Metro Proposes More Changes to Bus Routes and Schedules

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One year ago, during Metro’s bi-annual revision of its bus schedule, Metro released a schedule of proposed cuts, that was universally panned by pretty much every transit advocate in town, from Bart Reed, to Kymberleigh Richards to Damien Goodmon to the Bus Rider’s Union.  After a nearly universal bad reception, Mayor and Board-Chair-In-Waiting cut a political deal to delay the cuts.

In the past year, the landscape has changed for Metro and other transit agencies.  Measure R has passed, with 20% of the budget going to transit operating funds, but the state is promising to cut transit funds and there is little hope that the federal government is going to step in and pick up the slack.  In this landscape, Metro has released it’s proposed bus service changes that would go into effect in June.

For a full list of the changes, please you can see Metro’s press release or for an easier read check out MetroRider’s breakdown of the changes.  Personally, I’m not thrilled that the 714, the only Rapid Line I ever use, that runs down Beverly is going to be replaced with increased local service on the 14 along the same route.

While most of the proposed changes are cuts in service in some form or another, the public outcry isn’t nearly as loud as it was last year at this time.  The cuts were announced in a press release last week, and so far the only public comments available are from the Southern California Transit Advocates who offer a mixed bag of support and opposition.  The Bus Rider’s Union website hasn’t been updated since the fall election and thus far the Transit Coalition hasn’t released those awesome colored maps they did last year.

Nevertheless, the first public hearing will be held next week on February 4th at the San Fernando Valley Service Sector meeting.  A full schedule of service sector meetings can be found on Metro’s website, but this year they won’t be holding a meeting at Metro H.Q. to address all the proposed changes at once.

If you can’t make any of the hearings, you can email comments to Metro at “Service Changes June ‘09” to customerrelations@metro.net or fax to: 213.922.6988. Per usual, I’ll send an email with the comments from our section below along to Metro before the February 14 deadline,

Photo: Biofriendly/Flickr

  • anonymouse

    The very first thing thats strikes me about these changes is that they’re partially undoing an earlier round of changes, and partly some changes that they keep proposing over and over. And I think it’s a bit premature to change service for the Gold Line extension, I would much rather wait to see how the ridership patterns shake out after the opening, although minor reroutes to improve connections is a good idea.

  • I already e-mailed them, objecting to the re-route of line 794 from Brand Blvd. to San Fernando Rd., leaving downtown Glendale (and the Americana and Glendale Galleria) without a Rapid connection to Burbank or downtown…

  • Wad

    Anonymouse, Metro should have connecting service to the Gold Line ready as soon as the train starts. Not only that, but I think that north-south service needs to be beefed up seriously on streets other than Soto and Atlantic.

    On MetroRider I will be posting my opinions on the proposed service changes, plus some of my own suggestions for bus service improvements specific to the Eastside Gold Line extension in a segment called Open Source Transit.

    Janna, I agree with you about keeping the service along Brand. The Galleria is the busiest trip generator in Glendale for both employees and shoppers. Also, San Fernando Road may be a faster, more direct trip but lacks a major bus stop between the Glendale and Burbank Metrolink stations.

  • Cutting back the weakest Metro Rapids makes sense, because it allows MTA to maintain the clear definition of the brand. LA transit history is full of cases where a new product has been introduced aimed at dense areas, but then everyone has wanted one, and before long it has been extended to areas that can’t really support it. This is exactly what happened with DASH, and now it’s happening with the Rapid.

    I feel your pain about Beverly, but Metro Rapid is really at its best serving much longer corridors.

  • Echoing Jarret’s comment, I’ll miss the 714, but it doesn’t really make all that much sense. The times I have ridden it from east to west, I’ve been struck by how little traffic it carries. And while it’s been great to ride west to east, I’m not sure that it added significantly to the ease of that commute. I’d almost rather that they took the buses from the 714 and started extending the hours of the 920, though that’s mostly unfounded selfishness. I wish I could offer more comments, but I’m spending most of my time on the bus between Wilshire and Beverly and can’t speak to much more.

  • Metro keep threatening to cancel 124, 125, and 126 west of Green Line but every time I see one of those bus, it is always full of people trying to get to Green Line station from El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. I don’t get why these lines are even open to discussion as candidate for reduced/shorten/cancel.

  • @ Janna: Unfortunately, that deviation to serve downtown Glendale makes the Rapid 794 slower (!) than the local 94 between downtown Los Angeles and Burbank.

    According to the reports given at the governance council meetings over the past few months, that slowness has made 794 one of the worst-performing lines in the entire Metro system, especially when compared to the performance of the previous Line 394 limited-stop service it replaced.

    Also, the city of Glendale doesn’t want the Rapid in downtown, and only went along with this to comply with the federal court order (which has now expired).

    Just a little background as to why this proposal has come forward.

  • Wad

    Kym, does this mean Glendale will also force 780 to reroute? Interestingly, 780 is at its fastest in Glendale.

    As for Bzcat, Metro wants to unload these lines because, while they may be full, they don’t meet the performance target.

    Line 124 can be canceled if Metro coordinates with Torrance to reroute its Line 2 to run along El Segundo, instead of turning on Crenshaw and duplicating much of Metro Line 210.

    Anything west of the Green Line stations could plausibly be handled by Beach Cities Transit.

    As for Line 126, Gardena’s buses provide service nearby.

  • @ Wad: Glendale doesn’t object to the 780 on Broadway. But they have issues regarding Brand Blvd., which is their highest traffic corridor. (They aren’t even happy about local Line 92 being there; if they had their way, only Glendale Beeline buses would operate on Brand.)

    While I understand your and Janna’s position about the Galleria and other downtown Glendale destinations, the 794 has not attracted enough ridership from there to offset the operational problem that the deviation has caused. This has actually cost Metro money it hadn’t budgeted, as local 94 service had to be increased to accommodate the passengers who now prefer it to the Rapid.

    To bring up a bit of history that likely only you and I will remember, the implementation of the 794 (and its sister line 724) makes the implementation of 522 in 1995 look like brilliance.

  • Beach Cities Transit has stopped expanding ever since Terisa Price skipped town after her divorce, and with the MTA starting an audit of her allegations that Proposition A and C money was incorrectly spent, the remaining staff there have got to be gun shy. Essentially, she was the agency.

  • Wad

    Calwatch, about two weeks ago the Daily Breeze ran a story of Price’s lawsuit against the city of Redondo Beach. She had claimed that after she revealed Prop. A and C money was misspent on a city hall expansion, the city managers had begun to harass her.

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