LADOT Outlines Massive Cuts, Fare Hikes, for DASH

1_11_10_dash.jpgThis route won’t be alone in seeing a cut…but at least it survives. Photo: rjmconnel/Flickr

For much of the last year, Los Angeles’ transit riders were spared much of the suffering caused by the Governor and legislature’s decisions to eliminate transit funding in the name of partially closing the yawning chasm which is the state’s budget deficit.  However, those days are long gone.  Already we’ve seen a large service cut plan passed by the Metrolink Board of Directors.  Today we see the outline of a coming massive service cut for LADOT’s DASH, Commuter Express, Charter Bus, and City Ride bus services.

In a letter to Neighborhood Council’s, LADOT General Manager reminds the communities of the $350 million structural deficit over the next decade for the transit lines, $23 million of which comes in the next year.  You can read the brochure included in the letter to the Councils here, or read on after the jump for a breakdown of the cuts and hikes by service. Prepare yourself, the word "draconian" came to mind while digesting the changes, although it’s not like they have a lot of choice while our jet-setting state leaders terminate transit funding.  Oh, and good luck finding news of the cuts on the LADOT main site or transit services site.  (Update: You can now find them here: http://ladotlbl.tmdinc.net/recommend.htm)

To register your outrage or try to save your line of choice, you have three options.

1. Internet –Go to http://ladotlbl.tmdinc.net

2. Telephone & Leave Message – Call (213) 455-0880

3. Mail – Send your comments to
LADOT, 201 North Los Angeles St.,
Space 18B, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Public hearings have not been scheduled, but will probably be held next month.  A final review of the of the plan will come before the City Council this Spring and the changes will go into place in July.

Hikes and Cuts by Service.

Charter Bus Program will be completely eliminated.

DASH

Routes to be eliminated:

Central City
East Downtown Route C
Downtown Route DD
Fairfax Hollywood/West Hollywood
Hyde Park Shuttle
Van Nuys/Studio City Warner Center (North & South)

Routes with Service Changes:

Downtown Route D: Reduce frequency to every 15 minutes after 6:00 PM
El Sereno/City Terrace: Reduce frequency to every 30 minutes from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Highland Park/Eagle Rock: Eliminate service along Yosemite Dr. and Colorado Blvd. east of Townsend Ave.
Lincoln Heights/Chinatown: Change routing as follows: Serve current routing from College St. and Centennial St. in Chinatown to Broadway and Lincoln Park Ave. in Lincoln Heights (both directions). Eliminate all other portions of route including Cesar Chavez Ave., Main St. and Griffin Ave.
Northridge: Eliminate AM and PM Commuter Service and reduce frequency to every 15 minutes
Wilmington: Eliminate service after 7:00 PM

Fare increases: Current/Fare on July, 2010/Fare on July 2011

One-Way Tickets .25, .35, .50
Senior/Disabled .10, .15, .2
Monthly $9, $13, $18
Trip Ticket Booklet $15, $21, $30

Commuter Express

Routes to be eliminated:

413 – Van Nuys/Burbank/North Hollywood/Los Angeles
430 – Brentwood/Pacific Palisades/Los Angeles
575 – Simi Valley/Warner Center

Routes to see reductions:

142 – San Pedro/Long Beach: Eliminate service to Customs House; reduce frequency to every 30 minutes; end service at 9:00 PM
419 – Chatsworth/Northridge/Granada Hills/Mission Hills: Remove service west of Chatsworth Metrolink Station
422 – Central LA/Hollywood/San Fernando Valley/Thousand Oaks & 423 – Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks/Woodland Hills/Encino/Downtown LA: Eliminate service to/from Ventura County; end service at Westlake Village

Fare Hikes:

There’s a big table in the letter to the Neighborhood Councils, but depending what type of ticket you buy you can expect to see hikes of 30%-60% in the next two years.

City Ride

Bus Pass Subsidy
Cityride participants will no longer be able to use Cityride fare value (formerly scrip) to buy Metro Monthly Passes, but can still purchase the substantially discounted Metro Passes for $14/month.

Reductions
Reduce the annual fare value (formerly scrip) allotment to $168/year ($42 per quarter)
Reduce Dial-A-Ride maximum trip length to 10 miles

Hikes:

Quarterly fees will go from $9 to $21.
Dial-a-Ride cost will go to $3 a trip
Increase one-time emergency trips to $12 for $24 of fare value

  • William Miller

    Where will all the money go?

    With respect to the following Dash bus routes to be eliminated:
    As a senior citizen and a daily rider of the Fairfax and Hollywood/W. Hollywood bus routes, the elimination of these routes will not only cause me a personal hardship in getting around but will limit my shopping to stores within a few blocks of my home.

    Needless to say, the stores I shop (CVS, Whole Foods, Ross, K-Mart, Ralph’s, Pavilions, the Grove) will lose out on the money I have to spend. In addition, I depend on the Dash for trips to Cedars Sinai Hospital area for medical treatments.

    It seems, the elected officials can always come up with money to fund various studies and causes for their pet projects, thus leaving the Senior citizens who are taxpayers and voters fending for themselves in difficult economic times.

    I do not see any recommendations by the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation to suggest a cut in pay for executives of Ladot or the L. A. Department of Transportation. Are you not part of our economic problem?

    Have the corporations that benefit from the Dash bus service in the Fairfax district or Hollywood/W. Hollywood been asked to partially subsidize the Dash commuters who shop in their stores? The subsidy can be done directly to Ladot or Dash riders thru a Metro like card that stores can scan with each purchase. We do have the technology.

    Has the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation conducted a retail financial loss study for the proposed eliminated routes?

    It appears that when local governments are faced with a funding problem, they are willing to cut services but never consider taking across the board executive pay cuts to keep our economy going – I believe the appropriate word is GREED!!!

  • Matthew Pearson

    Your Comments:To whom it may Concern;
    Dear Ladot I feel that we should Keep the Service we now have, and because we are 2 billion plus + in a Hole California alone we need to help the people get through these times. Also with MTA going on strick again soon, LADOT WILL shine very bright in the eyes of the people who need tranportation.Now last but not lest we need to exstend the Ladot Dash but that goes done Gower truns on SUnset to Western to Fountain and Egdmont.to make a left turn on Fountain, and make a stop by Kiaser Hospital turn around and continue on it Journey to on Fountain .for all the peopl in the naighborhood who are disabled and can not walk from Fountain, and Edgmont,the bus should go to foutain to Sunset stop in Frount of Kiaser turn back around and continue on it’s Journey down Fountain . this would help a very lot for us who are disabled.
    this concoulds this E-mail please feel free to contact me for fother Quistions and information
    323-463-7131
    sincerly
    Matthew Pearson

    © Copyright 2009, LADOT. All rights reserved.

  • Mr. Miller, transportation funding is tightening plus LADOT has long said their situation is unsustainable as to keeping all the existing DASH routes, as per my previous comments

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2010/01/20/activists-respond-to-dash-cuts-and-hikes-ladot-schedules-public-hearings/

    The Fairfax and Hollywood/W. Hollywood routes mostly duplicate existing Metro routes and have very low patronage. As a taxpayer I think it only fair that my monies subsidize services that at least get a modicum of use.

    A pay cut for public employees wouldn’t produce anywhere near enough monies to fend off service cuts and could be expensive in the long run if it causes a brain drain of experienced city staff moving to the private sector.

    Who is supposed to chase down these fantasy private subsidies you claim can fill the budget hole? In my experience such monies almost never actually get put on the table. Emotionalism and empty rhetoric doesn’t justify continuing to run near empty buses.

    Plus if you are a senior you have access to Citiride’s dial-a-ride service to take transport you for shopping, medical appointments, etc. at a subsidized rate.

  • William Miller

    Billionaires, Corporations and mealy mouth political hacks eat from the same trough and rape every taxpayer in the good ole USA, a country that was known for its manufacturing and individual skills that made this country so great.

    World War 11 was the awakening of our giant resources and skills that smashed the Nazi and Japanese war machines and told the world we are AMERICANS living in the greatest country in the world. What are we today? Where is our manufacturing?

    This is how our tax money is squandered and why we cannot get needed services for the poor, seniors, the homeless and hard working citizens of the United States.

    Haiti: Where will all the money go?
    By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer
    Fri Jan 15, 7:58 am ET

    WASHINGTON – Haiti has received billions of dollars in taxpayer and private aid from the United States and others, yet is so poor that few homes had safe drinking water, sewage disposal or electricity even before the earthquake. With sympathetic donors around the world sending money, making sure that aid is spent properly will be a challenge.
    Corruption, theft and other crime and Haiti’s sheer shortage of fundamentals — reliable roads, telephone and power lines and a sound financial system — add to the difficulty as foreign governments and charities try not only to help Haiti recover from the disaster but pull itself out of abject poverty.
    It is one of the poorest places on Earth. Most basic public services are lacking, people typically live on less than $2 a day, nearly half the population is illiterate and the government has a history of instability. The public has little opportunity to be sure that aid to the government is used honestly and well. Nor is following the money easy for donors, including the United States, 700 miles away and one of the country’s biggest helpers.

    WASHINGTON – Haiti has received billions of dollars in taxpayer and private aid from the United States and others, yet is so poor that few homes had safe drinking water, sewage disposal or electricity even before the earthquake. With sympathetic donors around the world sending money, making sure that aid is spent properly will be a challenge.
    Corruption, theft and other crime and Haiti’s sheer shortage of fundamentals — reliable roads, telephone and power lines and a sound financial system — add to the difficulty as foreign governments and charities try not only to help Haiti recover from the disaster but pull itself out of abject poverty.
    It is one of the poorest places on Earth. Most basic public services are lacking, people typically live on less than $2 a day, nearly half the population is illiterate and the government has a history of instability. The public has little opportunity to be sure that aid to the government is used honestly and well. Nor is following the money easy for donors, including the United States, 700 miles away and one of the country’s biggest helpers.
    “It has been a challenge and I think it really is one of the things we have to look at when the country has had such long-standing problems that it seems as though we have made little dent there,” said Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on international organizations, human rights and oversight.
    The immediate focus is search and rescue and addressing immediate public health needs. But after that, “I think there’s going to be a number of questions that arise,” Carnahan said.
    Just last month, a private group, the Heritage Foundation for Haiti, urged Haiti’s government to complete an audit of a $197 million emergency disaster program to respond to corruption allegations over how the money was handled. Haiti’s senate cited the allegations when it removed Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis in November and replaced her with Jean-Max Bellerive.

    President Barack Obama promised at least $100 million in earthquake aid. That comes on top of substantial spending by the United States in Haiti in recent years for economic development, such as the country’s textile industry, humanitarian assistance, environmental programs, and law enforcement, including trying to stop the use of Haiti as a pass-through point for narcotics en route to the United States.
    Apart from earthquake relief, senators working on the next annual foreign assistance budget have proposed at least $282 million for Haiti; the House proposal would provide at least $165 million.
    Much of the U.S. government’s aid to Haiti comes through the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has provided at least $800 million from budget years 2004 through 2008, agency figures show.
    At least $700 million more was pledged for Haiti by governments, international givers and charities at an April 2009 donors conference. Former President Bill Clinton, a United Nations special envoy to the country, told the U.N. Security Council in September that he was “100 percent committed to delivering tangible results to the U.N. and most importantly the people of Haiti.”

    The Haitian government relies on foreign aid to keep itself and its economy operating.
    In a December 2008 Gallup survey, 60 percent of Haitians interviewed said there had been times that year when they didn’t have enough money to buy food, and 51 percent said there were times they couldn’t afford shelter.
    Statistics about Haiti, as gathered by the U.S. government, chronicle a grim standard of living. According to the CIA and State Department, 1 in 8 children in Haiti dies before age 5. The life expectancy is 59 to 62 years. Malaria, typhoid and dengue fevers and other life-threatening illnesses long ago wiped out in the industrialized world still plague Haiti.
    For government and private relief organizations, simply communicating and moving money and supplies around in the country were difficult absent a natural disaster like this one.
    As of 2008, Haiti had 108,000 main telephone lines in use, putting it 142nd among countries in land-line phone use, but ranked better on cellular access. There were 3.2 million cellular phones in use in 2008, making it 105th worldwide by that measure, the U.S. government said.

    “Attention on Haiti is often focused in times of disaster but not necessarily in the long-term,” said Rich Thorsten, director of international programs for Water.org, a charity working to provide safe drinking water and sewage treatment to Haitians. “Funding that has been available does not necessarily go toward basic infrastructure like water and sanitation.”
    The Haitian government doesn’t use its own resources for sanitation, and instead depends on charities, Thorsten said. In addition, international groups often do not coordinate, and there are also problems with security, corruption and political stability, he said.

    “It is very important to keep track of the spending, and so when we work with partner organizations we make sure they have detailed accounting systems,” he said. Supplies must be guarded, he added.

  • Wanderer

    I’m certainly aware of how bad funding is for transit now. It’s hard to evaluate the proposals because the LADOT website only has the recommendations, not the analytical data to back them up. I wonder about a couple of things:

    A lot of routes are “duplicative” in that they run on or close to streets with Metro. But a number of them provide one seat connections where a Metro trip would require a transfer, which takes longer and is always disliked by passengers. An example of this would be the Hollywood/West Hollywood DASH, which creates a one seat ride between Hollywood and Beverly Center.

    I also wonder if there’s any assessment of DASH’s role in serving visitors, particularly in areas with more visitors, such as Hollywood and Downtown. DASH doesn’t replace Metro, but I wonder if visitors might not feel like it’s a kindler, gentler system,

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Thanks Gov., Even with Prop A City Facing Long-Term Transit Cuts

|
Photo: Divwerf/Flickr It may be 16 months away, but thanks in large part to the Governor’s and legislature’s complete victory over transit riders when they re-worked the budget and completely eliminated the transit operating deficit back in February; either fare hikes or service cuts or both are coming to the City of Los Angeles’ transit […]

BRU: No Fare Hikes Without Public Process

|
Image of "Times": Strategy Center/Flickr Earlier this morning, the Bus Rider’s Union rallied at the Wilshire/Western Transit Station to urge the Metro Board to not go forward with planned fare hikes for Metro bus and rail services until a full public hearing schedule is announced and executed. In May of 2007, the Metro Board adopted […]

Behind the Orange Curtain: Massive Service Cuts at OCTA

|
Around the country, many of our largest transit agencies are dealing with massive deficits by cutting back service and laying off employees.  New York City Streetsblog has pretty much been devoted to round-the-clock coverage of NYCMTA’s proposed cuts, the politics behind them and the effort to stop them. Closer to home, our neighbors in Orange […]