Report on dirty bus stops and unreliable service draws reactions from LA Metro board members – Daily News

0 5

In response to a nonprofit’s survey that found widespread complaints about poor bus service, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn on Thursday, Sept. 23, asked the head of Los Angeles County Metro to report back next month on what the transit agency is doing to fix the problems.

Supervisor Hahn, also a member of the LA Metro Board of Directors, was livid after reading about the report “The Bus Stops Here” in an article in the Daily Breeze, one of the Southern California News Group’s newspapers. She said she heard from constituents who agreed with the findings released by the group who conducted the survey, Investing In Place.

The survey reported that half of the Metro buses did not arrive when scheduled, while half of bus stops in the city of Los Angeles were dirty with trash or litter, and more than one-fourth had no shade. Stephanie Wiggins, Metro CEO, seemed to be caught off guard by the report and did not respond to Hahn’s questions.

“Folks read that report and are just concerned,” Hahn said to Wiggins during the Thursday Metro board meeting. “It was very distressing to read that report for our transit-dependent population.”

Hahn urged Wiggins to meet with her staff and report back to the board “and tell us how we are urgently addressing some of these failings in our system.”

Investing in Place conducted its survey by recruiting 58 volunteers who ride buses regularly. They provided 126 observations about bus service, and 244 comments about bus stops, on six busy Metro bus routes serving South L.A., Central L.A., East L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. The surveys were conducted November through December 2021 on bus routes that mostly serve people of color and those dependent on mass transit.

On Sept. 22, county supervisor and Metro board member Holly Mitchell made this observation about the survey in a tweet: “The Bus Stops Here report articulates the inconsistency of bus stop infrastructure in Los Angeles. It’s painful but not shocking that the greatest inconsistencies are observed in Black and Brown communities.”

Jessica Meaney, executive director of Investing In Place, was pleased with the attention the report drew. “We need to find a way to bring the experience people are having on Metro buses to the board room every month,” she said on Friday.

She has repeatedly asked that any of the 14 Metro board members, and members of the Los Angeles City Council, ride the bus with her.

“We would love to ride the bus with them,” she said. “The more policymakers who can ride the bus and connect with what’s happening on the ground, the more informed their votes can be.”

After the group presented its report to the L.A. City Council this week, the Council voted to approve a 10-year contract to build 3,000 transit-stop shelters and 450 additional shade structures across the city.

A homeless man sleeps on a Metro bus bench at 8th and Alvarado streets in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. A community group found bus riders concerned about delays, dirty bus stops, lack of shade and unreliable service. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

L.A. City Council member Mike Bonin answered an email inquiry Friday, saying the vote on Tuesday, Sept. 20 to build new bus infrastructure via a new contract is a promise to L.A. residents, one that the city has not always kept in the past.

“Our bus riders deserve shade,” Bonin wrote. “Many riders don’t realize that it is the local city that is responsible for providing bus shelters. In Los Angeles, we have fallen short due to a bad contract and misplaced priorities.”

But Meaney said the new contract depends on acquiring revenue from bus-bench advertising, which doesn’t guarantee all of them will be built. Instead, she wants to see Los Angeles use money from four transit-oriented tax measures that bring in $800 million yearly to the city and pay directly for bus infrastructure.

Metro in June 2021 launched an update of its bus service, known as the NextGen Bus Plan, with the intention of expanding bus service and targeting the most-used routes. Phase two of the NextGen Bus Plan was launched this summer on June 27, and offered more frequent bus service on dozens of routes, Metro reported.

But having each city in the county provide bus shelters and bus signs leads to inconsistencies, because LA Metro and the cities in L.A. County are not in sync. “They (Metro) don’t know where the purveyors are providing these amenities,” said Bart Reed, executive director of The Transit Coalition, a nonprofit advocating for mass transit in the county. “This whole report shows a total disconnect.”

Meanwhile, a group of about 10 Southeast Los Angeles County cities along the 710 Freeway eventually will see new bus shelters, traffic signal synchronization, bus stop lighting, and digital signs displaying the real time a bus will arrive, as part of a $29.5 million allotment approved by LA Metro on Thursday.

The money comes from a new transportation improvement plan for the 710 corridor stretching from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the “SELA” cities, or southeast L.A. County cities, which include Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park and Lynwood. The money became available after a plan was scrapped by Metro in May to widen the 710 freeway.

“Many of my constituents in Southeast L.A. depend on our buses — and they tell me how hard it is to wait for the bus at stops that don’t have shade from the sun or lighting at night,” Hahn said in a prepared statement.

The new focus on improving bus service and investing in the small cities, which don’t have the funding to pay for such improvements, was welcomed by SELA city members, Hahn reported.

“Our neighbors, compadres, and students deserve to have quality bus service,” said Bell City Councilmember Ali Saleh in a prepared statement. “They ride these buses regularly and don’t have any other ways to get to places like work or the grocery store. Some of our residents wait hours for buses. Supervisor Hahn’s motion is exactly the type of investments that we need to be making in our SELA region.”

Improvements to bus stops can be expected in late 2023 and early 2024, Hahn reported.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Trusted Bulletin is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.