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Pam O'Connor - 12/12/07

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at noon PT

Pam O'Connor
Metro Board Chair

Welcome to our second live chat! I'm glad you have all joined us to discuss how we can work together to reduce our carbon footprint.

In that regard Metro is doing all sorts of interesting things, like phasing out diesel buses, installing solar panels to generate energy, opening a LEED sustainable building in El Monte and recycling all kinds of byproducts from paper to scrap metal to oil to old bus parts. And then there are all of the pollutants that DON'T hit the air because people are riding our buses and trains and taking advantage of our new subsidized vanpool program.

This summer I organized Metro's Ad Hoc Committee on Sustainability to try to figure out other ways we can help reduce greenhouse gases and combat global warming. And to make traveling easier for our customers I am also working on "connectivity" -- ways Metro can make connecting places attractive so our riders feel safe and comfortable.

Today I'm hoping that together we can come up with a list of things we can all do to help make the environment better. I'd like to suggest one to get us started:

-- Ride public transit once a week. Currently, public transit usage reduces U.S. gasoline consumption by 1.4 billion gallons each year ... or the equivalent of 108 million cars filling up.

I'll bet if you're on the chat, you may use transit already ... if so, any ideas on how to encourage others to try it?

So let's get started. If you want to, why don't you let us know your first name and neighborhood/city you live in!

I'm Pam from Santa Monica!

Question: Pam, As a straphanger in New York and Los Angeles for many years, I am intimately familiar with both systems. (I might add that while NYC is called metro, most folk still recognize it as three agencies: the BMT, IND and IRT.) Anyhow, the mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, rides the east side line (4,5,6) to work (Brooklyn Bridge station) at City Hall in lower Manhattan. Which train or bus do you take to work at One Gateway Plaza?

Answer: I don't "work at Metro...it's a part time policy making position.  But I have several options to get downtown LA.  For me the #10 Big Blue Bus works best if I'm going directly.  But, depending on my path of travel I can take the Metro Wilshire Rapid downtown and take the DASH, or Metro Rapid to subway...and Dash to get around central LA!

Happy Holidays everyone....next live chat is Jan 23 at noon!
Pam from Santa Monica

Question: Just a comment on how people can help. A year and a half go I discovered that taking Metro from my apartment to work was very convenient. So I sold my car. We went from a two car family to a one car family. Even tough it takes me longer to get to work and the bus is sometimes late I can read a book while listening to music and relax in the morning and afternoon. People should try and take the Metro once or twice a week. That would make a huge difference. Harry

Answer: That's great!  Thanks.

Question: With all the money invested in CNG buses over the last 10 years…why is the MTA still operating diesel buses? The agency advertises over 2,000 new buses bought under the federal consent decree so why haven’t the diesel buses been retired by now? Mike

Answer : Mike…We have 2,413 CNG buses -- the largest alternative/clean fuel bus fleet in the nation. But Metro still operates 117 diesel buses out of the small Venice bus division (Metro has been on the site for over 100 years) and it doesn’t have the space for a CNG fueling facility—there is no where to expand.  So, Metro plans to purchase hybrid buses in the near future and will then retire the diesel buses. But even by taking one of these last few diesel propelled buses, there still is a benefit to the environment in terms of energy conservation.

Question: In Aug. 2007 the construction of Mexico City's Metro Line 12 was officially announced. Line 12 will be entirely underground, with a total length of 24 km (15 miles) and 23 stations. Construction will start on January 2008 and it is scheduled for completion in Sept. 2010 in time for the bicentenary celebrations of Mexico's independence. Just to let you know that's 15 MILES of subway line, all UNDERGROUND, built approximately in over TWO years. How can the government of Mexico City build something that QUICK (and this is coming from a third world country?!), while it takes YEARS to build just a few miles of rail in L.A.? It doesn't make sense whatsoever. If it's about not able to obtain enough funding or not the proper EIR, well, all the tax money going to Sacramento and D.C. should stay here for our own use. Why should the state and federal governments decide what happens at the local level when it concerns transportation? I hope you can let me know. It would be nice to see projects go through the red tape quicker like they do in other parts of the world. Thank you. William

Answer: Well, William, you hit on the reason it takes us longer in California.  In addition to identifying funding for construction of projects, there is a thorough planning and environmental review processes that involves public participation.  In the planning process the potential alignments are analyzed for performance and practicality.  Then the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires analysis of potential impacts to the environment including impacts to aesthetics, noise, construction to name a few.  While the CEQA process is lengthy and complicated it identifies ways to mitigate or ease impacts from the project so that the new transit project will work better with its neighborhood.  The public input from these processes has resulted in better and better projects.  And technological and construction innovations also improve each new project.  The more public input, the longer the process, but I think most people will agree that public participation results in better projects and this is especially important because transit projects are built for the long-term.

Question: Why not have 2 carpool lanes on the El Monte Busway on both directions so that it may help improve the speeds and/or have 3 person minimum on 6-9 am westbound and 4-7 pm eastbound instead of both directions)? Roger

Answer: Roger, at times the El Monte Busway is congested.  It may be physically possible to expand this facility to two carpool lanes between Santa Anita Avenue and the Long Beach Freeway but because it’s an Interstate Highway, the federal government requires that there be adequate space for parking stalled vehicles. This is under review by Caltrans, if it does turn out to be feasible the conversion would take a significant amount of funding and time.

You may have heard that Metro is looking into the possibility of instituting congestion reduction pricing which has the potential to improve both the efficiency of the highway and road systems as well as producing revenue that would go directly into making the transit system better.

Question : Ms. O' Connor, will there ever be plans to put more comfortable, and spacious seats, like the ones on Commuter Express, Foothill Transit, and Santa Clarita on any of the Metro express routes? I feel that if you want more passengers on your buses, then they should be more comfortable. Back in the 1990's you had very good express buses, that were made for long haul routes and they were a lot cleaner. What attached me to the Commuter Express was the premiums. The service had reading lights and reclining seats. If it is not on your agenda, can you possibly make bigger, and comfortable seats for express and rapid routes? Me and a lot of others would really like that. Mak

Answer: Mak, call me Pam…The buses you refer to were specifically designed for long distance travel.  They had reclining seats and one passenger door because they were not used in frequent stop service.  Metro no longer operates this type of long distance service.

Good point about the benefits of comfort!  You can help fight global warming and still be comfortable.  In the last three years, Metro has changed the seat padding and seat design to include a contoured seat on all new buses with one inch of padding on the seat cushion.  And we continue to look for ways to expand leg room and improve riding comfort while maintaining seat capacity on all of our buses. Passenger comfort and service quality continue to be a very high priority for Metro.

Hi, Ms. O' Connor. Did the MTA ever think about having a number printed for each bus stop sign, so that people can use their cell phones to call those printed numbers, and receive a call w/ an approximate arrival time for a bus? I also wish that all, and not just a few, of those metal vertical handlebars (which are inside the buses and held onto by the bus riders who are standing up) could be those yellow painted ones. The yellow handlebars, usually next to the buses' front and back door, always seem to be a lot cleaner than the gross and dirty silver colored ones. The yellow painted vertical handlebars seem like a good idea, and I hope that the MTA will make all of the handlebars into the cleaner yellow ones. It also bothers me when people stand in the way of the back door of the buses. People do that quite often, even if they're not getting off the bus that soon. I also hope that you can do something about the dirty bus/Metro Rail benches. I think that the San Francisco bus stops, and maybe also LAX for awhile, had cleaner bus benches which also had a swivel feature. So I hope that the MTA will work on having cleaner, or better benches. Other than that, I'm glad that some of the Metro Rapid bus stops have digital displays w/ the arrival times of buses. Happy Holidays, Ms. O' Connor. Warren Hong

Answer: Warren, call me Pam.  Yes, we have considered it recently and, in fact, it was actually done in the RTD (name before Metro) days.  But in this new century one of the things we’re working on is a voice recognition system, where the customer will call a phone number, speak their location, and receive next bus information for that location.

Bus stops are maintained by the various cities and I agree with you that amenities such as clean stops, good benches, shade and easy-to-understand route info is essential to a good and comfortable trip.  Each transit trip begins before you get on the bus.  That’s why our cities need to work on creating good public places, even when it’s the simple corner bus stop.  If you can take a moment, call or e-mail the city the bus stop is in and let them know that it needs maintenance.  That will help us keep our environment cleaner!

I just got back from Europe. The buses in Sweden were very timely, every 10-15 minutes. In Rome, they were scheduled every 10 minutes, but ran every 15-25 minutes. When it rained (sprinkled), the buses were 40 to 60 minutes. Some of my co-workers at DWP have complained about the timeliness of the 445 S/B. It sounds like "rainy Rome" scheduling rather than Swedish scheduling. Can we get more reliable/timely bus schedules? How about interactive bus stop signs, so we know when the next buses are due at the stop? - Carlo

Answer: Carlo,  timing is important!  It may be that for some bus routes there may be longer times between buses, but…if you know with some certainty about the estimated time of arrival, you can make better use of your time!   Right now it seems unlikely that real-time information can be made available at every bus stop but Metro is working on a system to provide such information via cell phones and computer. And Metro is looking for other ways to provide more real-time information to our customers.

Now, the link to the environment…using public transit helps reduce your carbon footprint—saving energy and greenhouse gas emissions…so making the bus system easy to use, with reliable schedule information is critical.  And if we can get those buses in their own lanes on major streets, the schedule, reliability and speed will promote even greater use.

Now, specifically regarding the timeliness of Line 445, we know that service reliability and on-time performance must improve. But, because the bus travels in the “mixed-flow” of all vehicles in our large LA County, the buses must navigate among those non-recurring incidents that can throw them off schedule.  Whether traffic accident or police blockade, or detours, these can cause service delays beyond our control.    Thanks for sharing your experiences with public transportation abroad.  It’s always fun to check out the transit system in a city that you’re visiting!

Question: Will the Green Line in Norwalk ever connect to the Santa Fe Springs/Norwalk Metrolink Station on Imperial Hwy.? It only makes sense, doesn't it? Let me guess, not enough funding, red tape, EIR's, Nimby's, no funding, many analysis studies that take 5 years or longer, no public support, no political support, no funding, etc. and if does get built, it will be about in the year 2030 or later, no? William

Answer: Hi William. A strong rail backbone is critical to a large public transit system.  As you might imagine, Metro has lots of requests for extending our rail network. Currently, we have two light rail projects under construction and are working on plans for several additional corridors that have been in our adopted Long Range Transportation Plan for many years. Long Range Plan projects in the planning phase include extension of the Exposition Light Rail Line, implementation of transit in the Crenshaw Corridor and extension of the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley. Potential projects include extension of the subway westward to Santa Monica, connecting the Gold Line/Long Beach Blue Line/Exposition Line through downtown Los Angeles as well as alternatives for extending the Eastside Gold Line and the feasibility of using transit on the Harbor Subdivision railbed.

Our current elements -- Metro subway rail and light rail, Metro buses, Metro Rapid, local buses, other municipal buses and neighborhood circulators -- all need to work together, along with other modes of transport like bikes and car-sharing facilities so that they interconnect creating a strong network of seamless travel options for Metro’s customers. And the TAP program will help facilitate that.

Regarding the Green Line extension you mentioned, Metro received environmental clearance for the portion to Norwalk a number of years ago. Your request is valid and we’re aware of its potential to improve our rail transit network but as you noted, our greatest challenge will be getting new sources of funding to make more great projects happen.

Question: Will the subway eventually go to a 24-hour schedule? Will the Metro Gold Line eventually go to 24-hour schedule or at least be expanded in the hours that it services commuters from the San Gabriel Valley to Downtown Los Angles (Union Station)? Thank you. Gina

Answer: Gina, at this time, there are no plans to expand the hours of service to a 24-hour operation on the Metro Rail System but levels of service on both bus and rail are constantly being evaluated.

FYI, the first southbound (west) Gold Line train leaves Sierra Madre Villa Station at 4:41 a.m., arriving at Union Station at 5:10 a.m. The last northbound (east) Gold Line train leaves Union Station at 11:52 p.m.

The good news is that significant demand prompts consideration for more service at any point … all subject to the reality of funds available, of course.  Metro also operates "Owl Bus Service" on 34 lines that provide 24-hour travel in major corridors that have proven needed. All of these things are important to the environment and sustainability because even when the sun sets, people still need to travel.

Question: I heard that there are various criticisms of the Metro Rapid. How would you convince me to ride it? Roger

Answer: Metro Rapid provides faster regional bus travel throughout Los Angeles County.  The key features of Metro Rapid that make it faster and easier to use include simple route  layouts, frequent service, fewer stops, low-floor buses to facilitate boarding and alighting, color-coded buses and stations and bus signal priority.  When complete in 2008, the Metro Rapid Network will operate over 400 miles of service through 35 cities and the County of Los Angeles.

The program has received national acclaim from both the federal government and major transit providers. Passenger travel times have been reduced by an average of 25% over local buses, with more than 350 buses in service today, representing nearly 300 corridor miles in the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and 19 other cities. In December 2007, two new Metro Rapid services will debut, the West Olympic and the Garvey-Chavez Metro Rapid lines.

Demand for Metro Rapid service has increased significantly, with ridership up by as much as 40% along some corridors.  Nearly 1/3 of this ridership increase has been generated by new riders who previously used a car.

And the Rapid System would be even speedier if it had priority lanes dedicated for buses only.  And, don't forget, while all of this is happening, we are saving energy, helping reduce impacts of global warming and helping to keep our local air cleaner.

Question: Why is it that the Busway down Chandler Blvd. doesn't have the right-of-way when the Southern Pacific freight cars over the same route enjoyed that privilege for decades? Fred Bender

Answer : Thanks for writing, Fred. Even though the Orange Line is likened to a rail system, it is different in significant respects.  When there is a need to stop a train, a considerable length of track is required.  Because of this, freight rail systems are given priority over street traffic, since it would be difficult, if not impossible, to integrate their operations with street traffic.  But the Orange Line vehicle is a bus so it is much easier for an operator to control the speed, direction and stopping of the vehicle.  This flexibility allows the City of Los Angeles to have greater control over both vehicle and busway traffic, so that extreme traffic backups at busway crossings can be avoided.

All Metro Rail and Bus systems are designed for safety. The difference is that trains on train tracks have the right of way so there are gates. This is necessary because they travel at high rates of speed. Systems like the Metro Orange Line that cross arterial streets and run parallel to streets must abide by traffic signals for safety reasons.

Keeping the intersections open along Chandler Boulevard is especially important, since this is a neighborhood with a great number of pedestrians.  Multiple access points across the busway is an essential component of community activities in this area.

Question: Why has Metro allowed advertising on the Metro Rail system that can be seen as racially divisive with references to "Latino FM" and Raza? Jason

Answer: Jason…I'm sorry you don't like the ads but it's their promotion and as long as the ads fit within Metro's established and carefully monitored advertising guidelines, then they are entitled to present their product the way they wish. They must feel that this is the best way to get their message to their customers.

Keep an eye out for our new Metro bus cards and posters that feature Mother Nature and our planet earth!  Mother Nature is feeling the heat and encourages folks to try transit to help alleviate global warming!

Question: Why did MTA remove the "Bus Only" lane on Wilshire Blvd between San Vicente and (past) Bundy? Philip

Answer: Good afternoon, Philip. Well, the one mile peak-period bus-only lane on Wilshire Boulevard was recently removed by the City of Los Angeles after 3 years of operation.  The performance of the bus lane was very good with transit riders stating the bus lanes allowed their buses to move faster and more reliably through this often congested segment of the boulevard. But the City of Los Angeles stated that the lane was too short to be effective and should be removed until such time as a longer segment could be implemented.

The Los Angeles City Council has now directed LADOT to work with Metro staff to implement a longer segment of bus lanes and Metro has applied for a $24 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration Small Starts Program to implement a bus lane from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica within the City of Los Angeles.  Separately, Metro has been discussing with the City of Beverly Hills similar options to improve bus speed and reliability on their segment of Wilshire Boulevard.

Personally, I’d like to see a network of dedicated bus lanes throughout LA County but that will take a lot of regional cooperation from many cities.  I hope this dedicated bus lane paves the way for such a network.

Question: This is Kim from San Gabriel again. I know you guys are really busy trying to make this rail project work - how can us riders help out? Is there community outreach that would be valuable? Who can we talk to to express our support and try to get you more funding? Etc.

Answer: Kim...didn't lose you this time.  Yes you can definitely help!  Please advocate for measures that support more transportation funding for Los Angeles County--not just for the extension of the Gold Line, but for the network of critical transportation projects in Los Angeles county.  You can contact your state and federal representatives to urge them to vote for funding for Los Angeles County transportation projects.  Thanks for your help!

Question: Hello I'm Bill from Hollywood, I often ride Metro buses and the annunciator is often turned off, making it difficult for me to know when I reach my stop. Are there ways to see whether or not operators are aware that it's the law to have the announcers on?

Answer: Hi Bill!  Under the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) it is required that all major stops are called out.  Metro has annunciators on all the buses but if it isn't working, the bus operator is required to call the stops out loud.  If you're having any problems call Metro at 1-800-COMMUTE.

Question: And regarding comfort, we had a question from Jon….who asked: On the inside of the Orange Line buses next to the very front seats, there are metal strips on the edges over where the wheels are. The vertical part of the metal strips right next to the seat are ripped off on most buses. The are ripped of by wheel chairs rubbing and catching them. These often leave a ragged and sometimes sharp edge right where peoples legs are when they are sitting. I believe that one of these edges wore a hole in my pants. In any case, they are a hazard and the problem should be fixed on all Orange Line buses. This problem probably exists on all the other 60 foot buses as well.

Answer: Jon .thanks for pointing that out.  This past weekend, as a precaution, the maintenance crew inspected, repaired and/or replaced the metal strip in question on all 35 Orange Line buses.  The maintenance crew will continue to monitor this problem at the 6,600 mile inspection. This is standard procedure. As a problem is identified and brought to the operator's attention, the operator completes a defect card to alert the Maintenance Department of a pending maintenance item. The maintenance crew then repairs or replaces the item. Thanks for alerting us to the problem.

Question: Hello again Mrs. O'Connor, Sorry to add another comment but there is new news in los angeles. I've recently read about metros vote to install gates on the red line. I have one request about this plan. Barn doors, not turnstyles. Barn doors would let people with bikes, bags, and roller bags to get through all gates and not just special access ones. turnstyles are also uncomfortable to maneuver through at times and slow down your travel. reference: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/122/257452109_dd6032ee2f_o.jpg thats all! Jeremy

Answer: Jeremy, glad you came back to participate again.  Just a few months ago I, with my rolling suitcase, got stuck in a turnstile, so I know what you mean!   As Metro looks at gating, design factors, like those that you mentioned -- will be evaluated.  As you imply, the gating system needs to allow for reasonable passenger flow, too.

One of the attributes of the TAP system is that it will allow us to travel through any gates and on buses without having to search for coins and tickets. We will simply tap and the doors will open for us.

Question: Pam, thank you very much for answering our questions. I have two questions: 1. I go to USC and use public transportation. There have been a number of times when I have to wait for the blue line to get to the red line in time to miss it, wait for the red line to get to the gold line just in time to watch the gold line leave. When all is said and done, I’ve spent 45 minutes simply waiting for the light rails. Is Metro considering implementing a synchronized system? 2. Right now the new screens display the time, and not to have a motorized scooter. Wouldn’t it be more useful to have them display things like, the time it will take to catch the next red/purple line subway?

Answer: Hi Trojan...hmm, I grew up in Illinois, so that Rose Bowl Football game will be a dilemma for me...but to your interactive question!  There's a project called the "downtown connector" with the purpose of connecting the lines you mention.  But that';s a longer term project and you should get your degree finished before that!  But we are concerned about the short term and Metro works hard to reductr wait time.  During peak hours frequency is approximately 6 minutes.  You might want to check out the web page at www.metro.net or call 800-commute to see if there is a more efficient connections or options.  On your second question, Metro is reviewing "next train" display possibilities and should be reporting back to the Board on that soon.

Question: Will the Green Line in Norwalk ever connect to the Santa Fe Springs/Norwalk Metrolink Station on Imperial Hwy.? It only makes sense, doesn't it? Let me guess, not enough funding, red tape, EIR's, Nimby's, no funding, many analysis studies that take 5 years or longer, no public support, no political support, no funding, etc. and if does get built, it will be about in the year 2030 or later, no? William

Answer: Hi William. A strong rail backbone is critical to a large public transit system.  As you might imagine, Metro has lots of requests for extending our rail network. Currently, we have two light rail projects under construction and are working on plans for several additional corridors that have been in our adopted Long Range Transportation Plan for many years. Long Range Plan projects in the planning phase include extension of the Exposition Light Rail Line, implementation of transit in the Crenshaw Corridor and extension of the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley. Potential projects include extension of the subway westward to Santa Monica, connecting the Gold Line/Long Beach Blue Line/Exposition Line through downtown Los Angeles as well as alternatives for extending the Eastside Gold Line and the feasibility of using transit on the Harbor Subdivision railbed.

Our current elements -- Metro subway rail and light rail, Metro buses, Metro Rapid, local buses, other municipal buses and neighborhood circulators -- all need to work together, along with other modes of transport like bikes and car-sharing facilities so that they interconnect creating a strong network of seamless travel options for Metro’s customers. And the TAP program will help facilitate that.

Regarding the Green Line extension you mentioned, Metro received environmental clearance for the portion to Norwalk a number of years ago. Your request is valid and we’re aware of its potential to improve our rail transit network but as you noted, our greatest challenge will be getting new sources of funding to make more great projects happen.

Question: As a young person who would like to be able to live his life to the fullest without the necessity of owning a car that will pollute the air I breathe as well as contribute to an impending worldwide ecological catastrophe, I found it disturbing that during the MTA's last fare hikes, it proposed two options: increase fares or cut service. It occurs to me that Los Angelenos and Californians could easily fund vast improvements to the mass transit system. A mere 10 cent increase in the gasoline tax statewide could raise 1.6 billion dollars annually, according to statewide gasoline consumption figures from the CEC. Nearly half of the MTA's budget is derived from 1% of the local county sales tax. Raising the county sales tax by half a percent could increase the MTA's budget by a proportionate amount. For a low income person that consumes $4,000 in taxable goods and services annually that would amount to a mere $20. It seems to me that our society would be better off ecologically, economically, and culturally if either of these proposals were implemented. Some people ask, who wants to pay higher taxes? I ask, who wants to continue to drive 20 miles per hour on the freeway? Who wants to pay $4.00 for a gallon of gas? Who wants to continue to contribute to global warming? Would you support such proposals, why or why not? Francisco

Answer: Francisco, the revenue that Metro gets from the fares paid by users covers less than a third of Metro’s operating costs, so we do need to look at other sources of revenue.  Metro is currently looking at a wide range of new and innovative funding possibilities, from new taxes (which would require approval by voters) to innovative programs such as a pilot program to consider a congestion reduction pricing program on select highway corridors to innovative public/private partnerships.  These are just a few of the ideas being generated.  But it will take a lot of public dialogue about funding choices, the pros and cons of each idea, and the political will of voters and policy makers to make the choices of what options to use to fund regionally significant transit improvements.

Francisco, I will need your active support during that discussion.

Question: While there's a lag in questions, is there anything else you'd like to talk about?

Answer: A lag in questions!!  Hope it's that people are busy with the holidays and having fun...
But let's close today's Live Chat with a look forward to 2008 and what Metro will be working on regarding Sustainability.  The Metro Ad Hoc Sustainability Committees will wor on developing policies and recommendations including the draft principles (we started out the caht with these) to guide the agency in the future.  We'll be working with the California Aire Resources Board to provide input and ensure that the requirementso of Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 are workable for Metro and the LA region.  We'll be initiating a Sustainability Management System to coordinate our operations...and much more.

Is there time for one more question??

Question: Dear Pam, Here's my suggestion for saving the earth. Every family gets rid of one car. My family did and I save time, money and the frustration of commuting downtown every day. Instead I exchanged my car for a tiny motor scooter to help reduce my carbon footprint. And I take the Red Line. It has made my life much easier and I save money, too. The only thing that would be even better would be if I could get a storage locker for my scooter at the North Hollywood Station. I've been trying for four years. I was told many locks were broken and that's why no one can get one. Metro hasn't repaired them yet. But that was a year ago. Can you possibly help me? In any case, thank you for making the environment a priority. We need to all pitch in and do what we can. Karin from Burbank

Answer: Karin…As you note, the key is to have a range of mobility options, like your scooter and  for those choices to be successful, they have to be supported by our urban infrastructure.  As Metro and our cities work on public places and transit hubs we need to look to encourage a range of travel modes, including more facilities for bicycles and scooters and the like by building spaces that support their use!  Metro staff will look into the locker situation at North Hollywood.

Question: What do you mean by sustainability?

Answer: Sustainability is the need to ensure that we meet our current needs — environmental, economic and social – without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.

Question: What's Metro doing about it?

Answer: Among things, the Metro Board’s Ad Hoc Sustainability and Climate Change Committee is working on a set of sustainability principles for the agency. Here they are. Anybody have any comments?

GROW an accessible multi-modal transportation system for all users
Metro’s core belief is that all people are equal and entitled to reasonable access to places of employment, business, culture, recreation, goods and services and other destinations in our region and beyond.

OFFER an equitable multi-modal transportation system for all users
Metro’s decisions promote social and inter-generational equity by meeting the transportation-related needs of all people and the movement of goods in an environmentally sound way.

MAKE our multi-modal transportation system a safe, community asset
Metro’s decisions strive to protect the safety of its employees and its customers while enhancing the quality of life and livability of our communities with thoughtfully designed and safe transportation services and infrastructure.

ENSURE a more integrated multi-modal transportation and land-use system
Metro’s decisions encourage our land-use and transportation partners to ensure efficient use of land, energy and natural resources; promote land-use and infrastructural design decisions that prioritize walking, bicycling, car-sharing and transit; and create an environment that results in high-quality public spaces.

TREAD lightly on our natural eco-systems and in our diverse communities
Metro’s decisions ensure the preservation of vital environmental habitats and respect the diverse urban fabric of communities with design standards that protect biodiversity and promote livable communities.

REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE resources to minimize our environmental impact footprint
Metro’s decisions in conjunction with its land-use and transportation partners reduce emissions, noise, energy consumption, hazardous chemicals, material waste, and other elements that threaten human health and the environment.

OUTREACH to our partners to leverage a more sustainable transportation system
Metro leverages its partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, and community and business stakeholders to ensure that decisions reflect the full social, economic, environmental, and security needs, benefits and life-cycle costs of our multi-modal transportation system.