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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as Metro, MTA or LACMTA) is the state chartered regional transportation planning and public transportation operating agency for the county of Los Angeles. The agency develops and oversees transportation plans, policies, funding programs, and both short-term and long-range solutions that address the County's increasing mobility, accessibility and environmental needs.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates the third largest public transportation system in the United States by ridership with a 1,433 mi² (3,711 km²) operating area and 2,000 peak hour buses on the street any given business day.[1] Metro also designed, built and now operates 73.1 mi (117 km) of urban rail service.[2] The authority has 9,200 employees, making it one of the region's largest employers.

The authority also partially funds sixteen municipal bus operators and a wide array of transportation projects including bikeways and pedestrian facilities, local roads and highway improvements, goods movement, Metrolink, Freeway Service Patrol and freeway call boxes within the greater metropolitan Los Angeles region.

Security and law enforcement services on Metro property (including buses and trains) are currently provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Transit Services Bureau via contract; Metro's (in-house) Transit Security department also provides such services (Metro Transit Security Officers are armed non-sworn personnel).

In 2006, The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was named Outstanding Transportation System for 2006 by the American Public Transportation Association. Most buses and trains have "America's Best" decals affixed.[3]

Public transportationEdit

Metro RailEdit

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates 73.1 miles (118 km) of Metro Rail service. The system is composed of 62 stations, two at-grade light rail lines, one grade-separated light rail line, and two heavy rail subway lines with total estimated ridership of over 260,100 boardings per weekday. [4]

  • The Purple Line (first leg to Westlake/MacArthur Park opened in 1993; to Koreatown in 1996) is a subway line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Wilshire/Western Station in Koreatown. Considered part of the Red Line until 2006.
  • The Blue Line (opened in 1990) is a light rail line connecting Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Long Beach. It is the region's first rail line since the demise of the Pacific Electric Railway's Red Car system in 1961.

From Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, Metro Rail passengers can transfer to Amtrak and the Metrolink commuter rail system.

Potential Future LinesEdit

Money has been designated to study the feasibility of projects: 1. Linking the Gold Line and the Red Line through Glendale and Burbank. 2. Extending the Green Line to LAX. 3. Extending the Gold Line Eastside Extension to the San Gabriel Valley. 4. Extending the Purple Line west under Wilshire. 5. Linking LAX and Union Station with a line straight from and to. 6. Extending the Blue and Expo Lines to Union Station. a.k.a. the Downtown or Regional Connector. [1]

Metro TransitwaysEdit

File:LA metro liner with bicycle rack.jpg

Metro operates three transitways which are distinguished by their color on the Metro system map.

  • Orange Line Transitway (opened on October 29, 2005) is a 14 mi (23 km) dedicated transitway traversing the southern San Fernando Valley from the Metro Red Line's North Hollywood station to Warner Center in Woodland Hills. The transitway hosts one line, Line 901- North Hollywood/Warner Center, the line is known as the "Orange Line," which is where the transitway gets its name. The line exclusively uses 60-foot, silver-colored, "Metro Liner" buses. Metro includes the transitway in an orange color in system maps and it is officially called the Metro Orange Line.

Metro BusEdit

Metro operates three types of bus services which are distinguished by the color of the buses.

File:MetroLocalnew.JPG

Metro Local buses are painted in an off-orange color the agency has dubbed “California Poppy”. This type of service makes frequent stops along major thoroughfares. There are 18,500 stops on 189 bus lines. Metro Local buses that have not yet been painted remain white with an orange-yellow stripe. Some routes make limited stops but do not participate in the Rapid program; those routes are served by orange colored buses. Some Metro Local bus lines are operated by First Transit, Transportation Concepts, and Southland Transit. The contractor operated buses do not feature advanced technological features like those found on Metro operated buses.

File:720 Metro Rapid.jpg

Metro Rapid buses are distinguished by their bright red color. This bus service offers limited stops on many of the county's more heavily traveled arterial streets. Metro claims to reduce passenger commute times by up to 25 percent by several methods, among them the lack of a bus schedule so that drivers are not held up at certain stops.

File:MetroExpress.jpg

Metro Express - Currently only implemented on two lines, 450X and 577X, Metro Express dark blue buses are designed to offer premium, reduced-stop service along Los Angeles's extensive freeway network. There are other lines using the county's freeway system, but these are original lines using Metro Local & Rapid painted buses, with line numbers in the “400” and “500” series (Metro Express also uses line numbers in these series but append the letter “X” to indicate “expedited service”).

The LACMTA operates North America's largest fleet of CNG-powered buses.[4] The CNG fleet reduces emissions of particulates by 90 percent, carbon monoxide by 80 percent, and greenhouse gases by 20 percent over the 500 remaining diesel powered buses in the fleet. Alternative fuel buses have logged more than 450 million operating miles since 1993, an industry record.

Metro plans on having a 100 percent CNG fleet by 2008

Template:See also Template:See also

FaresEdit

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Fare Regular Senior/Disabled/Medicare
Base Fare $1.50 $.55
Tokens $1.50 --
Metro Day Pass $5.00  
Weekly Pass $20.00 --
Senior or Disabled Monthly Pass (with proper ID) 14.00 --
Student Fare Card (with monthly stamp) $24.00 --
Monthly Pass $75.00 $12.00
Metro-to-Muni Transfer $.35 $.10
Metro Bus Night Service (9 p.m. - 5 a.m.) $.75 $.35

A $5 day pass may be used an unlimited number of times within the same day for both bus and rail. Additional zone fares may be charged for certain freeway segments of express bus service. Day passes are not good for the Metrolink commuter rail service, but all Metrolink fare media is valid on Metro bus and rail (excluding zone fares). The passes expire at 3 a.m. of the morning of the following day (example: a Jan. 1, 2007 pass expired at 3 a.m. of Jan. 2, 2007). These are sold at all Metro Rail stations and aboard all buses.

A fare is collected on each boarding of a Metro Bus and no transfers are issued within the system but "Metro-to-Muni" transfers, also called interagency transfers, can be used to transfer to other connecting bus systems.

There are no fare gates on the Metro Rail system. However, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Metro Fare Inspectors who randomly check for tickets patrol the system. If riders are caught without a ticket they can be fined up to $US 250 and/or ordered to perform community service for 48 hours. Metro has announced that only about 3% of riders avoid paying the fare. Recently, Metro has considered adding turnstiles, or some form of fare barriers on the Red Line, in the near future. [2]

Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs conduct random checks on trains to check for valid fares. People who do not have valid proof of fare are taken away and are fined $250.

RidershipEdit

Average boardings for May 2006 are as follows: [5]

Bus lines Blue Line Green Line Red Line Gold Line Orange Line
Weekdays 1,292,282 84,554 39,134 143,830 18,078 21,878
Saturdays 868,865 63,680 23,191 89,549 7,713 12,481
Sundays 619,676 50,610 18,112 72,608 7,559 9,846

HistoryEdit

Template:Splitsection

File:Detail library scrtd f08.jpg

LACMTA is the product of the merger of two previous agencies: the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC).

SCRTD was created on August 22, 1964 to serve the urbanized Southern California region, including Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, and Riverside County. SCRTD replaced the major predecessor public agency, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, and ten different private bus companies in the Southern California region. [6] SCRTD was placed in charge of creating a heavy rail public transportation system for Southern California, and for planning for bus improvements. In 1974, the El Monte Busway was opened, a bus-only lane (later converted to a high-occupancy vehicle lane). In 1973, SCRTD shed parts of its operations outside of Los Angeles County, although it continued to operate inter-county service to Riverside and San Bernardino until the formation of LACMTA, and LACMTA continues to operate a line to Disneyland in Orange County and one route that serves Thousand Oaks, California in Ventura County.

The LACTC was formed in 1976 as a requirement of all counties in the state to form local transportation commissions. Its main objective was to be the guardian of all transportation funding, both transit and highway, for Los Angeles County. The creation of the LACTC required the SCRTD to share some of its power. The governing structure of the LACTC favored suburban communities instead of central city interests.

Metro RailEdit

File:Rtd-color logo.gif

In 1980 voters passed Proposition A, a half-cent sales tax for a regional transit system. The measure succeeded after proposals in 1968 and 1974 had failed. The map that accompanied the initiative showed ten transit corridors [7] with the Wilshire subway line the "cornerstone" of the system, according to former SCRTD planning director Gary Spivak. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn was one of the key supporters of the proposition, declaring, "I'm going to put the trains back." [8] Hahn ensured that his South Los Angeles district received the first dollars for a light-rail line on the old Long Beach Red Car route from Los Angeles to Long Beach, after seeing the success of the San Diego Trolley. (This would become the Blue line.)

In 1985, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles), an opponent of the subway, attempted to halt the project by removing all subway construction funds from that year's Federal Transportation Budget. He cited safety concerns arising from a methane explosion in Fairfax District.[9] Pressure from homeowner groups to stop mass transit through their affluent neighborhoods also was an influencing consideration. Thanks to last minute lobbying by SCRTD president Nick Patsaouras, he relented and allowed funding to go through as long as it did not pass through his district. With a Wilshire corridor alignment prohibited, the Red line was reprioritized and routed north up Vermont, the next highest projected ridership corridor, to Hollywood. Because of the change in alignment, there is now a one-mile stub on Wilshire between Vermont and Western.[3]

In the following years, several light-rail and subway lines were opened:

  • In 1990, the SCRTD opened the Blue Line, a 22-mile line that is the region's first modern light rail line.
  • In 1993, the first segment (known as MOS-1 for Minimal Operable Segment 1 [10]) of the Red Line opened running from Union Station to MacArthur Park. A year later, the Red Line was extended to Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Until late 2006 when the Wilshire branch of the Red Line was re-designated as the Purple Line, the Red Line was Los Angeles's only heavy rail subway line and Metro's only mass transit line aligned entirely within Los Angeles's city limits.
  • In 1995, the Green Line opened. It runs from El Segundo to Norwalk mostly in the center median of Interstate 105 also known as the Glenn Anderson Freeway (named for a local Congressman who played a key part in obtaining funding for the Red Line and other transportation projects in the region).

In 1996, the Harbor Transitway opened to traffic. This combination HOV lane/transitway has been a success at gaining carpoolers, but bus ridership has remained low due to poor station placement.

The SCRTD pioneered experimenting with alternate fuel buses in what some derisively called the fuel of the month club. Template:Fact At the start of Metro's existence, there were buses running on ethanol, methanol, regular diesel, low-sulfur (clean) diesel, and CNG. Battery-operated buses and trolleybuses were proposed but never operated in regular service. Template:Fact

MergerEdit

The SCRTD and LACTC officially merged on April 1, 1993. [11] Initially, the agency retained the locations of the predecessor agencies in Downtown Los Angeles, but later moved to the 25-story Gateway Plaza building adjacent to historic Union Station in 1995. In the wake of local media reports of expensive Italian marble used in its construction resulted in the structure being derisively dubbed the Taj Mahal. Template:Fact Housed within the building is the Dorothy Gray Transportation Library, a comprehensive collection of transportation-related books, videos, and other materials, said to be one of the largest in the nation. The library is open to the public.

In 1994, the United Transportation Union, representing bus drivers, went on strike. At stake here were the issues of wages, insurance, and other necessities. This was settled, with operators and maintenance workers receiving a 4% wage increase initially and a 3.5% one for the second year. They also received considerable improvements in health insurance. [12]

Employees of the former Los Angeles County Transportation Commission were transferred in December 1996 to the Public Transportation Services Corporation, an independent corporation. PTSC allows former LACTC employees to participate in CalPERS and opt out of Social Security, and permits Metro planning employees to do planning for other agencies, which Metro currently does for Metrolink. Some union members have argued that PTSC is a "sham corporation" designed eventually to outsource Metro jobs. [4] [5]

Bus Riders Union agreementEdit

When the MTA announced plans for a bus fare increase and the elimination of monthly passes, the civil rights organization Bus Riders Union (BRU) with several co-plaintiff organizations filed a federal lawsuit with lawyers supplied by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, charging that the spending of money on rail was "racist" and demanding that more resources go to buses instead of rail projects. The BRU claimed that 50% of rail riders were white compared with 20% of bus riders. It argued that spending on rail projects reduced funding for bus service that disproportionately affected poor and minority riders who were dependent on public transit, and that improvements for the bus system would be more cost effective and require less subsidy than building a rail system. [6]

In 1996, under the direction of then-L.A. mayor Richard Riordan, the LACMTA signed a ten-year consent decree with the BRU to avoid litigation. Riordan would later state, in an article that appeared in the Daily News, that the signing of this consent decree was a mistake. At the time, the LACMTA board was led to believe from information provided by MTA staff that load factors could be maintained with existing levels of bus service and without impacting the rail construction timetable; this proved false.

The agreement requires an average of fewer than eight standees on a normal 40-seat bus in a 20-minute period during peak hours and a 60-minute period during the off-peak. It also requires the Authority to operate special services designed to better connect the poor with important job centers and medical facilities. Provisions of the decree that restricted Metro's ability to raise fares beyond inflation expired January 1, 2004. Donald Bliss, the Special Master overseeing the consent decree, resigned this position in February 2006. No one has been appointed to take his place. The decree expired on October 29, 2006. The BRU made one last-minute attempt to extend the decree, but federal judge Terry Hatter, Jr. denied this motion on October 25.

Revenue lossEdit

In 1998, frustrated with sinkholes, cost overruns, and perceived mismanagement, 65% of Los Angeles County voters approved a ballot measure sponsored by County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky that barred the use of county sales tax money for all future subway projects.

With the passage of the initiative and a lack of confidence from federal and state agencies, the LACMTA brought in Julian Burke, a turn-around expert from the private sector. His goal was to revive MTA's reputation and stabilize its precarious budgetary condition. [13] He recommended suspension of construction on both the Pasadena Blue Line light rail line to Pasadena and an extension of the Red Line to East L.A. MTA also halted planning for future subway extensions. Construction on the Hollywood and North Hollywood extensions of the Red Line continued as these projects were more than 80% complete. Template:Fact

Shortly thereafter, the Amalgamated Transit Union, representing mechanics, service attendants and maintenance workers, went on strike, shutting down virtually all rail and bus operations. The issue this time involved transit zones and the fear that many of MTA's routes would be outsourced. A transit zone is a government agency that operates bus service in a given region with contractors not directly employed by their agency, such as Foothill Transit. The argument some politicians made were that transit zones were more cost effective than MTA service, because drivers could be paid reduced wages. In addition, service would be more aligned with community needs since these zones would be smaller than the existing MTA. [14] Transit zones were proposed for the San Fernando Valley and western San Gabriel Valley. Ultimately, transit zones were killed by a state law that requires them to honor existing union contracts, thus negating any cost savings in labor.

Concerned about the suspension of the 11% completed Blue Line to Pasadena, Pasadena rail advocates lobbied State Senator Adam Schiff to continue construction. He authored Senate Bill 1847, Chapter 1021. Signed into law in 1998, the bill created the Pasadena Blue Line Construction Authority, an independent authority to complete the suspended light rail line to Pasadena. [15] The law went into force on January 1, 1999. Once completed, the authority turned the line over to LACMTA for operation. The concept was so successful that a similar authority has been established for the Expo Line and the Gold Line extensions.

When it became clear the Pasadena Blue Line would not connect with the Blue Line, as originally planned, the board voted to change the name of the line. Some board members proposed the "Rose Line" in honor of Pasadena's famed annual Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game. However, because planned East L.A. extensions of this line would cross communities far from Pasadena, the board renamed it the Gold Line, because California is known as the Golden State, and because of the gold miners in the Pasadena foothills. [16]

On June 12, 1999, the extension to Hollywood/Vine was completed.

In the spring of 2000, ground was rebroken on the stalled Pasadena Blue Line, later renamed the Gold Line. Later that year, in June, Metro unveiled the first of 26 planned Metro Rapid bus routes. [17]

On June 24, 2000, the Red Line reached North Hollywood. Because of the ban on county sales tax for subway construction and the separate federal ban sponsored by Congressman Henry Waxman, which bars the use of federal dollars in the Wilshire Boulevard corridor, the North Hollywood leg is likely to be last extension of the Red Line for at least the next decade.

In response to the arguments made over transit zones, the MTA Board created service sectors on September 26, 2002. There are six service sectors: Gateway Cities, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, and Westside/Central for bus service, and Metro Rail Operations for rail service. Each service sector has a general manager overseeing the operation of two or three bus yards or the rail system. The bus service sectors each have a Governance Council that oversees the bus routes operating out of each yard and has the responsibility to plan service in each sector within a certain budget, while Metro Rail Operations reports directly to the Metro Board. The service sectors are designed to be more responsive to community input, but since many bus riders ride routes from multiple sectors -- largely because the sectors operate lines that cross into adjacent sectors -- bus riders often do not know which governance council to complain to, a problem that was identified by the California State Auditor. [18]

In February 2003, the MTA became the first agency in the nation to use a bus made of composite carbon and polyester fibers. These "Compo Buses" are 2,100 pounds lighter than a regular bus, increase fuel economy, boast a faster acceleration and deceleration rate, and feature reduced maintenance cost. The buses have a distinct bulge along the bottom 1/4 of the side of the bus. Template:Fact Current Compobuses are the 40-foot 7980-7999 series (NABI 40C-LFW) and the 45-foot 8000-8099 series (NABI 45C-LFW). NABI has decided to discontinue production of the Compobus.

On July 26, 2003, the Gold line to Pasadena was completed and turned over to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for operation. It was completed on time and under budget. Template:Fact On opening weekend, some waited up to three hours to board the trains. Free rides were offered for the first two days of service.

Day PassEdit

A few months after the Gold Line opened, and for the third time in nine years, the MTA experienced a strike. The Amalgamated Transit Union struck over issues concerning a health insurance trust fund the transit agency pays into and the union manages. The ATU wanted the MTA to contribute more to cover the steeply rising costs of medical care. However, an independent audit showed the union had mismanaged the nearly bankrupt trust fund, making the agency unwilling to contribute more money without getting a managerial stake.

On December 17, 2003, the MTA introduced the "$3 day pass" and lowered fares from $1.35 to $1.25. The day pass allows patrons to get on and off Metro buses and trains as many times as they like within one operational day without paying an additional fare. Also, the MTA limited transfers to non-MTA bus lines. [19]

Naming changesEdit

By 2004, the agency had been using the word "Metro" for several years to describe many of its services. (Metro Rail, Metro Bus, etc...) In August of that year, the LACMTA board voted to drop the acronym "MTA" for its common name and begin using the word "Metro" for all of its advertising campaigns and literature. Template:Fact The full name of the agency remains the "Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority," the name given to it by the state legislation which brought it into existence.

Along with a new name and logo, the agency decided to change the colors of its buses to clearly identify each vehicle with the type of service it provides: Template:Fact

  • Rapid buses remained their signature dark red, but with an added silver stripe.
  • Local (frequent stop) buses, as well as limited stop buses, were given a California poppy orange.
  • Express (freeway service) buses were given a dark blue.
  • All Metro Rail vehicles will maintain their stainless steel color with various colors of trim or be painted gray.
  • The base color throughout the bus and rail fleet is silver.

The buses are being repainted through their normal multi-year painting cycle, so it will be a few years until all buses will have the new color scheme. To date only a few rail vehicles have been given the new gray and silver color scheme.

Orange LineEdit

Main article: LACMTA Orange Line

On October 29, 2005, the fourteen-mile Orange Line began operation. The $354 million transitway traverses the San Fernando Valley. It is the region's first bus to operate within its own dedicated right-of-way. Unfortunately, within its first week of operation the at-grade Orange Line experienced three collisions with automobiles, all of which were deemed the fault of automobile drivers who ran red lights. Since the first few weeks of operation accidents on the line have declined significantly.

MTA has embarked on various measures to increase visibility of Orange Line Metroliners, including installing white LED strobes on each side of the vehicle to make them appear as if an emergency vehicle was crossing the red-lighted intersections. Drivers' tactics include slowing to approximately 10 miles per hour at intersections with poor cross-traffic visibility or blindspots. In addition, the police department heavily patrols the route, with officers in marked cruisers and motorcycles distributing red-light citations.

The route continues to enjoy rapidly increasing ridership with each passing week, owing to the relative consistent speed, minimum of stops along the route as well as remarkable scenery along some stretches, most notably the Sepulveda Basin portion of the route, which invokes an enjoyable ride in the country feeling as it passes park land and a sod farm. The project spent many millions of dollars solely in the landscape portion of the budget to produce a truly scenic ride. Many runs are standing room only. MTA continues to add more scheduled runs as well as double dispatching on some departures with more than one metroliner assigned to each scheduled run.

By May 2006, the MTA announced that the Orange Line had 21,828 average daily boardings, nearly reaching the ridership goals that were predicted for 2020. Outside groups have said that the Orange Line has already reached capacity and that it is time to start planning for a light rail line replacement.

Expo LineEdit

Main article: LACMTA Expo Line

In the years following Congressman Waxman's blocking of plans to tunnel a subway through the dense Wilshire corridor, traffic and congestion has risen considerably. The problem was underscored in 2000, when the art collective Heavy Trash group erected eight large signs along public streets announcing the construction of the "Aqua Line," a 15-mile subway "connecting downtown to the Westside." [20] The Aqua Line was a hoax, but Heavy Trash's intent was to raise awareness that heavily congested and populated West Los Angeles still lacked rail access.

The LACMTA has officially proposed the Metro Rail Mid-City/Exposition Light-Rail Transit Project, a light-rail line to begin in Downtown Los Angeles and end in Santa Monica. Local and state sales tax and other funds have been set aside for this project. The Final Environmental Impact Report was approved in December 2005. Surveying of the former freight railway line began on May 30, 2006. The first ground was broken in 2006 on the first phase of the line, which runs from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City.

Other groups have lobbied for the completion of the originally conceived Wilshire Boulevard subway. The two proposals are not mutually exclusive. Although Waxman's legislation halted construction over safety concerns, Waxman relented in October 2005 after an investigation by experts selected jointly by the congressman and the American Public Transportation Association. The expert panel concluded:

By following proper procedures and using appropriate technologies the risk of tunneling would be no greater than other subway systems in the U.S. [7]

In years prior, Waxman had stated that if such a panel deemed tunneling safe in the Mid-Wilshire district, he would authorize legislation that would lift the ban on federal monies being used for subway construction. This has since been done; however, no money has been allocated for future construction of the Wilshire Boulevard subway. Any subway project would require years of planning; either the project will need to compete for federal money with many other projects across the USA, or funds will have to be raised at the local or state levels. This is also problematic due to the aforementioned 1998 Yaroslavsky measure prohibiting use of local sales taxes for underground construction. This may be avoided by through a loophole: the measure forbids use of local money for "new" subway construction, and the Wilshire Boulevard subway was planned well before the 1998 measure.

To recognize the line's ultimate destination to the ocean, the LACMTA has proposed renaming the line the Aqua Line. [21] However, other MTA board members have voiced opposition, suggesting other names such as the "Cardinal Line" or other names. [22]

Future Edit

In July 2006, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proposed a free transit week, which was inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area's Spare the Air days of free rides, which helped increase ridership by 10%. This proposal would help reduce traffic congestion and improve the air quality during the free week. In the wake of concerns raised by Metro's police and security heads (citing increased crime during the San Francisco promotion), this was downgraded by Villaraigosa at the September board of directors meeting into a general directive to increase ridership by 30% over the next year.

In September 2005, Metro broke ground on a six-mile (10 km) extension of the Gold Line from Union Station, which will run through Little Tokyo to the corner of Pomona and Atlantic Boulevards in East L.A.. The Eastside Gold Line Extension light rail extension replaces a once-planned Red Line subway extension. It will travel mostly at grade, but will have two underground stations. This extension is expected to be completed by 2009.

The renamed Foothill Construction Authority (formerly Metro Blue Line Construction Authority) is in the planning stages of a San Gabriel Valley extension of the Gold Line to the San Bernardino County border city of Montclair. In the latest federal transportation bill, Congress authorized funding to complete the environmental and engineering process to supplement the funding allocated to it by the cities along the proposed route. The authority continues to plan and conduct the environmental review process.

Construction funding has not been secured, but the extension enjoys strong support from the cities along the route and the local congressional delegation. If construction funding is secured, construction may begin as early as late 2007; with "Phase I" (Pasadena to Azusa) completed by 2010 and "Phase II" (Azusa to Montclair) completed by 2014.

The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (EMLCA) has been established to construct the first phase of the Expo Line from 7th Street/Metro Center in Downtown Los Angeles to the intersection of Venice and Robertson Boulevards in Culver City. Funding is in place for this first phase, but the as-of-yet unfunded phase two of this project will bring the line to the Santa Monica pier in Santa Monica. Phase I portion of this project went to bid in the spring of 2006. The route of Phase II of the project has yet to be determined. One alternative studied in the past showed the light-rail line continuing as a street tram down Venice Boulevard and turning north on Sepulveda Boulevard to rejoin the former railroad right-of-way at Exposition Boulevard. Another alternative would have the train take the shorter exclusive path along the old railroad right-of-way through Palms/Cheviot Hills/Westside Village/Rancho Park. [8]

Metro continues to expand its Metro Rapid bus system with a goal of 28 lines by 2008. [17] A Special Master ruling in December 2005 requires Metro to increase service on all Rapid bus routes to every 10 minutes during the peak period and every 20 minutes during the mid-day and evening. Service would be required to operate between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. on all Rapid routes. Metro has chosen not to appeal the ruling and began implementation on all Rapid routes in June 2006.

In addition, the agency is embarking on a massive bus restructuring effort entitled Metro Connections. The project is designed to convert the current grid-based bus system, implemented in 1980, to a hub and spoke system focused on activity centers. [9] The system is to be phased in the next four years, and will include new express routes and reconfigured local service. Suburban service and low ridership shuttles will be considered for operation by municipal agencies, restructuring, or cancellation.

A new automated fare collection system called 'TAP' which stands for Transportation Access Pass is currently in the testing phase for Metro employees and will become available to the public in 2007. This smart card will allow bus and rail passengers to tap their cards on the farebox for faster boarding. TAP readers have already been installed on buses and rail stations next to ticketing machines. Because Metro Rail is a barrier free system, fare inspectors will be checking to make sure TAP users have validated their card by using a wireless unit. This automated fare system will eventually replace the EZ Pass which allows travel within most Los Angeles county transit agencies for one price.

FleetEdit

Main article: Fleet of the LACMTA

Template:See also Most buses are equipped with monitors for Transit TV broadcasts and to display real-time bus maps to show the location through GPS navigation; the latter is the first of its kind in the United States. Also, as part of Metro's ATMS project, most buses include a marquee displaying the date and time, Automatic Voice Annunciation (AVA) for audio and visual announcements for each stop, and an audio and visual Stop Requested announcement.

Most buses operated by First Transit, Transportation Concepts, and Southland Transit have five-digit fleet numbers. Contractors formerly operated some of the 2000-, 2300-, 2500-, 2700-, 3300-, and 4400-series buses; Southland Transit currently operates several 7000-series buses on Lines 266, 270, and 577X. These buses do not feature the ATMS technology that is on Metro-operated buses.

Metro Local buses are painted orange ("California Poppy"), Metro Rapid buses are painted red, and Metro Express buses are painted blue. Metro Local buses acquired prior to the adoption of these colors in 2004 are white with a gold stripe around the bus; these buses will be painted orange during their mid-life rehabilitation (except for the 5300-series New Flyer buses assigned to Metro Rapid lines, which were repainted in red livery in 2004-05). The 7000- and 7600-series buses acquired for Metro Rapid service in 2000 and 2002 are red with a white stripe along the top (7102-7112, 7617-7618, 7628, 7643, 7646 were white with a red Metro Rapid logo on all sides and some of these buses have been repainted to standard red and white and a few have been converted to Metro Local service), but some have been repainted to the current red and silver livery. Most are likely scheduled for repainting beginning in 2007; some have been repainted either in the updated Metro Rapid scheme or in Metro Local colors.

Metro operates the nation's largest fleet of CNG-powered buses. The CNG fleet reduces emissions of particulates by 90%, carbon monoxide by 80%, and greenhouse gases by 20% over the 500 remaining diesel powered buses in the fleet. Alternative fuel buses have logged more than 450 million operating miles since 1993, an industry record. Metro will retire all Diesel buses and become an entirely clean-air fleet by 2008.

Starting December 17, 2006, Metro Local Lines 233 (Van Nuys Blvd.) and 204 (Vermont Ave.) will be the first Metro Local lines to use 60-foot NABI articulated buses, using the 9400-9500 series.

Bus Depots Edit

Under the Metro governance structure, the routes operating out of each depot are supervised by a service sector under the responsibility of a sector general manager and a Governance Council comprised of elected officials, appointed representatives, and transit users from a given area served by each depot. While service sectors have geographical boundaries, in practice they only define where the members of the governance council come from, as most of Los Angeles is served by routes operating out of multiple sectors. For instance, the Olympic Boulevard bus is operated by buses from the San Gabriel Valley sector, despite its entire route being in the Westside or Central Los Angeles areas. A list of routes operating from each sector can be found on the Metro web site.

Gateway Cities Sector

  • Central City (Division 1)
  • Crossroads (Division 2)
  • Downey (Division 4, non revenue vehicles only)

San Fernando Valley Sector

  • Chatsworth (Division 8)
  • Sun Valley (Division 15)

San Gabriel Valley Sector

  • North Los Angeles (Division 3)
  • San Gabriel Valley (Division 9)

South Bay Sector

  • Mid Cities (Arthur Winston) (Division 5)
  • South Bay (Division 18)

Westside/Central Sector

  • Venice (Division 6)
  • West Hollywood (Division 7)
  • Gateway (Division 10)

Closed Divisions

  • Long Beach Port (Division 12)
  • Riverside (Division 13)
  • Pomona (Division 16)

Other transit servicesEdit

FundingEdit

A complex mix of federal, state, county and city tax dollars as well as bonds and fare box revenue funds Metro. Funding sources (see footnote for current year budget)

Resources $ in Millions
Fare Revenue 264
Prop A - Cent Sales Tax 575
Prop C - Cent Sales Tax 703
Federal Grants 547
State Grants 472
Interest Income/Bonds 179
Other Local Revenue 123
Total Resources $2.863

[10]

GovernanceEdit

Metro is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors comprised of:

  • The five Los Angeles County Supervisors
  • The mayor of Los Angeles
  • Three Los Angeles mayor-appointees (two members of the public and one L.A. City Council member)
  • Four city council members from cities in the county other than L.A. representing those 87 cities (selected by the L.A. County City Selection Committee)
  • The Governor of California appoints one non-voting member (traditionally the Director of Caltrans District 7).

Responsibility for local bus service is delegated to five Sector Governance Councils, each governing bus service in a service sector comprised of the bus lines operating from the yards in a given geographical area. There are five sectors: Gateway Cities, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, and Westside/Central. Members for each governance council are selected by a combination of city councils, councils of governments, and county supervisors representing the area. Many members are local politicians, but each governance council is required to have at least two regular "transit consumers" on their council, which is defined loosely and includes transit riders as well as executives at other transit agencies within the sector. Although the vast majority of the appointees are also members of city councils of cities within the sector, one sector's council -- Metro San Fernando Valley -- is comprised almost entirely of non-elected officials. Governance council members are then confirmed by the Metro Board of Directors, and can be removed from their position as desired by the nominator, or by the Metro Board. Governance councils approve service changes (although the Metro Board reserves ultimate authority over service), review the budget, address complaints about bus service, and provide recommendations to MTA management regarding the employment status of each sector general manager.

One consequence of the governance council structure is that Metro can move much more quickly to add or remove service as needed. Therefore, the number of service changes has increased significantly since 2002, when service sectors began. In addition, because of the decentralization of responsibility, this means that bus riders who ride lines in multiple sectors must send multiple letters or attend multiple public hearings to express their concerns about lines that may be cut. Recently, a change was made that permits comments to be delivered to one sector, who will then forward comments to other sectors as appropriate. However, attendees of one sector's public hearing will only hear about the changes in their sector, and will not have the opportunity to speak directly with the staff in the other sectors at that hearing. In addition, each sector can set their own policies regarding public comment, and sectors are not uniform in how service changes are approved.

Communications between sectors and riders was poor, according to a report by the California State Auditor which was released one year into the new structure. [18]

TriviaEdit

  • Star Trek actor George Takei was an appointee in the 1970s of then L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley to the Board of Directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, a predecessor to Metro.
  • In the 1970s, RTD used to regularly select a "Miss RTD". These were usually local young office workers who applied for the honor. Display ads on the buses heralded their selection. This is similar to the Miss Turnstile in the MGM movie musical On the Town.
  • Arthur Winston worked of the MTA for 76 straight years and only missed one day of work to attend his wife's funeral. Former U.S President Bill Clinton honored him as the "Employee of the Century." He died less than one month after his retirement and 100th birthday in April 2006.
  • The Patsaouras Transit Plaza outside the MTA headquarters is named after Nicolas Patsaouras, a former MTA Board member who played a key role in building support for construction of the Metro Rail system. Besides his involvement with development Patsaouras currently is a member of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners of the city of Los Angeles.

ReferencesEdit

  1. APTA Ridership Reports Statistics - United States Transit Agency Totals Index. Retrieved April 4, 2006
  2. metro.net|About Metro. Retrieved April 4, 2006
  3. LA County’s Metro Cited as Nation’s 2006 Outstanding Public Transportation System. Retrieved June 8, 2006
  4. Metro Gets Grant For Purchase of More Clean-Air Buses. Los Angeles County Metro (26 April 2006). Retrieved on 2007-01-07.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named facts
  6. metro.net history. Retrieved April 4, 2004.
  7. Southern California Rapid Transit District. 1992. Retrieved April 4, 2006
  8. Berkowitz, Eric. "The Subway Mayor". L.A Times Weekly. August 18, 2005. Retrieved April 4, 2006.
  9. Rep. Henry Waxman - Issues and Legislation - Los Angeles Metro Rail. Waxman, Henry.
  10. Federal Tranist Administration - Planning & Environmnet. Federal Transit Administration. Retrieved August 10, 2006.
  11. Klugman, Mark. Brief Report: L.A.’s Transit Policing Partnership. Spring 1998. Retrieved April 4, 2006
  12. H-Labor United Transportation On-Line Edition. April 1995. Retrieved April 6, 2006.
  13. "Burke vows improved LACMTA bus service". UTU Daily Digest News. October 19, 1998. Retrieved April 5, 2006.
  14. "Striking Los Angeles transit workers defy union officials and continue walkout". White, Jerry and Mendendez, Carlos. World Socialist Web Site. October 5, 2000. Retrieved April 5, 2006.
  15. Pasadena Metro Blue Line Construction Authority. Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. Retrieved April 4, 2006.
  16. "Los Angeles MTA renames light rail line". UTU Daily News Digest. December 3, 2001. Retrieved April 4, 2006.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Overview of Transportation Topics. Realtor.org. Retrieved April 4, 2006.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: It Is Too Early to Predict Service Sector Success, but Opportunities for Improved Analysis and Communication Exist." page 41, California State Auditor, December 2003. Retrieved May 1, 2006.
  19. "New Metro Day Pass to Provide Customers with Unbeatable Value for Daily Transit Needs". Metro News Pressroom. December 17, 2003. Retrieved April 5, 2006.
  20. Heavy Trash - BlogSpot
  21. "Consider Color Designation for Metro Rail Project". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Executive Management and Audit Committee. February 16, 2006. Retrieved April 5, 2006.
  22. Pool, Bob. "MTA Squabbles Over Hue-Mongous Decision". Los Angeles Times. March 23, 2006.

External linksEdit

Template:Commonscat

Official Edit

Other Los Angeles Area Governmental Transit Agencies. Edit

Informational Edit

L.A. Transportation Advocacy GroupsEdit

  • The Transit Coalition - pro-rail transit web site advocating the extension of existing Metro Rail lines or proposing new lines.
  • Southern California Transit Advocates - non-profit organization focusing on public transit policy analysis, public education, and political advocacy for public transportation in the entire Southern California region
  • Bus Riders Union - a controversial pro-bus organization that opposes rail extensions.
  • Los Angeles County Transportation - A discussion group on the topic of the past, present and future of transportation in Los Angeles County.


Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (website)
Metro Buses Metro LocalMetro RapidMetro Express
Metro Transitways Orange Line TransitwayHarbor TransitwayEl Monte Busway
Metro Rail Red LinePurple LineBlue LineGreen LineGold LineExpo Line
Connecting rail AmtrakAmtrak CaliforniaMetrolink
Other information Union StationMetro FleetTransportation of Los Angeles

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