Southern California Transit Advocates

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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)

http://www.rapidtransit-press.com/pub-nv.html

Western Transit (Edmund Buckley)

http://www.western-transit.com/

More Than Red Cars (Charles Hobbs)

http://morethanredcars.com/

Transit People (Tim Adams)

http://www.transitpeople.org/

LA.Streetsblog posts by Dana Gabbard

http://la.streetsblog.org/author/dana-gabbard/

LA.Streetsblog posts by Alexander Friedman

https://la.streetsblog.org/author/alexander-friedman/

L.A. Streetsblog posts by Erik Griswold

http://la.streetsblog.org/author/erik-griswold/

Citywatch posts by Ken Alpern

http://www.citywatchla.com/component/search/?searchword=Alpern%20at%20Large&ordering=&searchphrase=all