbursements, paid training, retirement plan options and flexible working hours. Please encourage friends, family and community members to become a part of the Metro team that provides excellence in service and support and keeps our region moving. Apply at metro.net/driveLA.
Please give the video below a look — these are good jobs that can lead to good careers.
•The Board approved a route for the initial segment of the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor project — a light rail line between Southeast L.A. County and downtown L.A. The Board also approved Union Station as the northern terminus of the project. Staff report.
In addition, the Board approved a related Board motion that the project will not be considered complete until it provides a one-seat ride between Artesia and Union Station. The motion also calls for further study and planning on several aspects of the northern part of the line — including the transfer between West Santa Ana and the A Line (Blue) at Slauson Station, a future station in Little Tokyo, improvements to the A/E Lines junction at Washington and Flower and funding strategies.
Here’s a map below — the Board approved alternative 3 as the route for the initial segment.
•The Board approved a motion that Metro partner with the County of Los Angeles and the nonprofit PATH for a heightened response to homeless and high acuity people on the Metro system.
•The Board received-and-filed a staff report on the future electrification of buses used on the J Line (Silver). Some context: Metro has a goal of an entire zero emission bus fleet by 2030 (which is ahead of the state’s deadline) and the G Line (Orange) is now running an entirely electrified fleet of buses.
•The Board approved a motion to increase the number of trees that need to be replaced to accommodate a new auxiliary lane to be built along the 91 freeway between Atlantic Boulevard and Cherry Avenue in Long Beach. The motion also calls for Metro supplying at least $1 million for improved air filtration systems in homes and businesses within 750 feet of the project.
•The Board adopted a budget of $115 million for the Rail-to-Rail project to build a walking and bike path between the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Florence/West Station and the A Line’s (Blue) Slauson Station. The project will be built atop the old freight tracks in this corridor — including the stretch of tracks along the north side of Slauson Avenue. A second segment will extend the path to the L.A. River. Staff report
•The Board was supplied with this presentation on rising construction costs for infrastructure projects and other types of construction across the U.S.