Metro January 2018 Board Meeting Update

Examples of new electronic information signs to be implemented as part of Metro's advertising contract. Image via Metro staff report
Examples of new electronic information signs to be implemented as part of Metro's advertising contract. Image via Metro staff report

At its monthly meeting yesterday, the Metro board approved numerous items. Below are brief updates on items that SBLA readers might be interested in.

Metro Bus and Rail Advertising Contract

The board has had a thorny relationship recently in regards to advertising. Metro staff and a few board members are fairly enthusiastic about advertising as it provides a needed revenue stream. Other boardmembers, most strongly L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, are wary of adverse impacts of plastering the Metro system with ads. There is push-pull where boardmembers in more well-off communities push to make sure their areas are not inundated with intrusive electronic screens, while others in more working-class communities push to get more of the benefits, including arrival information, that come with electronic screens.

After some debate, and hedged by a motion by Kuehl and Inglewood Mayor James Butts that limits single advertisers from prolonged domination of stations, the board approved 10-year advertising contracts that ensure a minimum income of $262 million and $42.9 million from the bus and rail systems respectively.

Boardmember Mike Bonin pushed for using some of the $262 million to expand bus service. CEO Phil Washington replied that staff is looking to put “a good portion” of those funds toward expanded service, but that that proposal would return to the board in the future.

Parking Master Plan

The board approved a relatively-Shoupian station park-and-ride plan that ensuring people who park at Metro lots actually ride Metro. The plan puts in place a policy that Metro will charge for parking where lots are 90 percent full.

Boyle Heights Joint Development

The board approved 18-month Exclusive Negotiation Agreements (ENA) with the East L.A. Community Corporation (ELACC) and Abode Communities for proposed mixed-use projects on Metro-owned lots at Mariachi Plaza and Cesar Chavez/Fickett.

New Low Income Fare Subsidy Program

The board approved allocating $3.6 million to a new “LIFE” (Low Income Fare is Easy) program for the current fiscal year. LIFE combines the former the Rider Relief Transit Program (RRTP) and the Immediate Needs Transit Program (INTP).

Build America Motion

The board approved a U.S. Employment Plan motion by L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis (with five other boardmembers) and championed by Jobs to Move America. The motion commits the agency to a U.S. Employment Plan (USEP) for larger contracts.

Metro Rail Capacity Motion

The board approved a motion, by Duarte City Councilmember John Fasana, directing staff to do an analysis of current rail ridership as a percentage of maximum capacity.

28 by 28

The board approved the “Twenty-eight by ’28” initiative to complete 28 major Metro projects in time for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The initiative seeks to accelerate schedules on five highway projects and four transit projects. In earlier meetings, staff has made it clear that the accelerated schedules are “aspirational” and not a hard commitment, but nonetheless staff, at the direction of board chair Eric Garcetti, will be preparing a funding/financing plan in the next couple months.

Claremont Metrolink Station

The board received and filed the recent study on the Claremont Metrolink Station. This action keeps the Claremont Metrolink Station slated to be demolished and rebuilt as part of the next phase of Foothill Gold Line construction.

 

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