Southern California Transit Advocates

Welcome to the new SO.CA.TA webpage

We are still under development and will add new features shortly.

Learn more about SO.CA.TA by checking out our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-California-Transit-Advocates/242228400535

Dana Gabbard presented our position at the March 29th Metro fare restructuring proposal public hearing

http://lametthesource.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/pubhearing-1-of-1-6.jpg

Academic paper referred to by Gabbard in his remarks on why free fare for larger agencies is a bad idea

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-center/Completed_Proj/Summary_PTO/FDOT_BC137_38_FF_rpt.pdf

Our position received coverage on Metro’s blog The Source

http://thesource.metro.net/2014/03/13/transportation-headlines-thursday-march-13/

Position of SO.CA.TA on proposed LACMTA/Metro fare increase

Southern California Transit Advocates generally supports the position that
an increase in fares is necessary to ensure operational sustainability of
the Metro system. However, we have the following comments related to the
proposals:

- SO.CA.TA recommends two hours in transfer time instead of 90 minutes.
Out of Metro’s North American peer agencies cited in their own research
(Washington, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, San Diego, Chicago,
San Francisco), all of them except San Francisco have a two hour or
greater transfer period. San Francisco allows only 90 minutes during the
day, which may be understandable due to the compact size of the system,
and San Diego allows for two hours from ticket purchase for transfers
within the light rail system. Two hours or more from the time of system
entry is consistent with most North American transit agencies that offer
transfers.

- In addition, if transfers are offered only on TAP cards, then SO.CA.TA
suggests expanding the sale of TAP cards to single ride fares on buses, to
allow cash passengers entering the bus system to be allowed to purchase
transfers. The cost should be comparable to that for a new TAP card
purchased at a ticket vending machine, which is currently $1. Currently
bus passengers may purchase a TAP card only with a day pass, this proposal
would expand sales to include single ride fares. To save cost limited use
TAP cards could be issued, which could then be traded for regular TAP
cards at customer service centers.

- Off peak and peak fares cause confusion, lengthen boarding times, and
create customer conflict, especially near the time change periods.
SO.CA.TA strongly believes that there should be one cash fare at all hours
of the day. If a peak/off-peak structure is implemented, it should be done
using TAP stored value and considered an off-peak discount for using TAP,
rather than a peak surcharge. In other words, the off peak fare is a
discount for using TAP and riding off-peak, with the peak fare considered
the default fare.

- SO.CA.TA has seen that there has been conflict between seniors and the
disabled and drivers related to the current implementation of the
senior/disabled off peak fare. Therefore, we recommend that the off peak
fare be provided only to seniors and the disabled with a valid
senior/disabled TAP card. Cash riders will still be eligible for a 50% or
greater discount by paying the peak senior/disabled fare, as required by
State law.

- With greater utilization of TAP it is imperative that the TAP Service
Center hours be expanded and the website and ticket vending machines be
made more customer friendly prior to implementation of free transfers and
stored value. The TAP Service Center hours should expand to match those of
the Metro Customer Center. Similar to placement of ticket vending machines
at El Monte Station, ticket vending machines where TAP stored value and
passes can be added should be placed at other bus transit hubs, such as
LAX City Bus Center, Harbor Gateway Transit Center, and South Bay
Galleria.

- Also, as part of improving customer service the “day pass accumulator”
should be implemented. Since the day pass is four times the base fare,
once a Metro fare is deducted four times in a calendar day, no further
deductions should be made during that day. In addition, interagency or
Metro-to-Muni transfers should be made automatic, such that a boarding on
a non-Metro operator within the transfer time period after the first Metro
boarding is only charged the interagency transfer fee.

To foster discussion we are sharing a proposal for restructuring Metro’s fares prepared by Eugene Salinsky, who regularly uses public transit. It has not been endorsed by SO.CA.TA and he is not a member.

Eugene Salinsky’s Fare Proposal 

If my proposal is approved, I believe the Farebox Recovery will be well above 30% based on San Francisco Muni and San Diego MTS. This proposal will encourage pass use on the bus and train and will save Metro money on operating costs by speeding the boarding times on the bus.

The plan would maintain the existing fare structure such that each boarding requires separate fare payment, or use of a pass.

 

Current

FY 2015 FY 2018 FY 2021

Regular Fares

Regular Fare
(per boarding)

$1.50

$2.00

$2.25

$2.50

Day Pass

$5.00

$6.00

$7.00

$8.00

7 Day Pass

$20.00

$20.00

(no change)

$25.00

$30.00

30 Day Pass

$75.00

$75.00

(no change)

$80.00

$90.00

EZ transit pass

$84.00

$84.00

(no change)

$90.00

$100.00

Metro to Muni transfer

$0.35

$0.50

$0.75

$1.00

Monthly Zone upcharge (EZ/Silver/Express, in addition to   30 day pass)

$22.00

$24.00

$26.00

$29.00

Senior/Disabled Fares

Senior Disabled Peak
(peak 5-9 am and 3-7 pm non-holiday weekdays)

$0.55

$0.75
(all times)

$0.90
(all times)

$1.00
(all times)

Senior Disabled Off-Peak

$0.25

Senior Disabled Day Pass

$1.80

$2.25

$2.50

$3.00

Senior Disabled 30 Day Pass

$14.00

$17.00

$19.00

$22.00

Senior Disabled EZ transit pass

$35.00

$38.00

$45.00

$50.00

Monthly zone upcharge (Silver/Express)

Free

$5.00

$7.00

$9.00

Monthly zone upcharge Express/Silver with EZ transit pass

$9.50

$9.50

(no change)

$10.00

$12.00

Senior Disabled Metro to Muni transfer

$0.10

$0.25

$0.35

$0.50

Student Fares

Student/College Regular Fare

$1.00

$2.00

(eliminate discount)

$2.25

$2.50

Student 30 Day Pass

$24.00

$27.00

$30.00

$35.00

College 30 Day Pass

$36.00

$45.00

$55.00

$65.00

Silver/Express Fares

Silver Line

$2.45

$2.50

$2.75

$3.00

Upcharge

$0.25-$0.95

$0.50

$0.50

$0.50

Senior Disabled Silver Peak

$1.15

$1.25

(all times)

$1.30

(all times)

$1.50

(all times)

Senior Disabled Silver Off Peak

$0.85

Senior Disabled Silver Upcharge with Pass

$0.30-$0.60

$0.25

$0.30

$0.50

Express

$2.20-$2.90

$2.50

$2.75

$3.00

Express Upcharge with Pass

$0.70-$1.40

$0.50

$0.50

$0.50

Senior Disabled Express Upcharge with Pass

$0.30-$0.60

$0.25

$0.30

$0.50

Park and Ride

Daily Parking Charge

Free

$6.00

$7.00

$8.00

 

Park and Ride Change:

Park and ride is free with Day Pass, 7 Day Pass, 30 Day Pass, or EZ transit pass. Must have TAP card. Daily parking charge must be paid with TAP card.

 

Comments concerning the proposed bus service changes to possibly be implemented by Metro in June 2014 or later, submitted to the agency on behalf of our members:

We support the proposed 588 express service to Westwood via the currently being constructed HOV lanes on the 405 freeway as facilitating a true rapid service between the San Fernando Valley and Westwood along with providing connections to the westside and the Wilshire corridor whereas the current Rapid 761 bogs down as it must traverse Sunset Blvd. and make several stops at UCLA before reaching Westwood.

We are opposed to combining Van Nuys Rapid 761 with the Reseda Rapid 741. The stretch of Ventura it would run along is so heavily congested it would virtually guarantee this would not provide a fast or useful link of the two corridors, which already have frequent rapid transit service connecting them via the Orange Line.

We suggest instead of implementing this combined line that consideration be given to  undertaken an increase in the frequency of north/ south bus service that serve the Orange Line. Linkages are key to the productivity of fixed guideways and service frequencies on such lines as the 158 on Woodman, the 242 on Tampa, the 243 on Winnetka and the 167 on Coldwater Canyon (among others) should be increased to support their role as feeder/distributors of the Orange Line in its role as the high speed spine of the San Fernando Valley bus grid. A demonstration of this concept on at least one of the aforementioned lines for a year to test whether it produces increased ridership seems warranted.

We propose continuing the heavily patronized Rapid 761 to UCLA, Westwood, the Getty Center, and the Skirball Cultural Center but with a route modification that will improve its speed and efficiency. This involves it exiting Van Nuys Blvd at Magnolia (preferred) or possibly Oxnard and continuing south on Sepulveda through the Sepulveda Pass, therefore avoiding the heavy traffic congestion on Van Nuys Blvd near the 101 Ventura Freeway and Ventura Blvd gridlock between Van Nuys Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd. Requiring bus patrons on Van Nuys Blvd., heading towards Westwood, to transfer to the proposed 741 Sepulveda Rapid Bus to UCLA and Westwood would disrupt the longtime commute patterns of hundreds of  UCLA students, faculty members, employees, UCLA Medical Center staff, patients, visitors, as well as other transit users.

As this would still leave a small gap in Rapid Service along a portion of Van Nuys Blvd and considering the very high ridership along that corridor we suggest also maintaining a Van Nuys Blvd only Rapid or Limited Service.

We support continuing the 233 night service as is.

We suggest the 577 Rio Hondo stop being made permanent is premature and should instead be continued through the end of this year and reviewed for possible adoption for the Dec. service changes.

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DANA GABBARD:

Recent communications to Omnitrans and the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) have mentioned Southern California Transit Advocates. We wish to state for the record these in no way represent a position of our organization; indeed, we have no idea who the source of these e-mails are and wish to disassociate ourselves from them.

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 Freidman

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