Preview of Metro Board of Director’s meeting on Thursday, Sept. 28

The Metro Board of Directors have their monthly full Board meeting this Thursday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. The full agenda with links to staff reports is here.

A link will also appear on that same page to watch/listen to the livestream shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday. The public is also welcome to attend in person; the meetings are held in the 3rd floor Board Room at Metro headquarters adjacent to Union Station’s East Portal.

For those who want to give public testimony, here are the instructions:

Live public comment can be given by telephone or in-person.

The Board Meeting begins at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Sept. 28, 2023; 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.

Instrucciones para comentarios publicos en vivo: Los comentarios publicos en vivo se pueden dar por telefono o en persona. La Reunion de la Junta comienza a las 10:00 AM, hora del Pacifico, el 28 de septiembre de 2023.

Puedes unirte a la llamada 5 minutos antes del comienso de la junta. Marque: 888-251-2949 y ingrese el codigo Codigo de acceso en ingles: 8231160# Codigo de acceso en espanol: 4544724# Los comentarios del público se tomaran cuando se toma cada tema. Para dar un comentario público sobre una tema ingrese # 2 (Tecla de numero y dos) cuando se le solicite. Tenga en cuenta que la transmisión de video en vivo se retrasa unos 30 segundos con respecto a la reunión real. No hay retraso en la línea de acceso telefónico para comentarios públicos.

Here are brief descriptions of a few interesting items the Board will tackle this month:

•The Board will consider extending Metro Micro’s contract with RideCo for another year — through Sept. 2024 for an amount not to exceed $14.1 million. Metro Micro is a pilot program that started in Dec. 2020 with the idea of seeing how on-demand service would work, particularly in areas that are more challenging to serve with fixed-route bus service. The contract extension would give Metro time to develop a new business plan and see what’s working and what’s not — and to make adjustments. Staff report

•The Board will consider reprogramming $1.6 million in unused funding for Metrolink toward restoring service to pre-pandemic levels on Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line. The funds would add four trips each weekday (including late night service) and — significantly — on weekends provide hourly service between Santa Clarita and Union Station and bi-hourly service between Lancaster and Union Station on weekends. Metro is one of five county transportation agencies that fund Metrolink; this is shifting part of the funds that by law are set to go to Metrolink. This is not shifting Metro operating funds to Metrolink. Staff report and presentation

•Related to the above, the Board will consider a motion calling for Metro to help fund a study to be done with Metrolink on reducing train horn noise at/near the station in Glendale. The idea of the study is to ensure and preserve safety at rail crossings while looking at potential options, including potential rail crossing elimination. The motion asks for a report back to the Board next April.

•The Board will consider awarding a $55.7-million contract with the engineering firm AECOM to prepare the studies needed for the Vermont Transit Corridor project. Staff report, presentation and map at right of the project study area.

Quick background: Vermont Avenue is the second-busiest corridor served by Metro — behind only Wilshire Boulevard. A project to improve transit was included in 2016’s Measure M sales tax measure approved by LA County voters. Since then, the Metro Board has approved a three-prong approach to improving transit service Vermont: near-term bus service improvements, a medium-term bus rapid transit project and a longer-term rail project if funding for rail project can be secured.

We know there’s been a lot of interest in this project. For bus rapid transit, the contract includes an Alternatives Analysis, a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption under State Senate Bill 922, and Advanced Conceptual Engineering (ACE) — and the option for an additional federal to make the project eligible for federal funds. Part 2 of the contract would follow the bus rapid transit study and includes an alternatives analysis, state environmental review of rail alternatives and ACE for rail alternatives. There’s also an option to go forward with federal studies for rail.

•The Board will consider setting the final life-of-project budget for the K Line project at $2.44 billion, an increase of $299.9 million. That would close out the light rail project and settle claims made by the project’s contractor, Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors. Staff report

•The Board will consider a motion that calls for Metro to provide regular updates on the cleaning of ancillary areas on the rail system and to continue to make plans and improvements to cleaning and securing these non-public areas.

2 replies

  1. I hate seeing a “3 pronged” approach to the Vermont Corridor. Those first 2 steps are just a waste of money. Use the money from steps 1 and 2 to get the environmental and engineering started on this route and push hard for construction money. Build Vermont in segments much like Wilshire. I would say WSAB branch is priority #1 since board approved segment #1.
    Sepulveda Pass segment #1 should be priority #2 and then Vermont. 3 major projects that will take decades- so lets get pushing on these.