Wednesday June 20, 2018
“Metro doesn’t just move this city, it connects our communities, powers our economy forward, and gives our region a shared sense of identity,” said Metro Board Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti. “Thanks to Measure M, the future of transportation in Los Angeles has never been brighter. I’m excited to continue our work to ease congestion and deliver the world-class transportation network our region deserves.”
During his term as Board Chair, Mayor Garcetti helped power Metro to new heights, using the momentum of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic games to adopt 28 by ’28, an initiative to build and accelerate 28 major transportation projects by 2028. Mayor Garcetti also oversaw several of Metro’s most important project groundbreakings, including the Purple Line Extension Section 2 to Century City and Gold Line Foothill Extension to Claremont, and helped Metro adopt the most aggressive electric bus goal of any large transit agency in America, pledging to make its bus fleet 100% zero emissions by 2030.
Metro Vice Chair Supervisor Kuehl discussed a number of exciting projects happening at Metro next year. She is looking forward to continuing to work with the Board and Metro CEO Phil Washington on improving the experience of those riding the Metro system. In addition, she plans on working with Metro's Women and Girls Council to continue to focus on training and hiring more women in non-traditional career positions. Supervisor Kuehl expressed her enthusiasm for Metro's undertaking of the NextGen Bus Study, which will reevaluate the bus routes that carry over 70% of our ridership.
"I am really looking forward to becoming Metro Chair next month" said Metro Vice Chair Kuehl. "We have a great number of exciting projects and initiatives coming to fruition and I look forward to continuing to focus on our riders and employees, especially as our programs impact women, and their unique experiences and needs, in the year to come."
Saying right here and right now in Los Angeles County, we are becoming the transportation infrastructure center of excellence, Metro’s CEO Washington unveiled his Five-Point-Plan for the agency, with the first point addressing the need to implement mobility innovation calling for high-quality options that enable people to spend less time traveling and noting that Measure M is the most ambitious and comprehensive voter-approved transportation program in America.
“This is why we are waging a transportation revolution,” said Washington. “It’s about developing a variety of choices that will make it easier to ride Metro or to get around by combining transit with travel via cars, bikes, rideshare, walking or options not yet developed.”
Other areas of mobility innovations included the agency’s Twenty-Eight by ’28 Initiative that aims to complete 28 major transit projects by the time Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
He noted that partnering with the private sector is an important tool and added that Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation has now evaluated 100 unsolicited proposals received through the agency’s unsolicited proposals policy and as a result Metro is pursuing public-private partnerships on two major project that include the West Santa Ana Branch and the Sepulveda Transit Corridor projects.
Point 2: Capture the Hearts and Minds of the People
Washington stressed the need to enhance the rider experience, with the goal of increasing ridership, a major priority for the agency. Metro is reimagining its bus service with the ongoing NextGen Bus Service Study that will evaluate Metro’s current system and determine ways to redesign it to meet the needs of the community now and well into the 21st century.
Also noted was through the agency’s new advertising contract, Metro will be converting to digital information displays are all Metro rail stations and provide amenities including free WiFi, charging stations, interactive tablets to search for community information, and the ability to make free phone calls, right from the panels on digital kiosks.
Point 3: Embrace Equity
Noting that the Metro Board of Directors recently approved an Equity Platform, a guide to ensure that Metro is considering all people as it plans, builds and operates transportation, the agency wants to enhance communities and lives through mobility and access to opportunity.
Metro is taking a proactive and committed role to advance equity in how it does business noting that we need to define what equity means for Metro, its partners and the community it serves, listen and learn from the community, focus and deliver and then train and grow with Metro leadership committed to training and supporting its staff to deploy “state-of-the-art” research and practices to guide more equitable transportation projects, investments and services.
The Equity Platform will be a key component of Metro’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, currently underway at the agency. He stressed that Metro wants to influence the development of transit-oriented communities that help the indigenous people of a neighborhood to thrive and prevent their displacement.
Point 4: Build the Industry
Metro is building the workforce of the future with a career pathway that provides opportunities for people to move into transportation jobs and move up through the ranks.
Washington said the agency is on track to face a huge challenge in the coming years — with the transportation industry needing an influx of qualified workers. He noted the launch of the Workforce Initiative Now-LA (WIN-LA) as a groundbreaking program focused on creating career pathways in the transportation industry. Since its launch last summer, the WIN-LA has been introduced to prime contractors, small businesses and other potential partners to encourage their participation.
Washington also referenced the kick-off earlier this week of the Transportation Academy, which is a partnership between Metro and Los Angeles County to launch a pilot educational and vocational program to train high school students and create the next generation of transportation industry workers. It will be an effort to expose, educate and employ young people as the workforce of the future.
Point 5: Step into Leadership Voids
While we can’t control things like affordable housing, homelessness, and all aspects of bettering people’s lives, we can influence others and encourage them to step out front to tackle the many issues that hold communities back. To this effort he noted that transportation is the instigator of so many things. It’s a socio-economic enabler, and said we are here to instigate.
He concluded by saying he wanted to lay the ground work in bringing a major rail car manufacturer to Los Angeles County and announce the convening of a roundtable soon with the rail car industry.
“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,” Washington said. “Our work to transform transportation in L.A. County is well underway.”
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.
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