Recall the language in the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution about “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?” Keep it in mind as you read this overview of the recent interaction of Metro, a group of disgruntled riders, and a local politico. If nothing else it illustrates what American Democracy in action looks like.
When I wrote about Metro’s February 1st ‘all regions’ public hearing for the June service change proposals, I mentioned that among the attendees were “a vocal contingent from East L.A. Their message was to reverse the truncation of lines 30/31 by instead having them again extended to Atlantic Ave.”
By April the residents with the aid of the Bus Rider’s Union held a rally to press their case that the changes had left many residents stranded and was causing hardship.
When I spoke to some of the eastsiders attending the February meeting they shared frustration about their concerns receiving a lack of attention from L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina and her staff. By May the Eastside Sun was reporting that Molina’s staff had gotten the message and attempting to assuage constituents’ complaints by proposing a re-routing of the El Sol community shuttle to address access issues along 1st Street.
By August Metro’s San Gabriel Valley Service Council was holding a public workshop “to listen to the concerns of East Los Angeles Metro bus patrons”along with presenting proposals to address the complaints.
Transit activist Ken Ruben attended the Workshop and afterward reported about 80 people attended with about 16 of them making comments. Besides asking for Metro’s route 30 to resume operating east of Indiana, a few of the speakers also expressed displeasure with the Gold Line eastside extension that opened in 2009.
Taking the input received at the workshop Metro staff have come up with what they term “Proposed New Service on East 1st Street” to be presented at a Special Meeting of the Council being held Monday, October 17th, 5:00 p.m. at the East Los Angeles Public Library, 4837 E. Third St. (adjacent to East L.A. Civic Center Gold Line station).
If anyone has a chance to attend the meeting please post in the comments what reception the proposal gets from the attendees–whether they feel their concerns are being addressed or that what Metro is offering falls short.