Metro to Apply to Become “Managing Agency” for Surfliner

The Surfliner. Photo:Fast Lane

In my recent piece on the proposed local takeover of the Pacific Surfliner inter-city rail route the pivotal question I poised multiple times was which agency would take on the responsibility of managing the service.

The title of agenda item #46 among the consent items on the Metro Board agenda yesterday gives us the name of the first candidate agency to emerge: “Direct staff to prepare a Proposal for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to become the Managing Agency of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Service”.

Besides repeating some of the goals the local stakeholders have given for seeking to take over managing the route, the staff report lays out the reasons why Metro believes it should be selected to manage the Surfliner:

Metro is a major member agency of the LOSSAN JPA. We are centrally located on the

LOSSAN Corridor. Our agency has the structure and staff capabilities to provide

management services to the JPA. In addition, we have sufficient office space to house

the management staff of the service and are centrally located to southern California.

If the Governor signs the Surfliner bill (he has until Sunday to decide whether to approve or veto it) the next stage of this drama will be acted out at the Oct. 15th LOSSAN Board meeting to be held at the Metro Headquarters Building. This should be when it becomes clear besides Metro which other of the LOSSAN member agencies are interested in being the Surfliner’s managing agency.