Preview of Metro Board of Directors meeting this Thursday, Sept. 22

The Metro Board of Directors meets at 10 a.m. this Thursday, Sept. 22, for its regular monthly meeting. The agenda is here, where you can also peruse through the agenda, staff reports and attachments. A link to the meeting’s live webstream will appear on that page shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Live Public Comment Instructions:

–Live public comment can only be given by telephone.

–The Board Meeting begins at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Sept. 22, 2022; you may join the call 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

–Dial-in: 888-251-2949 and enter

–English Access Code: 8231160#

–Spanish Access Code: 4544724#

–Public comment will be taken as the Board takes up each item. To give public comment on an item, enter #2 (pound-two) when prompted. Please note that the live video feed lags about 30 seconds behind the actual meeting. There is no lag on the public comment dial-in line.

Among some of the more interesting items this month:

•The Board will get an update on our on-demand Metro Micro service. Presentation

•The Board will get an update on our fare-capping project. Presentation. In plain English, fare-capping means riders would pay-as-they-go instead of having to shell out for passes in advance.

•The Board will consider a motion to implement a three-prong strategy for our Vermont Transit Corridor project — first pursue immediate bus improvements, then a bus rapid transit project by 2027 and finally to pursue a long-term rail project. As many riders know, Vermont is one of our busiest bus corridors. Motion

•The Board will consider approving the I-710 South Corridor Task Force recommendations for a project vision statement, guiding principles and goals, pre-investment plan opportunities and a new name for the project (The Long Beach-East LA Corridor Mobility Investment Plan). Staff report with links to attachments. The project’s goal is to improve mobility and safety in the congested 710 corridor. The Board will also consider this related motion calling for Metro to supply a matching grant to one of the projects — the Humphreys Avenue Bike/Pedestrian Crossing in East LA

 

2 replies

  1. I see fare capping is being considered again. It’s definitely going to be helpful, and not only would it simplify decision making, it also makes a day pass accessible, since they can’t be purchased on buses right now. (They can’t even be purchased online and used on the next bus journey, because they need to be loaded onto the TAP card at a rail station, validator, or a non-Metro bus). However, why must free transfers be eliminated for this to happen? Also, the example shows that daily fares will be capped at 3 rides; does that mean that day passes are going down in price to $5.25? I think that would make the elimination of the free transfers a bit more acceptable. The presentation also guarantees TAP will not overcharge. I hope that’s true; imagine if the 50 cent transfer from a Muni agency to Metro counts towards the cap. It’s much simpler if the Seattle Puget Sound area method is adopted, where transfers are free, but your fare will be the highest-priced ride (so you pay the $0.65 upcharge if transferring from a $1.10 bus to a $1.75 bus). Finally, the presentation says that Senior peak/off-peak and Metro Express Bus upcharges are complicated and bad. Will these be eliminated?

  2. It’s about time fare capping was implemented: we’ve been asking for it ever since Metro moved to TAP.

    Since fare capping is a change in policy, what matters is how fares will change. The presentation suggests a stealth fare hike by eliminating free transfers. The slides show how a 5-trip, 8-ride day would be cheaper if transfers were eliminated and daily fare capped at 3 rides. However, for a more common 2-trip, 4-ride day (just a simple round trip with a transfer each way), this change in policy will result in a 50% increase in fare (2 trips today, 3-ride cap in the future). Assuming, of course, that the future price per ride is the same as the current price per trip.

    I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about the proposed fare changes in the coming months.

    Two other notes:

    1. Fare capping requires a fixed start for each capping period, so I assume the rolling 7-day and 30-day passes will be replaced with weekly and monthly caps.

    2. It’s not clear how inter-agency transfers will be integrated into this, if at all. Today they’re not integrated well: on a 3-ride trip Muni-Metro-Metro, the TAP card is charged 50c for the first transfer and full Metro fare for the second transfer, whereas if it were charged full metro fare for the first transfer, the second transfer would have been free. It’s not at all difficult to program TAP to charge the correct fares, though it does require more complicated fare tables. I hope Metro gives better direction this time around regarding inter-agency transfers.

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