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Review of Last Week’s Metro “Service Enhancement” Hearings

The Feb. 1st "all regions" public hearing for the June service change proposals had a good turnout. My estimate is it started with about 150 attendees and even with comments limited to just a minute per speaker the whole thing took some 2 and a half hours.

I submitted a statement for the record, reproduced below. Given time constraints I read into the record the first paragraph and a summary of the last with this additional final point: This is the 21st Century, we are living in the world of The Jetsons not The Flintstones and stone age level outreach is unacceptable.

A third of the speakers were members of the Bus Riders Union.  They mostly expressing blanket opposition to any cuts to Metro's bus service.

A second group was a vocal contingent from East L.A. Their message was to reverse the truncation of lines 30/31 by instead having them again extended to Atlantic Ave.

The last group were "ordinary" (i.e. not members of an advocacy group) riders commenting on a few key proposals, and generally opposing--lines 485, 460 and 757 got the bulk of their comments.

Statement by Dana Gabbard, Recording Secretary-Southern California Transit Advocates

To Feb. 1, 2011 All Regions Public Hearing on Metro Service Change Proposals for June 2011 (or later)

Theories are fine but transit service is not a simple game of numbers and causing disruption in people’s mobility out of dire desires to squeeze larger loads onto buses and save relatively little seems a poor idea. In sum far too many proposals are theory driven and thus divorced from reality, impractical and disruptive for passengers.

Three proposals we oppose, in line with these concerns, as examples of the structural issues impacting Metro users we see in many of the proposals:

·         The termination of line 96 at Burbank Metrolink Station would eliminate direct transit access to Griffith Park, The LA Zoo, and the Autry Museum, from the southeast San Fernando Valley.

·         Short lining Rapid 704 at Alvarado will be disruptive and achieve little cost savings.

·         Forcing people needing to reach Disneyland from downtown L.A. to ride multiple rail lines to reach Line 460 in Norwalk will confuse tourists and frustrate local patrons.

This meeting should have been held on a Saturday, as past all region meetings were. Also we object to the decision to hold many of the hearings at inconvenient days and times for people with 9 to 5 jobs. Also the level of information provided regarding the proposals (including maps and additional details) has fallen short of what should have reasonably been provided in a timely fashion and easily accessible.

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