Memo to Metro: “Additional Details” on Bus Cuts AWOL – Updated

A BRU Member defending her line at a 2008 hearing in Van Nuys City Hall.  Photo: Damien Newton
A BRU Member defending her line at a 2008 hearing in Van Nuys City Hall. Photo: Damien Newton

(Update: As noted in the comments section, The Source linked to an update on January 13th in a short article on that site.  Anyone interested in reading that update can do so here: http://www.metro.net/around/service-enhancements/metro-service-enhancements-proposed/)

Metro states in its notice for the upcoming public hearings on its service change proposals for June 2011 or later that “Additional details about these proposals will be available for public review after January 17, 2011.”

Here we are more than 10 days past that date and so far I have been unable to obtain these mysterious “additional details.” When I e-mailed Metro Customer Relations about the information they responded “Information may be available; however, you will need to make a formal request for this data. Please apply through the Records Management center.”

So I e-mailed Records Management. They responded “Below is the information you’re looking for. Please let me know if you feel this is incorrect or if you have questions.”

Guess what? The link they provided leads to a version of the initial hearing notice. The very one that states additional details will be available after the 17th.

So despite what the notice states, Metro’s Customer Relations Department isn’t able to provide the additional information. Does it make any sense that the only alternative Metro mentions for making the information available besides contacting Customer Relations is posting it at Metro Customer Relations Centers? Has anyone visited one of those and is a binder or some such resource with maps etc. chained to a counter? Talk about antiquated public outreach!

Why can’t Metro post the additional details on their website or make it available via their own blog, The Source? I find it frustrating the notice mentions additional information being made available as of last week but I have so far found it elusive to obtain. Why mention it in the first place if you are going to make it impossible to acquire? We are mere days from the first hearings being held, and I could easily foresee the comments made at them will include complaints about the inability to obtain the “additional details”. Who could blame them for doing so?

If the additional details turn out to be available at the hearings that would frustrating; it is only reasonable that attendees would feel access to the “additional details” has any value only if it occurred with sufficiently lead time before the hearings to allow one to analyze their contents and have a chance to form intelligent comments. If Metro had made the information available after the 17th as it promised to do in the initial hearing notice it would have been a laudible case of proactive corporate communications, proof Metro isn’t the screwed-up agency many snark about in the blogsphere.

If only. Words fail me. This is dysfunction of stupefying heights and seemingly another example of Metro being its own worse enemy. Sad.

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