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Accessibility Advisory Committee Meeting - February 13, 2020


Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)
One Gateway Plaza
3rd Floor – Union Station Conference Room

  1. Member and Staff Introductions Housekeeping Items
    10:30 – 10:35 am
    Cynde Soto, Chair
  2. ACTION: Approval of December 12, 2019 Meeting Minutes
    10:40 – 10:45 am
    Cynde Soto, Chair
  3. PRESENTATION: Service Excellence Award
    10:45 – 10:50 am
    Cynde Soto, Chair
  4. INFORMATION: Transit Watch App Update
    10:50 – 11:10 am
    Susan Walker, Metro
  5. PRESENTATION: NextGen Study Update
    11:10 – 11:30 am
    Robert Calix, Metro

11:30 – 11:40 am

  1. PRESENTATION: Ben Rockwell Service Award
    11:40 – 11:55 am
    Cynde Soto, Chair
  2. INFORMATION: AAC Outreach Discussion
    11:55 am – 12:05 pm
    Cynde Soto, Chair
  3. NEW BUSINESS: Raised Subsequent to the Posting of the Agenda
    12:05 pm – 12:15 pm
    Cynde Soto, Chair
    12:15 – 12:30 pm Cynde Soto, Chair
    (2 minutes per speaker)
    12:30 pm
    Cynde Soto, Chair


Meeting Minutes for December 12, 2019
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Accessibility Advisory Committee

Members in Attendance:
Cynde Soto (Chair)
Kathleen Barajas (First Vice-Chair)
Jared Rimer (Second Vice-Chair)
Ellen Blackman
Kevin Dixon
Frank Chavez
Tonni Yee-Hemphill
Liz Lyons
Mark Panitz
Patrick Burke

Artemio Ambrosio
Tina Foafoa
Blanca Angulo
Linda Keeney
John Mavis

Victor Dominguez

    Chairperson Cynde Soto called the meeting to order at 10:37 am, followed by a welcome and introductions.
  2. ACTION: Approval of September  2019 Minutes
    The minutes from the September 12, 2019 meeting were amended to note committee member Patrick Burk as excused, not absent during the September meeting. The minutes were then approved by majority vote.
  3. INFORMATION:  TAP Wearables
    The Accessibility Advisory Committee welcomed back Beverly Levi Dagan, Systems Project Manager with Metro TAP to receive feedback regarding the TAP wearables distributed to the committee members for testing. Feedback from committee members focused on praise for the stretchy, waterproof material used for the bands and their ease of use. Ms. Dagan informed the committee members that the promotional fares loaded onto the wristbands had expired but committee members were free to continue to use the bands at their cost.
  4. INFORMATION: Metro Chief Civil Rights Officer
    Jonaura Wisdom, Chief of the Office of Civil Rights joined the meeting to introduce herself to the committee. Jonaura explained her background in in advocacy and accessibility, recounting how her career had led her to her current role at LA Metro. Jonaura explained to the committee members that her goal for her tenure as Chief of the Office of Civil Rights at the agency is to have the department serve not only as a compliance office, but as a resource that goes above and beyond to ensure accessibility and equal rights for everyone.
  5. PRESENTATION: Metro CCTV Observers
    Alejandro I. Soto, CCTV Observer with Metro joined the meeting to talk about the role of CCTV observers at Metro. Mr. Soto explained that he and his colleagues are on the front lines of interacting with members of the public who utilize the passenger assistance telephones or emergency telephones. They do not however, have jurisdiction over the in train phones. Those phones link directly to the train Operator. Customers are encouraged to use the passenger assistance and emergency telephones to ask questions, report emergencies, medical needs, equipment failures, elevator or escalator outages, gate assistance, and to report security concerns. Telephones within the elevators at Metro stations also connect to the CCTV observers who will contact maintenance if there are issues with elevator functionality. Customers are encouraged to utilize the discreet LA Metro Transit Watch application from their mobile phone if they would like to report an incident discreetly.
  6. DISCUSSION: Retreat Activity
    The Committee members participated in an ice breaker activity designed to increase group cohesiveness and familiarize group members with each other. Each committee member took a turn at guessing each other’s favorite foods by playing 20 questions.


  1. INFORMATION: Accessibility Unit Update
    Armando Roman from Metro provided the committee members with an update of the work undertaken by the committee and the department in 2019. Highlights included the Wayfindr and Navilens trials, Abilities Expo, Cane Quest, Braille Institute Exploration event, presentations at the Pacific ADA Conference, The Aging and Disability Transportation Network Forum, and a revision of the AAC Bylaws. Goals for 2020 as described by the present committee members include information regarding travelling safely while aboard Metro, more stringent enforcement of reserved seating areas, and possibly the creation of an outreach subcommittee to focus on increasing the AAC’s outreach efforts to the various communities within Los Angeles County.
  2. ACTION: Vote on Approval of AAC Bylaws - Membership
    Chairperson Cynde Soto called for a discussion on the proposed edits to the AAC Bylaws for Article 4; Membership. A proposal to amend the bylaws to allow committee members who miss a meeting up to 24 hours after the meeting to lodge a valid excused absence, was proposed.  The motion was seconded and carried. Language within the revision was amended to read “Members who notify Metro of their absence by the end of the next business day, on which a regularly scheduled monthly meeting had been scheduled, shall be excused from the attendance requirement for that meeting.” No further amendments or edits were proposed for the remainder of the language. Chairperson Cynde Soto called for a vote on the language as a whole. The committee voted to approve the language as proposed, with the amendment.
  3. PRESENTATION: Certificates of Appreciation
    The committee facilitators recognized outgoing Chairperson Frank Chavez, current Chair Cynde Soto, and First Vice Chair Kathleen Barajas for their leadership in 2019. The facilitators also recognized committee members who had achieved perfect attendance for all 2019 meetings including Jared Rimer, Ellen Blackman, Frank Chavez, and Cynde Soto. The Governance Committee, led by Kathleen Barajas, presented certificates of appreciation to Armando Roman, Joanna Lemus, Paula Guevara, and the representatives from Era Life Care for their hard work and dedication in 2019.
  4. DISCUSSION: AAC 2020 Goals
    Along with the goals for 2020 discussed during the Accessibility Unit update, the committee set forth a few other goals for the coming year. These include, connecting with the Steering Committee to identify speakers for the 2020 meetings, increased public outreach, information about Nexttrip functionality at bus stops, information about MicroTransit in the Downtown LA area, Operator training efforts, and more follow up regarding the information gleaned from the Aging and Disability Transportation Network Forum.
  5. DISCUSSION: Retreat Activity
    Cancelled due to lack of time.
    No new business was raised.
    Meeting adjourned at 12:52 PM.