Memo to Metro (the sequel): Service Change Proposal Details Still Lacking

I was gratified that my commentary Memo to Metro: “Additional Details” on Bus Cuts AWOL provoked illuminating comments plus at the behest of The Source’s Fred Camino Metro updated its website adding a link to the additional details I had futilely sought. Chalk one up for L.A. Streetsblog helping make the world a better place.

One of the laments of the comments was a desire for more specific details about the proposals, such as maps and ridership data. Ironically such were prepared by Metro staff for the December round of Governance Council meetings in presentations about the service change proposals

Here are links to the presentations:

San Fernando Valley
Westside/Central
Gateway
South Bay
San Gabriel Valley

Metro is also making similar presentations at the public hearings yet has only posted the agendas for the hearings on its website.

Metro could easily include the maps, etc. as part of the material on its website regarding the service changes, but apparently can’t be bothered. Having the maps only as buried reports on an obscure out of the way portion of the site really is of no value to the public. And as my original commentary noted, having material like maps only available at the hearings leaves one with insufficiently lead time to analyze their contents and have a chance to form intelligent comments. I don’t see how one can conclude otherwise than Metro dropped the ball when it came to proactive outreach.

Faramarz Nabavi’s comments recently posted on this blog included an offhand observation whose significance seemingly few have grasped regarding the cancellation of Rapid service: “Regional Service Councils should […] receive preliminary data from staff on how many trips or hours will be cut vs. reallocated.”

Recently I sat down with a bus rider I have known for some time who had expressed to me concerns about how the reallocation process played out during the Dec. 2010 service change. We examined timetables from before and after December of corridors that were supposed to have service hours re-allocated to local service when Rapids were canceled with no hint that the augmentation would involve anything other than the entire local line. In several instances this isn’t what happened.

For example, line 14 mid-day service along the portion between La Cienega and Canon went from 30 minute to 40 minutes after the Rapid 714 was eliminated. Similarly the portion of the 180 between Colorado/Figueroa and PCC received no improvement whereas the trunk did. On weekends the 150 was improved Saturday but not Sunday. Staff have actually explained regarding the latter that this is because ridership on Sunday is very light and has been siphoned from the Ventura Boulevard corridor by the Orange Line.

These changes as implemented may be justifiable, yet patrons and the Governance Councils should expect more details beyond the blanket statement “reallocate resources” regarding the impact of the elimination of Rapids in a corridor. There should be some details how staff plan to augment the local service–both as to headways and what portions of the route the improvements will occur along. It is a simple matter of fuller disclosure.

I hope in the future Metro staff undertake the full spectrum of outreach that modern technology facilitates. Anything less would be a disappointment.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Metro Muddle Continues

|
Tonight is the Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council meeting at which Metro staff are slated to offer up for the Council to consider amended service change proposals with the changes in part responding to the input of the public heard at the hearings held last month. This meeting also gives the public one last […]

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

|
(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 […]

A Peek Into Metro’s Frequent Bus Network Proposal

|
Metro is currently considering some pretty big bus service changes. Basically Metro is considering a cost-neutral scheme that would eliminate multiple relatively low-performing bus lines and would add more frequent service on a core network. More details below. Overall it looks like a step in a positive direction, though the devil may be in the details. And […]

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 […]

More Service Cuts Coming Before the End of the Year

|
If I lived on Beverly, cancelling the 714 would make me bitter. Photo: biofriendly/flickr Amidst the discussion of Metro’s impending fare increase previous Streetsblog posting have noted even with additional funds from the state along with the addition fare revenues Metro still has a deficit and plans to close it (in part) with service reductions. […]