Input Wanted?

More maps are at the bottom of this article

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Metro’s "service modification" hearings which will cut 200,000 hours of service from bus routes across the region. The agency has made some effort to get the word out posting flyers in buses and sending out a press release back in Mid-January. The release says, "Additional details about these proposals can be accessed at www.metro.net," but I’ll be darned if I can find any additional details.

Thus far, the media really has been silent on the planned cuts. Last week City Beat printed the bombastic interview with Bart Reed, and today the Daily News talked to some commuters planning on buying cars to they can go to work. Other than those two stories, the media backlash has been on hold.

And, it’s not hard to figure out that Metro wants to keep it that way.

First, the period for public comment extends to only February 14 (which just happens to be a holiday) and the first public hearings are tomorrow (which just happens to be a religious holiday for most Christians). The only time Metro has a hearing scheduled for their headquarters is on a weekend, when most top officials and board members won’t be in the building.

Metro is also to be trying to hide the severity of the cuts, and their efforts will affect the quality of the testimony they receive. Thanks to the Transit Coalition, we have maps that explain the scopes of the cuts/expansions (mostly cuts) that Metro routes will see system wide, but the best Metro did was to provide a list in text format that is attached to the press release. While most people who choose to testify will complain about their individual routes being cut, it would be nearly impossible to give suggestions on ways to tinker with Metro’s plan without being able to see the changes graphically…which is what these hearings are supposed to be about.

In short, Metro doesn’t seem to be serious about solicitating public input. The hearing schedule is designed to limit turnout and the public materials are designed to obscure the scope of the service cuts. Hopefully, this gambit won’t succeed and the next week of hearings will be full of commuters who can’t afford to lose their transit service.

  • Peter McFerrin

    Killing owl service on #38 is really foolish. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of workers on campus at USC between 10 PM and 6 AM; the #38 buses aren’t exactly standing-room only during the owl period, but they’re not empty either.

  • Dan W.

    This map is spectacular!

    The MTA should have had a map this clear and understandable. Of course, they didn’t want people to realize the extent of the cuts.

    God bless whoever with the Transit Coalition designed it.

  • The

    There is no shortage of duplicity regarding the Los Angeles MTA. Whether it is MTA CEO Roger Snoble being all but publicly non-existent, to the empty PR rhetoric of Pam O’Connor, to the tilting at windmills by the least powerful L.A. councilmember (Wendy Greuel, whose hill-bred constituents may well be hard pressed to appreciate the four-centuries-olde allusion) or a truly conspiratorial attempt by the MTA to make the hearings difficult to attend in a way that should propmt a class-action suit, there should be a naming of names—such as above, with Roger and Pam—to make the MTA less a faceless agency and more an inconsiderate one of folk who make a great amount of money by screwing the straphangers of the second-largest city in the U.S.
    A lengthy sentence, that, but it is commensurate with how long this has been overdue in requiring someone other than myself to address. (I first started publishing my general lament of the L.A. MTA in, erm, 1997, after some three years of considerable research. Back then the best comment i could get from folk were, “Dude, just get a car!”)

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