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2017 Annual Report (English - ADA text only version)

2017 Annual Report - Report to the Communities of LA County

2017 Report to the Communities of LA County

Letter from a Servant Leader

Next stop: the future.

Transportation impacts our lives in ways that we don’t always think about. Beyond giving you options to get where you need to go, transportation helps rebuild communities, creates good paying jobs and contributes to a better environment. That’s why we are waging a transportation revolution. It’s about developing a variety of choices that will make it easier to ride Metro or combine it with cars, bikes, rideshare, walking or options not yet developed.

It has been a productive year. Since you voted in 2016 to support Measure M, Metro’s ballot measure for transportation, we have hit the ground running on many road and rail projects, and a host of other programs to enhance mobility across LA County.

In June, the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee was formed, ensuring independent oversight is in place so that Measure M is delivered as intended.

In December, we broke ground on the first major Measure M project, the Gold Line Extension from Azusa to Claremont.

Our massive tunnel boring machines—named Harriet and Angeli by children who attend school near the rail projects—completed tunneling for the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Regional Connector. We’re already planning for the opening of the Crenshaw Rail Line in Fall 2019. We continued construction on the first phase of the Purple Line subway extension in the Mid-Wilshire district. We’re pursuing partnerships with the private sector to speed up the Sepulveda Transit Corridor and the West Santa Ana Branch Rail Line. In 2017, the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways carried 41 million trips—an 8.5 percent increase over the previous year—and net tolls collected were spent on transit, road repairs and other improvements. We continued our bus and rail maintenance and overhaul programs, and successfully tested all-door bus boarding to speed up our service and help our busy patrons reach their destinations on time. The successful test led the Metro Board to identify Line 754 in the Vermont Corridor, the second busiest line in our system, as the next route for all-door boarding.

We’re also working to keep our system in good operating condition as we move 1.3 million people daily. Our buses now travel many more miles before needing mechanical assistance than they did in 2008: from 3,000 miles in 2008 to nearly 5,200 miles now. Our rail on-time performance ranges from 99 percent for the Red and Purple Line subways to slightly less—98 percent—for light rail, which often operates at street level and stops at traffic signals.

In our continuing quest for innovative travel options, we laid the groundwork for two experiments with on-demand, flexible route service to better connect neighborhoods with transit stations and make it easier for all Metro customers to get around.

All of these projects and more are about TIME. Time spent. Time saved. Time enjoyed. And running through all of our efforts is our mission to give you back the precious commodity of time, to do with as you please.

To assist with this, we’re reimagining bus service for the 21st century through the NextGen Bus Service Study that will evaluate our current system and determine ways to redesign it to meet your needs now and in the future.

Our 28 by 2028 initiative aims to complete 28 major transit projects by the time Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games. One of them will extend the Purple Line to Westwood and serve many venues at UCLA. We’ve developed a Strategic Plan and are updating our Long Range Transportation Plan—the roadmaps we will use to keep our progress on track. And we’re continuing construction on one of the largest public works programs in the nation. If you live, work or play in any of the construction corridors, we thank you for your patience!

As we continue to write the Metro story, history will record that 2017 was the most important year in LA County’s infrastructure history. It’s exciting to think that years from now, our regional transportation structure will look completely different and that we are creating an infrastructure inheritance for our children and grandchildren. With your help, we’re shaping LA County transportation for the future.

Thank you for placing a sacred trust in us to implement the largest infrastructure expansion program in North America.

Phillip A. Washington
Chief Executive Officer


Next stop: more go.

However and wherever you go, Metro is planning, building, fixing and expanding to give you more choices for your journey. Four rail projects in construction, nine new corridor studies, highway bottleneck fixes and a shiny new bike fleet are all part of our toolbox as we create new ways for LA County to Go Metro.

We’re shaping LA County transportation for the future. We just broke ground on the first Measure M mega project— the Gold Line light-rail extension to Claremont—and there’s more to come.

Harriet and Angeli, the massive tunnel boring machines, both staged dramatic breakthroughs on their respective projects—the Crenshaw/LAX corridor and the Regional Connector under downtown Los Angeles—taking the projects a giant leap closer to completion.

Metro enhanced the quality of transit environments for customers through its multi-faceted, award- winning arts and design programs. Innovative visual and performing arts programming created meaningful connections among people, sites and neighborhoods. Over 10,000 people participated in community engagement activities, tours, arts and cultural events, and millions of customers benefited from our fleet and wayfinding design services.

The West Santa Ana Branch light rail project, the Sepulveda Transit Corridor and Vermont BRT Corridor— three major Measure M projects that will impact millions of commuters each year—may be delivered sooner than planned through new partnerships proposed by private entities. These are just a few of the proposals submitted to Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation.

The Metro system, became safer with a new partnership designed to prevent crime by increasing the visibility of officers and deputies on buses, trains and at stations. Members of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and Long Beach Police now can respond to incidents more quickly from their respective coverage areas, increasing response times from an average of 16 minutes to approximately five to six minutes.

ExpressLanes on the 110 and 10 freeways carried 41 million trips—an 8.5% increase over the previous year—demonstrating that commuters continue to seek choices in their travel modes.

Metro’s Communications team continued to foster community support for dozens of agency efforts, building on the award-winning public education effort which contributed to the passage of Measure M. Several high-profile campaigns were launched this year, targeted to our many and varied audiences. We educated current riders on transit etiquette via a series of “Super Kind” short films, which collectively garnered some five million viewings. Our “Tap with Pride” campaign highlighted the hidden costs of fare evasion with a positive and informative presentation. And the “Next Stop” advocacy campaign made a big debut in 2017, as we employed a bright and bold design with forward-looking messaging to frame the agency’s construction projects and future plans for transforming LA County.

The I-5 North widening and HOV construction project continued to advance with the opening in March of the Empire Av/Buena Vista St Grade Separation and Providencia Bridge, which removes train-vehicle conflicts and allows Metrolink trains to pass over both the Empire Av and Buena Vista St connections. Also opened in 2017 was an elevated Metrolink track that is significantly improving safety at Burbank crossings.

Our partner, Metrolink, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017. Because of the vital importance of providing train-to-plane connectivity, we began construction of the Burbank Airport North Metrolink Station at the northwest corner of Hollywood Way and San Fernando Rd. The new station will, for the first time, connect Hollywood Burbank Airport to the communities of San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley via Metrolink to provide faster and more seamless connections.

Riders connecting with Metro now have three modern Metro Bike Hubs in which to securely stash equipment and benefit from services, including same-day repair, accessory sales and bike-related classes: Union Station, El Monte and Hollywood.

As older adults turn more to transit, Metro’s On the Move Riders Program has become the go-to teacher for those who want to keep moving without driving. Older adults are the fastest growing segment of our population, and On the Move riders help others explore LA County and learn how to ride public transit the fun way.

The first mile/last mile connections to our bus and rail system are becoming easier. Metro’s new Bike Share system can now be used to rent bicycles for short-distance trips on 1,400 bicycles at 120 stations in downtown LA, the Port of Los Angeles, Pasadena and Venice. Future Bike Share expansions are planned for LA County.

Unless you are in a wheelchair, it’s difficult to understand the challenge of securing a chair on a moving bus. Last year, we provided special training for over 3,700 of our bus operators so that they could better help our more than 100,000 annual wheelchair bus patrons in need. We also began installing tactile pathways in new rail stations to make it easier for passengers with visual impairments to find their way. For patrons with limited English, we improved our signage with the use of more pictograms and an expanded telephone translation service.

Metro is completing the I-710 South environmental process and identifying congestion relief projects for the heavily traveled goods movement corridor.

So you can get to where you need to go more comfortably, Metro this year added more than 50 new light rail cars (the beautiful yellow and silver ones) to the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines, and increased service on the Green Line from train arrivals every seven and a half minutes to six-minute headways through peak periods. And those new rail cars— assembled in Palmdale—created hundreds of jobs for local workers.

College, vocational and graduate students gained more mobility choices through the expansion of our U-Pass discount fare program.

Operating in a 24-hour city like Los Angeles, transit service has played an important role in keeping the city moving overnight for over 100 years. This year, we added to our “owl service” by launching 24/7 service on the popular Orange and Silver Lines.

To improve quality of life for Metro riders while at the same time giving the homeless a hand up, this spring Metro began a program that works with homeless individuals on our system. The teams include nurses, substance abuse counselors, mental health clinicians and formerly homeless persons. The goal is to offer referrals to services and housing that can help individuals escape homelessness and reserve our trains and buses for patrons.


Next stop: boomtown.

Metro’s ambitious project mix is powerful fuel for LA County’s economic engine. As we expand our system, we are creating innovative parallel programs and policies to ensure that everyone feels the boom. From career employment pathways and training programs to our popular Eat, Shop, Play booster for businesses affected by construction, Metro is serious about equity and opportunity.

Metro has more than 10,800 employees and 84.5% are union employees. It was a historic day last summer for the people of Los Angeles, our unions and Metro when all five unions ratified contracts simultaneously and before the existing collective bargaining agreements expired. The five-year contracts provided Metro and our employees with financial stability as we continued work to deliver Measure M projects and it meant uninterrupted service for Metro riders.

Metro has established the Women + Girls Council to discuss how Metro's programs, services and policies impact the lives of women and girls in LA County. This volunteer council is a diverse group of 60 Metro employees representing every department—union and non-union, entry level to executive—to provide recommendations to the CEO to help advance and empower women and girls. This diverse group of women and men work together for effective, innovative and collaborative change. The council will apply a gender lens in three areas: Metro as an employer, Metro as a service provider and Metro as a catalyst for economic development.

Metro is continuing efforts to create a new middle class in our region by launching programs to train members of our communities to fill a myriad of jobs in transportation. With that in mind, last year we created WIN-LA (Workforce Initiative Now), a groundbreaking career pathways program that will nurture a pipeline of qualified individuals for work in the transportation industry. That’s why we are planning a countywide career and technical education boarding school targeting middle and high school aged youth, with an emphasis on at-risk populations. Engaging youth early on provides an opportunity for Metro to address a gap in its current workforce development program and connect youth to high quality education and promising occupations. It’s a hand up, not a hand out.

To introduce us to great restaurants and businesses along Metro’s project corridors and to support those businesses during transit construction, the award- winning Eat, Shop, Play campaign expanded this year along the Crenshaw/LAX, Purple Line Extension and Regional Connector. Through social media we successfully connected more than one million people to mom-and-pop businesses impacted by construction, bringing them new customers and encouraging established patrons to return.

Following an extensive renovation, the historic Lankershim Depot, at the junction of the Orange and Red Lines in North Hollywood, welcomed Groundwork Coffee Co. as a tenant, marking the first public use of the depot in 65 years.

Metro’s Business Interruption Fund (BIF) provides financial assistance to small businesses directly impacted by transit rail construction along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Little Tokyo area and 2nd/Broadway segment of the Regional Connector, and Purple Line Extension Sections 1 and 2. Since its inception in 2015, more than $11 million in grants have been issued to small businesses.

Metro serves nearly 600 businesses with our reduced-fare Employer Annual Pass Program (EAPP) and provides free passes for LA County jurors and foster youth.

As we continue the transportation revolution now in progress for the people of LA County, many businesses are benefiting. In just one year, the small business prime and subcontractor community realized $100 million in contract awards with Metro, while the agency reached a new milestone by awarding the largest contract ever— $90 million—to a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise joint venture for program management support services. This particular contract called on DBEs to act as the prime, and traditional primes to sub to them.

As Metro continues to encourage the clustering of transit oriented communities (TOCs) near transit, construction was completed on the Santa Cecilia apartments at the Gold Line Mariachi Plaza Station, which will offer 80 units of affordable housing to low income households. And we recently entered negotiation for a joint development project at the Expo/Crenshaw Station in South LA. This brings our 35% affordable housing portfolio goal for Metro joint developments to 33%…and well on target to meet our ambitious goal.

During the first six months of 2017, we initiated the stakeholder oversight process by forming the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee. Approved in June, the Measure M Guidelines were developed in consultation with the Policy Advisory Council, a group comprised of transportation providers, jurisdictions and the riders we serve.

In Sacramento, Metro’s advocacy team worked with a coalition of transportation stakeholders to secure passage of Senate Bill 1—the largest state transportation funding measure in more than 20 years. This measure will provide up to $1 billion in new transportation funds for LA County.

Following extensive public outreach and input, Metro’s FY17 budget is balanced at $6.1 billion—a net increase of only 1.5 percent from the previous year. This change is less than the Consumer Price Index (an indicator of inflation) and clearly demonstrates our commitment to fiscal discipline and tight budget control.

In Washington, D.C., Metro’s advocacy team has worked to safeguard approximately $1 billion in federal funds that will be secured by our agency in federal fiscal year 2017. We also are pressing forward to secure a $1.3 billion federal grant for the Westside Purple Line Extension— Section 3 to Westwood and the Veteran’s Medical Center—and for the numerous Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants our agency has submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation for goods movement projects.

100 electric buses
Metro has ordered 100 electric buses to serve the Orange and Silver Lines, starting in 2019.

28 new projects opened
By the time the 2028 Summer Olympics come to Los Angeles, all of the projects in our 28 by 2028 initiative will have opened, making history as the most ambitious American infrastructure program completed in such a short period of time.

4.3 million
Metro provides more than 4.3 million passenger trips for Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit customers in Los Angeles County through Access Services.

1,000 bicycles
Metro TAP fare card can now be used to rent a bicycle from the Metro Bike Share system of 1,000 bicycles at 125 stations in downtown L.A., the Ports of LA, Pasadena and Venice.

900 new buses
Between 2014 and 2017 we put more than 900 new buses in service.

60 feet/day
Metro tunnel boring machine Angeli, which weighs 1,000 tons and is as long as 10 school buses, is digging under downtown LA at a rate of 60 feet per day to create train tunnels for the Regional Connector project.

778,000 jobs
Measure M – the ballot measure for transportation that passed in November 2016, is projected to create 778,000 jobs over the next 40 years.

10,000 passes
Metro’s new Universal College Student Fare Program (U-Pass) has sold 10,000 passes, resulting in more than two million U-Pass trips on our buses and trains.


Next stop: fresh air.

Planning and operating service for 10 million Angelenos brings great responsibility to preserve and enhance our natural resources. From deeply detailed recycling programs for waste, water, oil and other material, to converting to a 100% zero-emissions fleet, enabling ridesharing and increasing use of electric vehicles, Metro is serious about creating healthier communities and protecting Mother Earth.

As part of our commitment to keeping the air clean, Metro this year ordered 105 battery electric buses to serve the Orange and Silver Lines, starting in 2020. By 2030, our entire fleet will be 100% zero emission. Zero-emission buses do more than decrease tailpipe emissions and improve air quality. They also reduce noise, making transit corridors quieter for nearby residents.

While we are working toward a 100% zero-emission bus fleet goal, we awarded contracts for 360 near-zero LoNox CNG buses that are so clean, they exceed 2040 federal emission requirements today when fueled by renewable natural gas.

As our region transitions into more sustainable practices, Metro has been steadily expanding and improving its network of EV chargers to keep up with demand. By the end of 2017, we had installed 64 public chargers to help you charge up while you ride. We are testing 10 Chevy Bolt electric cars to add to our hybrid non-revenue fleet…taking two more steps toward a zero-emission future.

Sharing the ride is great for commuters and excellent for our air quality. The Regional Rideshare Program reduced air pollution by more than 16 million pounds, while traveling 12 million miles, saving two million gallons of gas and giving participants the all-important gift of time.

Because of our patrons, we achieved one of our greatest environmental contributions last year, as we displaced more greenhouse gas emissions than we produced: 448 metric tons of CO2e.

To help preserve the beauty of our planet, we recycled more than one million gallons of hazardous/non-hazardous waste water, nearly 160,000 gallons of used oil, 43,000 gallons of waste antifreeze and 112,000 linear feet of spent fluorescent light tubes.

If you’ve ever been stranded on an LA freeway, there’s a good chance you were rescued by a Metro Freeway Service Patrol truck. Our friendly drivers assisted approximately 320,000 stranded motorists last year, which also served to help clear the air and the freeways so that vehicles stuck in traffic behind them weren’t delayed. The service is free.

Now in its seventh year of service carrying America’s most loyal baseball fans from Union Station to the ballpark, the Dodger Stadium Express has boarded 1.65 million riders, introducing new patrons to Metro and reducing traffic and smog in LA County. This service is supported by a grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee.

Instagram spread
Metro is part of the fabric of LA, and we’re so proud to be part of the conversation on social media. Join the revolution, snap a photo, and share your Metro with the world! #gometro


Board of Directors

Eric Garcetti
Mayor of the City of Los Angeles

Sheila Kuehl
1st Vice Chair
Los Angeles County Board Supervisor District 3

James Butts
2nd Vice Chair
Mayor of Inglewood

Kathryn Barger
Board Member
Los Angeles County Board Supervisor District 5

Mike Bonin
Board Member
Los Angeles City Councilmember District 11

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker
Board Member
Appointee of Mayor of the City of Los Angeles

John Fasana
Board Member
City of Duarte, Mayor Pro Tem

Robert Garcia
Board Member
Mayor of Long Beach

Janice Hahn
Board Member
Los Angeles County Board Supervisor District 4

Paul Krekorian
Board Member
Los Angeles City Councilmember District 2

Ara Najarian
Board Member
Councilmember, City of Glendale

Mark Ridley-Thomas
Board Member
Los Angeles County Board Supervisor District 2

Hilda L. Solis
Board Member
Los Angeles County Board Supervisor District 1

Carrie Bowen
Nonvoting Board Member
Appointee of Governor of California

Phillip A. Washington
Chief Executive Officer


Contact Us

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Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952