Metro Moving Ahead with Bus Expansion

Despite the elimination of transit subsidies from our Greenhouse-Gas-Battling Governor and the Democratically controlled state legislature, Metro is pushing forward with plans to expand and improve bus service thanks to increased funding from Measure R.  A report to the Metro Board’s Measure R committee shows that just because the state has bowed out of the transit funding game, all is not lost for those who supported Measure R because they wanted better bus service.

While specific plans aren’t yet available, you can get an idea from both the report and the handout to the committee what Metro’s priorities are.  For example, they aren’t saying, "increasing number of buses at rush hour for the 704 line" but are saying, "Wilshire Blvd. to address existing crowding."  Metro is expressing these priorities for the 20% of Measure R that is going towards bus service:

Clean Fuel Bus Purchases
Added Fare Freezes or Reductions
Added Bus Lines
More Frequent Service
Longer Hours of Operation
Restructured Bus Lines

Not sure how Metro is going to both freeze or reduce fares and meet the stated goal of their draft Long Range Plan to have their farebox recovery ratio rise to 33% by 2010, but other than that these look like the kind of changes people expected when they voted for Measure R.

Meanwhile, the picture is less rosy for other municipal operators.  Thirteen of the sixteen local transit operators are going to use all or part of their Measure R subsidy to "replace lost funding" including Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus and the City of Los Angeles’ DASH service.

  • It’s great to hear about their fare box recovery rate, something I’m sure the MTA obsesses over, but what about their miles-driven recovery rate?

    You know, the miles every driver gets out of the moderate investment they make to the highways? Are we ever going to shoot for breaking even on that one? For all the air quality trouble that car transportation causes, you’d think that making it pay for itself in transportation fees would be a no-brainer.

    Maybe I’m wrong, or maybe the people in charge of the fare boxes are putting them in the wrong places (i.e. at freeway onramps and not at train stations).

  • Good thing Measure R passed.

  • Good thing the BRU’s campaign against Measure R failed.

  • Joe

    That picture is incredible

  • No Purple Line “simulator” rapid service proposed? All I want is to be able to take 1 bus from Wilshire/Western to Century City… like how the subway will run in the future.

  • mechazawa

    its a bad thing the BRU(me) was not successful in not having Measure R fail. Realize that this is a regressive tax, it taxes everybody the same everybody does not make the same amount so why do we all get taxed the same, its far from equal. But most importantly why do you think we don’t have money? Measure will not alleviate the problem of horrible spending tactics. Don’t believe for one second that this is what we all needed. And another thing this does not say is that it will improve for wealthier ares that don’t need it as opposed to the service cuts they are planning “somewhere”. You may say that i don’t know that but really that is how it plays out.

  • Mechazawa, if you and the BRU’s misguided attempt to defeat Measure R has succeeded, you would be seeing real deep cuts to bus service.

    Measure R was the only funding mechanism on offer that would have provided billions for buses. Theoretically, that is what the BRU t-shirts state they want. I was beyond basic reason for the BRU to have opposed Measure R. But then the BRU gave up reason years ago.

    Fortunately, there are a growing number of transit riders no longer willing to let the BRU claim to speak for us.

    Enjoy the bus service today that Measure R saved.

  • “No Purple Line “simulator” rapid service proposed? All I want is to be able to take 1 bus from Wilshire/Western to Century City… like how the subway will run in the future.”

    —————-

    I agree with a Purple Line simulator bus line. I send in a suggestion to the MTA that the 920 Rapid, which is so often empty, be converted into this. If they added a Century City stop between the Beverly Hills and Westwood stops and I think ridership would dramatically climb.

  • LAofAnaheim

    Mechazawa: “…this is a regressive tax, it taxes everybody the same everybody does not make the same amount so why do we all get taxed the same, its far from equal”.

    No, everybody does not make the same amount. We’re not the USSR, there is no government giving us the same $x. This is a country where you succeed with your hard work. Yes, doctors, lawyers, politicians, et al do work hard; just like people who work at the lower pay jobs. That’s the truth. So, I don’t buy this regressive tax bs. .25% increase for somebody making $100K plus, will have the same linear effect as somebody taxed at .25% of their $5K salary.

    Mechazawa: “And another thing this does not say is that it will improve for wealthier ares that don’t need it as opposed to the service cuts they are planning “somewhere”.

    Is the Crenshaw Corridor, Green Line extensions to LAX, Eastside Gold Line extension to Whittier, etc.. all “wealthier areas”? Where is most of the rail located right now? Is it unfair that people who pay the higher taxes (West LA) have NO RAIL? Is that fair? Are you telling me that somebody in East LA will have no use for the Purple Line extension to Westwood, Century City, West LA? Are you serious? Then, you’re being racist yourself if you don’t think people in the ‘poorer’ neighborhoods would take a train to work/play in a ‘wealthier’ neighborhood.

    You know, I would love to support the BRU, because I believe in bus advocacy. However, with stupid positions as “no rail, no Rapid bus, no money to the ‘wealthier’ areas”, makes me know this organization is a job. Mechazawa, y’all probably go around calling everybody a racist (which is the worst insult you can give somebody), but yet don’t realize that you are hurting your own members by always arguing with the MTA in ADDING Rapid service and building rail extensions. It’s good y’all don’t mean much anymore.

  • @mechazawa:

    I will happily support the idea to get MTA more money from other sources like vehicle registration fees, highway tolls, etc. Feel free to keep advocating for that. But the fact is none of that has been successful (as far as I know) for decades. If you get it on the ballot or through a committee vote, more power to you. But I predict that won’t happen, and point to the fact that it hasn’t for decades as evidence.

    So, in the end, you have things like Measure R: a possible source for more funding that will enable expansion and better services for mass transit. OR, you could not bring in that extra funding, and watch your transit system suffer as a result, and somehow claim victory for bus riders.

    The emperor has no clothes. You want better service and expansion? Put up the funding or shut up. We need to be thinking about the big picture, and stop shooting down ideas that would improve the system just because you’d prefer an unrealistic alternative that has no chance of passing.

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