Blue Ribbon Committee: Metro Should Focus on the Lines People Use

7_13_10_long_beach.jpgSupporting dense neighborhoods and rail lines were two things that the panel wants Metro to focus on. Photo: Salaam Allah Westcoast Transit Photography KING!/Flickr

Six months ago, Metro officials convened a Blue Ribbon Committee to provide a strategy for the transit agency to keep its operating budget under control as escalating costs, declining revenue and cuts in subsidies continue to play havoc with their projections.  This Thursday, the Metro Board’s Operations Committee (it’s item #4) will vote on whether or not to send the recommendations to the Metro Board of Directors to guide Metro’s policies moving forward.

So what does the Blue Ribbon Committee recommend? Basically, that Metro should focus on the service that people use the most.  Daily and weekend service along major corridors and dense areas should be the primary focus, with a secondary focus on late night service.  Owl service is put way on the back burner.

The committee also refers to rail as the future backbone of the transit system and encourages a greater level of connectivity between the bus system and the expanding rail system.  More localized service is placed on the back burner as the committee urges Metro to focus on more frequent service every half-mile to a mile.

A lot of this might seen like common sense to Metro watchers, but the recommendations are sure to rankle the Bus Rider’s Union and their supporters who will object to cuts to non-commuter hour trips and the emphasis on rail.  Combined with a Long Range Plan that calls for a predictable schedule for fare increases, this outline is sort of a worst-case scenario for an organization focused on cheap and plentiful bus service.  The BRU would argue that while Metro may have to tighten its organizational belt in the future, they should be cutting back on rail service not making it the backbone of the transit system,

There are also many suggestions that won’t be controversial, such as ones to better coordinate with local municipal service and another to optimize use of the TAP system.  If you have a chance, check out the entire report on the Operations Committee Agenda.  If adopted by the full Board next week, it could guide Metro as it grows, shrinks and adapts in the coming years.


Metro Tips Its Hand on Endangered Bus Lines

Metro doesn’t usually do major changes to its bus service for contractual reasons with the bus driver’s union except for twice a year.  The next time major changes, including some line eliminations or service scale backs isn’t due to be until the winter.  But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start figuring out which […]

Metro Moving Ahead with Bus Expansion

Photo: Scott Page via Metro Library/Flickr 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 […]

L.A. County Bicycle Advisory Committee

This is to inform you that the next Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting for the County’s Bikeway Master Plan has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st.  The meeting details are as follows: Time & Date:  04/21/2010; 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Location:  Board Overflow Room (across from Cafeteria); 3rd Floor, Metro Headquarters; 1 Gateway Plaza […]

TOD Turnaround: Bike Wood Coming to Hollywood and TOD Standards Coming to Everywhere

A 3D Rendering of a Future Bike Room in the Hollywood and Vine Development When Legacy Partners’ Metro-Certified “Transit-Oriented Development” opened on Hollywood and Vine earlier this year, advocates weren’t able to contain their disappointment with several aspects of the project.  Among the complaints was that the development was too focused on providing space for […]

Metro Proposes More Cuts to Bus System

Earlier this week, Metro announced another set of proposed cuts to its bus system.  Following so soon on the cuts from just last month, Metro CEO Art Leahy took to The Source to defend the changes.  Oddly, rather than defend the good work being done by the bus division at Metro and push for the […]

Metro Service Changes Take Effect This Sunday

June 26 Metro will be implementing what are in some cases rather substantial service changes. The Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon panel and remarks made late last year by Metro’s Deputy Executive Officer for Service Planning and Scheduling Conan Cheung signaled substantial trims in revenue service hours were in the offing. Also an evaluation of […]