Updates on Surfliner, FlyAway and Metrolink/TAP

Temporary Solutions for Metrolink’s TAP Issue Shelved

The ongoing saga of Metrolink & TAP is apparently not going to end anytime soon. At the Oct. 12th meeting of the Metrolink Board of Directors, the Board decided to not adopt the proposed solution to the connectivity issues between Metrolink and Metro trains caused by the “locking” of the fare gates. The rejected plan involved paper TAP cards being distributed daily by hand to Metrolink patrons to allow them access to gated Red and Purple Line stations starting January 1. Starting in March,  Metrolink would have supplied monthly pass purchasers with a temporary plastic 30-day TAP card each month.

More on everyone's favorite topic: TAP! Photo:The Source

The Board requested efforts be made to find a more permanent solution and requested that Metro delay the locking of the gates if need be until a more permanent solution can be found.. Scott Johnson, Assistant Public Affairs Officer at Metrolink, characterizes the situation thusly:

This is an ongoing collaboration between the two agencies and their respective boards. No definitive timetable has been established. The issue will continue to be discussed through internal meetings, alongside public committee and board meetings.

Status Update on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner transition to local management

At its meeting on Oct. 15th, the Board of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) adopted a new amended timetable for selecting a managing agency for the Surfliner. The new schedule is markedly less hectic than their original plans, and aimed at commencing early next year:

Overall, member agencies are asked to schedule consideration [of the amended Joint Powers Agreement and bylaws] by their individual governing boards between October 2012 and January 2013, at which time the LOSSAN Board would consider releasing the RFP, with a due date for proposals in early March and potential selection [of a managing agency] by the Board at their April meeting. SANDAG will continue to provide administrative support during this time. The start date of the negotiation period, July 1, 2013, does not change

Considering LOSSAN has nine member agencies, the process of having the amended JPA agreement and bylaws approved by the various governing boards indeed will likely take until early next year.

Metro and the Orange County Transit Authority are thus far the two agencies that have signaled they will be vying to be selected as the managing agency (which will provide office space, administrative support, etc. to the managing director who will be selected by the LOSSAN Board to handle day to day management of the Surfliner along with staff the Director will hire).

The FlyAway

At its Oct. 15th meeting (item #12) the City of Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (who oversee Los Angeles World Airports, the city department that operates LAX plus Ontario, Van Nuys and Palmdale airports) authorized LAWA’s Executive Director to execute a one-year Right of Entry and Construction Permit to facilitate a Flyaway route serving the Expo La Brea station. As for when the service will start Marshall Lowe, Principal Public Relations Representative for Los Angeles World Airports Public Relations Division, informs me “The La Brea Expo Line service is planned to get underway during the late first quarter of 2013″.

A FlyAway Update dated Sept. 17th contains some tantalizing details about impending additional FlyAway routes:

Orange Line Site

Proposed FlyAway bus bay is in design; staff anticipates late 2013 opening

Santa Monica Site

Big Blue Bus is contemplating the best allocation of their resources prior to providing LAWA with a draft agreement for BBB to operate a FlyAway service

Long Beach Site

Staff met with City of Long Beach staff and discussed possible locations and operational options; subsequent meeting with Long Beach Transit management is expected in October

Lowe tells me “The Orange Line FlyAway is planned to operate as an extension of the Van Nuys FlyAway. It will stop at the Woodley Orange Line Station. Staff is working on getting design plans prepared and approved”.