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Southern California Transit Advocates will have a booth at the opening of the Expo light rail line at the Culver City station (8804 Washington Bl) on Saturday May 21st between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Come by and say hello!
To foster discussion member Hank Funk has consented to allow us to share his comments to the Norwalk City Council on the proposal [http://norwalk.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9239] regarding Metro Line 270 and Norwalk Transit assuming a portion of it:
Please forward the following comments to the Norwalk City Council and Metro Board for consideration on the service change item, and to the Gateway Service Council for their information. Thank you. --- To whom it may concern, I support with the Gateway Service Council's recommendation regarding Metro maintaining Line 270 service between Norwalk and El Monte. There are substantive differences between Norwalk's proposal to take over this position and Foothill Transit's assumption of the rest of Line 270 and of Metro Line 190 and 194. Foothill Transit will accept all Metro fare media on Lines 190, 194, and 270 for the next year following transfer of the route. Norwalk has not made that commitment. Foothill Transit offers Nextrip service through Nextbus, allowing riders the assurance of knowing their bus is coming. This is the same system as used by Metro and so real time trip planning using apps is seamless. Norwalk does not have real time information for their buses. On Norwalk, that is impossible, short of calling dispatch, who will likely tire of answering questions from members of the public. So the Line 270 rider will see a decrease in quality of their service, as today they can go online or on their smartphone and find out where their bus is and the estimated arrival, which they can't do once Norwalk operates it. Norwalk Transit does not release a GTFS feed, nor are their buses plannable using Google Transit or Apple Maps. Thus, to the new or infrequent rider who uses Google to plan their trips, these buses essentially disappear from the map. Foothill Transit and Metro is on Google Transit. We need to attract new riders to transit through seamless integration in order to meet our goals in the SCAG Regional Transportation Plan recently adopted, as well as to meet our region's greenhouse gas reduction goals under SB 375. Increasing barriers to transit use is not consistent with these plans. Foothill Transit is governed by a board consisting of all cities where service operates in. For instance, cities where Lines 190 and 194 operate are already represented on the Foothill Transit Governing Board. The cities on the northern section of Line 270 like El Monte, Arcadia, and Monrovia are also represented. Similarly, Metro riders are represented by Metro Board members from each Supervisorial District and through their City Selection Committee appointee for their region, chosen by their city's mayor. The only governing body for Norwalk Transit is the City of Norwalk's City Council. There is no representation for riders from El Monte, South El Monte, Santa Fe Springs, or the unincorporated area. While Norwalk has historically run service outside of their jurisdiction since its creation, its track record of maintaining former Metro service and obtaining input from elected leaders of surrounding cities has been poor, as the Gateway Sector Council has noted. Indeed, Whittier's City Council vociferously opposed Norwalk's elimination of Line 8 (former Metro 275) service to Whittier, to no avail. http://www.whittierdailynews.com/article/ZZ/20110718/NEWS/110719145 The Metro Board should consider governance and representation issues prior to handing over the service to another carrier. If Norwalk Transit has a budget issue, they should feel free to discontinue Line 1 north of Rio Hondo College, as that section is duplicated entirely by Foothill Transit Line 274 and Line 1 is an original Norwalk route, not operated previously by another public carrier. I ask the Norwalk City Council to not take over Metro Line 270, and for the Metro Board to turn down this transfer and ratify the decision made by your appointed Gateway Service Council. Going forward, the City of Norwalk needs to implement real time information and add their buses to Google Maps, joining most of the other transit operators in the region, to meet expectations of today's transit rider. Sincerely, Hank Fung
LINKS TO MEMBER WEBSITES, BLOGS AND ONLINE WRITINGS ON TRANSIT
RTP News and Views (Andy Novak)
Western Transit (Edmund Buckley)
More Than Red Cars (Charles Hobbs)
Transit People (Tim Adams)
LA.Streetsblog posts by Dana Gabbard
LA.Streetsblog posts by Alexander Friedman
L.A. Streetsblog posts by Erik Griswold
Citywatch posts by Ken Alpern