Bus Cuts Just One Part of Packed Metro Board Agenda

When Metro voted on fare hikes, the BRU held a hunger strike and took over the Board Room. You just know that there isn't some plan to make a statement this Thursday with 305,000 hours in bus cuts on the agenda.

Even without the 305,000 hours of bus cuts on the agenda, this week’s meeting of the Metro Board of Directors would be interesting.

With the cuts on the agenda, there’s a certain amount of chaos and unpredictability expected for Thursday.  Just the short history of Streetsblog has shown us how it’s a bad idea to bet on the outcome of a vote at the Board of Directors when it comes to bus service.  Last May, the Bus Rider’s Union took over the Metro Board Room for four hours when the Metro Board voted on a fare increase.  In 2008, a surprise motion by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Bernard Parks headed off the majority of cuts proposed by Metro staff in a motion so unexpected nobody in the gallery had a copy of it when it passed.

So what’s going to happen on Thursday?  I have no idea.  But at the very least, I can guarantee it won’t be boring.

Some other highlights from the agenda:

Included in a technical motion on Metro’s Call for Projects is language that increases the allocation for bicycle projects up to 15% of the total $105 million allocation.  That’s a sure sign that there are a lot of great bicycle projects being considered, and hopefully leads to some exciting changes.

Burbank already has some zero emission buses. Photo: California Air Resources Board

Flush off the positive press the agency received after announcing that all Metro owned buses are now low emission buses, Villaraigosa, along with Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich, is getting the wheels started for the next conversion: to green the fleet to be completely emissions free.  Outside of the chance to be the greenest transit agency in the world, it’s also interesting to note that the Mayor’s two supporters are both Republicans.  It’s hard to imagine too many places in America where Republicans take such a visible role in pushing green vehicles.

Villaraigosa touts the benefits of such a change in an article on the Huffington Post:

I am proud that after much hard-work from my office and the MTA, this program is finally coming to fruition. In a few mere days, Los Angeles will the lead the nation in spearheading an innovative plan that will help improve our air quality, reduce traffic, create green-paying jobs and modernize our public transportation system. So hop on the bus and please join me in supporting a cleaner, greener Los Angeles!

Speaking of the Mayor, he’s also pushing an initiative to create a Master Plan for Union Station now that it’s a Metro owned property.  The Source already covered the Mayor’s motion, but you can read it for yourself, here.

We spend a lot of time at Streetsblog mocking the proposed tunnel project to connect SR-710 to SR-210, but there’s another widening project, located closer to Long Beach, that’s almost as problematic.  Nearly $7 million is being allocated to study the project, if all goes according to plan, this Thursday.

It’s quite an agenda, and Streetsblog will do our best to cover it all.  There’s so much on the agenda that our coverage could bleed in to Friday.

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