Telephone Town Hall Transcript, May 9
John Fasana, Councilmember, City of Duarte
Pauletta: Good evening everyone and thank you for joining us for a live telephone town hall meeting hosted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority also known as Metro. I’m Pauletta Tonilas, Chief Communications Officer for Metro and I’ll be your moderator this evening as we talk about Metro’s programs and services and our long-term transportation plan to improve mobility all across Los Angeles County . Metro has put together a plan to ease traffic and our Metro Board of Directors is considering this plan and whether or not to bring it to voters in November and joining me tonight our Metro first vice chair and Duarte City Councilman John Fasana, Metro deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins also here to answer your questions is Will Ritter Metro’s executive officer of countywide planning and Scott Page Director of service performance and analysis in our service development department.
Tonight we are here to focus on the San Gabriel Valley and seeing how you folks feel about transportation, where we should be spending our time and effort in planning for priorities all across your area and to give us some feedback. We want you to get in the queue to ask you some questions and you can do that by pressing zero on your keypad and you will be transferred to an operator who will then take down some basic information and get you in the queue so that you can ask us a question and when I call upon you, I ask that you go ahead and repeat your question briefly and then we will go ahead and answer as many questions tonight as possible.So how this works is if you want to get in the queue to ask a question press zero now on your keypad or any time during this call and we will get to as many of you as possible your opinions are very important to us, so we are going to be asking you a couple of questions tonight and give you an opportunity to participate in an electronic polling where you will press the number on your keypad that corresponds to your answer and you be able to give us some immediate feedback as a community. You can also participate online by going to our website@Metro.net/the plan and clicking on our interactive Town Hall link so again press zero at any time to get in line to ask a question and we are going to go ahead and get started, and it’s now my pleasure to introduce Metro board first vice chair and Duarte City Councilman John Fasana who will take over as chair of the board July 1. Well hello Director thank you for being with us tonight.
John Fasana: Thank you Pauletta and thank you all for joining us this evening. I’m looking forward to the questions you may have the regarding Metro. Bur first I want to talk about a few things related to the newly opened Metro goal line extension. That is a huge success out in the San Gabriel Valley, it’s been experiencing increased ridership , It’s gone through the roof, but I also want to talk about why Metro’s plans, what’s happening and why these options and so important for our entire region and really can really benefit the San Gabriel valley as well. As I mentioned, ridership is going through the roof , we are up to almost 6000 boardings on week days, which are higher than we anticipated, we are having strong weekend ridership as well and 70% of these riders are new riders to the Metro system which means they don’t have their cars on the road and probably the 210 freeway, that is I just want to mention to the extent we take traffic off the 210, we help the 10 and the 60 as well. All three of those freeways are moving constantly, people some have choices of which they use, so the benefits are there for all three freeways East,West, dropping to San Gabriel Valley. So we take vehicles off the road , we’ve proven that through those survey of the new riders and we all know that if we can take cars off the road really does is ease the trip for those of us who still need to drive and what we are really trying to do here is create choices so that people don’t have to drive maybe every day maybe it’s maybe for some of you it is every day maybe once a week once a month but anything that we can do to create other options relieves congestion on our freeway system which is going to be very difficult to expand , we are looking at efficiency improvements to it to well built our region so that something we need to consider now before the gold line opened Metro provided close to 450 million rides a year and if we think we have traffic now think would be like if our riders all began driving so we know the we need other solutions we need to not only keep the share of transit riders that we have and also carpoolers, if you are carpooling ensuring in your ride you’re not using the Metro system that’s great too. Anything we can do to take single occupancy vehicle drivers to have a sure ride either to public transit or through your own vehicle it helps take pressure off that highway system so we’ve opened the goal line, we have the upcoming opening this month of the Expo line from Culver City to Santa Monica we’ve increased from zero to almost 100 miles just in the last 25 years such a huge reinvestment in rail and we are seen the people really enthused by that and by the choices being provided. Metro has over 2200 buses that provide service. I want to give a shout out to foothill transit in the San Gabriel Valley, they provide a good measure service within our Valley. I deleted my own city, foothills ,probably the predominant bus service provider. so it is a partnership and the individual cities in our region two [ ?] of them have local shuttle systems , There is Pasedena with their bus system, city, Glory.Belmonte, some of the cities do have shuttles and there are special shuttles that have sprung up to support the gold line in Arcadia and Monroe as well. so were excited we know that we find additional revenues we can extend the goal line beyond Azusa the Claremont that’s one project among many that certainly would be affected with the new transit measure so I’ll just want to say we’ve accomplished a lot in the last 25 years it’s really been a great year in San Gabriel Valley for Metro as a whole we’re looking forward for the Expo line so want to hear the discussion tonight. Please press zero to participate I’m going to turn it back to Pauletta .
Pauletta : Thank you very much first vice chair Fasana and Duarte City Councilman were pleased to have Director Fasana with us tonight and he noted that , Director Fasana mentioned some of the projects that we have already accomplished that are in the San Gabriel Valley we also have many others that we have plan through our plan to ease traffic that we are here to talk to you about tonight and the great thing about this plan is that it will provide improvements all across Los Angeles County with every part of the County getting some major project in the first 15 years of this plan and this plan would be a half cent sales tax increase that would allow us to do mobility improvements all across LA County including investing back at the local level and so this is significant for us then we look forward to hearing more about what you have to say so we are going to go ahead and go to our first caller, and we are going to go to Brandon in Bello, Brandon go ahead and ask your question
Brandon: This is regarding the train that you unveiled right here in Montevallo and the south side, right
Pauletta: yes go-ahead yes Brandon, go ahead
Brandon: I have a concern because when I going to cities like back in California , and see their history how come they have the money to put up these big walls or they have the overpass to put in the trains up were they stop blocking any type of traffic or you can even hear any noise I had been in Montebello for several years and it seems like these locomotive operator are making their horns go louder and louder and even longer on purpose
Scott Page: Hi Brandon, this is Scott and I work in service planning at Metro and I think I can help you with some you’re, to answer some of your questions, it just so happened that you were referring to the Union Pacific Railroad and Metro funds the Alameda corridor East construction Authority a portion of it, right now Metro has allocated $33 million towards building overpasses along the Union Pacific Railroad and it just so happens that Montebello and at Vail is the next location to have a study and later construction done at that location. So the Montebello quarter great separation project calls for constructing roadway underpasses and overpasses railroad bridges backcrossing on Montebello Boulevard and Maple Avenue and installing safety improvements including quad crossing gates for enhanced safety at the crossings of Greenwood and Vail Avenues.
Now based on the direction of Montebello City Councilman remember that Metro is only funding the Alameda corridor projects we are only funding these potential crossing locations. a lot has to do with your city Montebello and based on the direction for Montebello city Council, design of the project commenced in 2015 and upon approval of the final design plans by the city of Montebello construction could begin as early as 2019 and be completed by 2022. so there is some relief coming for the residents Montebello and I hope you look forward to seeing the construction starting sometime in the near future for projects at Vail and a Greenwood Avenue .
Pauletta: Thanks very much Scott, we are going to go now to our next caller and that is Christine in Azuza, go-ahead Christine
Christine: Hi,my question is about the gold line extension. it’s great that it come to the but there is no parking all parking structures are pretty much full by morning and I know a lot of you would love to take gold line but cannot because they cannot find anywhere to Park and they are getting towed from residential streets.
John Fasana: Okay thank you for the question the question is on goal line parking, this is John Fasana, that is something that were working, I know that Metro’s working with the city of Azusa and the joining cities. we have provided some parking and actually there’s more parking along the goal line extension and some of the other extensions we been able to put in. parking is extremely costly and it is very difficult to find adequate space to put the parking in, so we are looking to see what can be done with shuttles what can be done with the zoning of streets so we are doing what we can to try make that more successful but we are aware that parking, in one sentence indicative of the great success of the line but we recognize in Azusa we have some additional work to do. We are very pleased that the ridership is high but ultimately their are other options that need to be looked at and we’re trying to help get the word out that if people can take foothill transit service to the Azusa locations the parking structure that is foothill transit and the gold line that is one solution. also dropping off goal line passenger is another option so dropping someone at the front of the stations in Azusa you are fortunate to have two of them steps as well .so I think does Scott have more on this, or do we have it?
Scott Page: Hi this is Scott and I just wanted to add to the Directors comments that were currently working to make improvements at all the parking lots along the goal line to make it easier for you when you approach it for example were going to be putting up a big huge number board sign outside of each parking garage that indicates how many spaces are still left with in that garage so as you approach it at least you will know whether there spaces available for you to go inside of a look for and not be inside roaming around and around in circles in there actually would not be any spaces. There is lso going to be parking attendants placed at the busiest parking garage stations to also help you find spaces and manage traffic inside the parking garages and as the Director stated hopefully we can work with the city of Azusa and foothill transit to use some of their parking spaces to aliviate congestion at the Azusa station.
Pauletta: Thanks very much both Scott and Director Fasana so we are here with Metro’s vice chair of our Board of Directors, John Fasana and other Metro staff here to answer your questions about Metro our programs projects and services and our plan to ease traffic this is our proposed plan for a half cent sales tax increase to fund improvements all across LA County and we want to hear what you have to say about it. so press zero on your keypad if you’d like to get in the queue to ask us a question or make a comment and now we are going to go to Twong in San Gabriel said Twong go ahead and ask a question.
Wong: Hello, thank you, my name is Twong, T.W.O.N.G. basically I am against any sales tax increase. In the past you have already increased various tax making that money going towards public transportation basically the sales tax you’re encouraging people not to go buy online, go buy somewhere else and basically losing jobs for LA County thank you
Pauletta: Okay Twong, thank you very much for your question I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to first vice chair John Fasana to address your questions and comments
John Fasana : Thank you Mr. Twong, I appreciate your sentiment and I think that is something everybody needs to decide. I do want to point out though that actually in addition to transit that is funded through the sales tax , Metro funds a lot of other important projects as well and just one example , I think in San Gabriel it’s the San Gabriel trans project that Metro provides significant funding for which really helped eliminate a lot of bottlenecks and great crossings. when we have all those streets coming up to the port, I know from talking to my colleagues in San Gabriel on their city Council that vehicles at times were being trapped or emergency response people were being trapped on one side of the road when they need to get to the other side of the road say to a hospital so the Alameda project which Metro has provide tremendous funding for, their larger signature project is the s San Gabriel trench which is being built today so I just want to point out that addition the transit Metro does fund our nation’s goods too and help to get these goods out of the ports to get them through our community safely and that has been a big part in our San Gabriel Valley to get those goods moving east while allowing on the south traffic to also occur and serve local communities.
Pauletta: Thank you very much first vice chair John Fasana if you would like to get in the queue to ask a question press zero on your keypad and you will get connected to an operator and we love to hear what you have to say tonight we are also going to ask you a couple questions here in the in the telephone town hall to get some feedback from you but right now I’m going to turn it over to Stephanie to talk just little bit about the progress that we already are making through your local tax investment and one of this things is an exciting milestone we are going to be celebrating here just next week Stephanie right?
Stephanie Wiggins : Yes Pauletta, next Friday may 20th we are actually opening the Expo line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica. it is quite an achievement and actually it mean that folks from San Gabriel Valley can take a trainfrom as far east as Azusa all the way to Santa Monica. So we are really excited about that Project its made possible by the sales tax from the residence of LA County including San Gabriel Valley and we have other major rail project under construction, regional connector and indowntown LA where we are extending the purple line subway further into Wilshire and of course we have the Crenshaw line to LAX. Again we are exposing more opportunity connections from the San Gabriel Valley to other parts of the County. But we there is much more to do. The county is expected to grow by another 2,000,000,000+ people over the next 40 years and we want to make sure we have transportation improvement bill that really allow us to improve connections and the ease of traffic throughout the County and really provide for a world-class transportation syste,. You know in LA County , we spend an average of 81 hours a year stuck in traffic and we know that time is money. And the longer it takes about out our improvements the more expensive it will be and we don’t plan now for all of this growth , it’s going to give way more traffic congestion . that is why we are really considering putting up measure on the ballot in November.
What that would mean would be an additional half cent sales tax along with our extension of our measure on sales tax. That is about $24 a year out of the pocket of an average resident what does that really means, Its about seven cents a day. And the sales tax wont only apply to LA County residents , it will apply to tourists and others who a live outside of the county but purchas goods and services in LA County .It isreally important because this is a major way we help fund all of the transportation improvements the make a difference in our lives , our plan is to really provide an infrastructure inheritance for our children and grandchildren and we want to make sure we don’t leave them with crumbling bridges and not maintained and well-planned roads.
Pauletta:Thanks very much Stephanie that Stephanie Wiggins our deputy CEO here at Metro and were here to listen to you it all starts and ends with you the public at why we are here at Metro and we are here to serve you and we want to serve you with better transportation and more improvements and more choices moving forward and so our plan to ease traffic is before you and our Metro Board of Directors will decide in June whether or not to put this sales tax for more transportation improvements on the ballot in November we have first vice chair John Fasana here with us who is also Duarte City Councilman and he is here to take your questions so we are going to go to Gabriel in Montebello, so go-ahead Gabriel, ask a question
Gabrie: I was wondering if you guys are planning to extend the gold line towards the Montebello Mall and towards Whittier?
Scott Page: Hi Gabriel this is Scott in service planning, actually that is an excellent question. for listeners who don’t realize what Gabrie was talking about, the goal line actually has two legs and he’s referring to the leg that operates along East first and third Street and East Los Angeles and actually that is one of the alternatives of the Eastside goal line extension. There are actually two quarters of it that are being studied for the line that would extend East of Atlantic Boulevard where it took currently terminates today and those two quarters are state Route 60, basically the train would run along parallel or near state Route 60 into Almonte with a stop at the Montebello town center and the other one is the Washington quarter which would operate into Whittier so to mention the two different pieces of it because you want to go to the Montebello town center but you also want to go to Whittier so you might get one or the other and currently this study is underway if you want to read more about it you can find information on Metro.net and thanks Whittier for your question.
Pauletta: Thanks very much Scott. We are here to talk to you about Metro’s plan for transportation improvements all across Los Angeles County this is a plan that we have worked with our stakeholders all across the Metro area on the priority projects for their areas and we’ve come together with a plan that we feel is very comprehensive that serves the whole County, all areas of the County will be getting major improvements and so it’s all about how we invest in those and so we are going to go ahead and take Ray from South Pasadena, Ray go ahead and ask a question.
Ray:I will say good evening to John Fasana, this is Ray calling and I have a question about the mileage tax that is being proposed in Sacramento they are talking about a new form to replace the gas tax and have the MTA take the position of it and so how would that figure into the overall financial plan that they have since supplemented?
John Fasana: Hello Ray and thanks for calling this is John Fasana, good to talk with you and we are, that is something we certainly will be looking at we know that the state in the federal government are looking at vehicle miles traveled and those other options we’ve seen the cars are getting more and more efficient and the gas taxes have been stadier declining. Will is going to help to respond to that, I don’t think the board has yet taken a position on that particular item.
Will Ritter: Ray, this is Will Ritter with the Metro, and that is a great question as Director Fosano mentioned, the Metro board have not taken a position on a kind of mileage-based user fee however we have been actively participating in those discussion occurring in a statewide level . over last year there has been what’s called a technical advisory committee that was put together by the California transportation commission to explore a pilot program that will be looking at a road charge as you have identified and we have had representatives from Los Angeles County participating on that advisory committee and we’ve been providing input into that process. we are very encouraged by the recommendations that have been adopted and for that the pilot program to be initiated here starting in this coming summer and will be looking forward to some of the outcomes because there are a lot of areas sensitivity to the traveling public dealing with issues such as privacy and how data would be reported upon how people are traveling .This is a pilot program that is exploring as at an option to help address some of the declining sales tax as well as well as gas tax has been collected by transportation users through out California and something that while we had taken a position on we are actively following to see how it could provide an opportunity for future transportation funding in Los Angeles County.
Pauletta: Thank you very much Will. So we are here to hear from you we’ve got several of in the queue to ask a question but if you would like to get in the queue press zero now and you can get in line to ask us a question. We are going a go now to Steve from Duarte go-ahead Steve.
Steve: Councilman Fasana, my name is Steve , am a citizen of Duarte, and my question for you is, is the Metro planning a significant extension in the San Fernando Valley between for example both Hollywood and .
John Fasana: Thank you Steve for calling in and it’s great that you have been able to follow what we are doing here and I do want point out that we are trying to focus very much on connecting the two Valley so we did just recently implement the route 501 which connects with the Delmar gold line station at Pasadena and provides common express service along the 101 meeting up in the Burbank and ultimately in Universal City with the orange line.Now in terms of other improvements to the orange line there are some being contemplated to make it more efficient I’m going to let Scott take that part of it.
Scott Page: Thank you Director. The Director just talked about route 501 and I just want to add something to that, and that is that it runs seven days a week it runs every 15 minutes the peaks every 30 minutes in the base now that line as you mentioned that line is going to hook to the orange line and we have a number of studies that are underway right now to determine how the orange line can be improved and we’ve also just recently implemented a few items along the orange line which has already allowed buses to go a little bit faster first of which is a study is underway to determine whether or not great crossings can be added along the orange line and these would be also making them the rail standard so that possibly one day the orange line could be converted to rail and that certainly another study out in the horizon so right now we are looking at the hard drive with the great crossings and or possibly converting into rail now you live in Duarte and you seem to want to go all the way to Woodland Hills and that iscertainly a long trip but certainly it can be done thanks to the 501 and the orange line. if you were trying to get from Ventura Boulevard up to Warner Center we have line 750 which is our Metro rapid one of Ventura Boulevard and LADOT commuter express line runs line 422 from downtown LA all the way to Warner Center .it’s an express bus along the 101 freeway. So there is certainly a number of options and ways for you to get from Duarte to Woodland Hills and to the Warner center area and I suggest you try our trip planner@Metro.net transit also has a trip planner as well and you can use all those trippy planner at metro.net and google has a trip planner as well and you can piece all those trips together to make from Duarte to Woodland Hills.
Pauletta: Thank you very much Scott so were going to go now to Conrad in Lavern, Conrad go ahead and ask your question.
Conrad: Hi. I’m interested in of the possibility that expanded Metro lines could have bike paths, dedicated bike paths incorporated into the design for the right-of-way as the system gets expanded.
Will Ritter: Conrad, this is Will Ritter, and that’s a very great question and one that we are offering as part of the planning process for all of our line .I would notice that this month the Metro board will be taking action on what were calling our active transportation strategic plan and then at the part of the potential ballot measure that we’re looking at funding of about four and a half percent of the total revenues collected to support active transportation project throughout Los Angeles County. As you may be familiar with, we currently have a court order that parallel the orange line in some of our other type of facilities we don’t this opportunity but I think the important point of recognition is that we are looking right now to active transportation strategic plan and a network of over 2000 Bicycle Lane miles and these include class one facilities that are off the roadway system, class two facilities that may be protected on the roadway system as well as some roadway that their functions are what we called class three Bike lanes that can appropriately have bicyclists out in the same lanes being used by vehicle so it’s in area of a lot of the planning effort and one thing I was going to point out is it that we do have along the Expo line which you noted is going to be opening here shortly ,a dedicated bike path in that facility as well so we are very excited about finding what’s going on in our active transportation modes and the funding that have been identified throughout Los Angeles County as part of the potential ballot measure to help implement those systems as a part of our overall balanced system.
Pauletta: Thanks very much Will.Now you know it’s one thing for us to build out all of these projects and we been talking about that tonight in terms of what else can we do to provide choices and building out a transportation inherited if you will, for not just us but for future generations but it’s another thing for us to be able to have a funding mechanism to keep our whole system in good working condition and in the transit industry we call that the state of good repair in other words funding to keep our track in good working condition and our overhead electrical wires replaced buses replaced train and so our first question that we would like to ask you tonight revolves around the concept of us needing to make sure that we have funding to keep our system in good working condition so the question that you will then answer by pressing the number on your keypad that corresponds with your response is, after we build out the project would you support Metro keeping part of the tax to keep the system in good working condition? press one on your keypad for yes and two for no. again after we build out our project would you support part of the tax continuing to keep the system in good working condition? press one on your keypad if you would vote yes press two if you would vote no. This is what we call the state of good repair in investing in keeping our system in good working order and will give you the collective responses back on that here in just a little bit . We are going to go now to Helen in Arcadia , Helen go ahead and ask your question .go ahead and ask your question
Helen: Hello I’m sorry I was waiting for the recording. I want to let you know that I am a senior and I originally recently rode all over on the Metro and had a ball but I’m trying to find out how does one get information about the various routes of buses that hook up with the Metro and especially a bus that would go from Metro Arcadia towards Sierra Madre and Santa Anita.
Scott Page,Hi Hellen this is Scott from service planning of those are interesting questions first of all I don’t know if you’re familiar with it but we have a phone number call called go Metro it’s actually 323 GO Metro and you can call the number and one of our customer service agents can assist you with your trip planning if you want to talk to customer relations you can 213-922-6235 as well but don’t forget that 323 go Metro number t that is very important. also available to you when you get off of our Metro system of course is our buses as well as other transit systems of as well as Uber and lift first mile and last mile so I would suggest you call the 323 go Metro number and if you want to go from Sierra Madre to the Arcadia station , that station is a little too far to the east for Metro services however if you call foothill transit foothill transit out in the San Gabriel Valley is one of our transit partners and they would be able to provide you with information on how to get to the Arcadia station however there is one line that we operate that you might want to investigate line 487 and it operates up from Sierra Madre down Santa Anita Blvd. and that’s line 487 but you might want to call foothill transit and they can provide you with bus service but also operate in the San Gabriel Valley and they hook with all of our stations particular the six new stations that just went into effect and I have that foot hill number for you it’s 1 800 rideinfo. thank you.
Pauletta: Thank you very much Scott if you would like to leave your email so that you can get information from Metro moving forward press seven on your keypad and you’ll be able to leave your email address and then will send you information about everything about Metro from here on out. We are now to go to John from San Marino, so John go ahead and ask your question
John: Hi this is John from San Marino and I’ve been driving that 710 freeway for decades and wondering whether or not the ballot measure would provide any funding for you know the proposal from the terminus of the 710 to the 210.
John Fasana: Thank you John for calling yes actually Metro right now is his in the midst of an environmental review working with Caltrans and the local cities to figure out what the best way is to close the gap. there was some funding provided in the original measure that is still available once the board determines how to move forward . So there is funding in the existing measure . At this point they were looking at private financing to help with that. There will not be funding in this new measure for the 710 there is money though, some money has been set aside in the measure which passed in 2008.
Pauletta: Thank you very much first vice chair John Fasana and Duarte city councilman. Director Fasana will be the new chair the board starting July 1 and so were pleased to have him with us tonight so that we can talk to you the folks of the San Gabriel Valley to hear your thoughts comments and issues related to future transportation so were going to go now to Brian from Pomona, Brian what is your question
Brian:My question,This is Brian Brooks in Pomona and am an advocate for modern road and modern rail and studied their technology would Metro ever seriously considered these technologies if they are shown cheaper less expensive to build and less expensive to operate. I’m met with Metro people a few years ago and they were not interested.
Stephanie Wiggins: Hi Brian its Stephanie Wiggins, thank you for your question I’m happy to share that about nine months ago now, our new CEO created a new Department at Metro called the office of extraordinary innovation not simple innovation but extraordinary innovation and it really is an opportunity for us to focus on great ideas such as the ones that you talked about the way we formally are accepting those new ideas is through unsolicited proposal and if you can got can go on our website@Metro.net/the plan is where you find out about our new ballot measure proposal but also on our website you’ll find a link to our unsolicited proposals it identifies the process under which you can submit your idea it will be considered by our new office of extraordinary innovation and they will actually follow up and schedule a meeting but what we recognize is that while we are focused on delivering the best quality safest of service every day to our riders the commuting public we also need to make time to consider cutting edge new technologies that can be more efficient and help us deliver options for commuters so we are definitely interested in all types of ideas to make our system even better thank you.
Pauletta: Thank you very much Stephanie. if you would like to ask a question is not too late all you have to do is press zero on your keypad if you would like to leave us your email so that you can get future information from Metro you can press seven on your keypad I want to share the results for you of the question that you participated in what we asked you couple minutes ago. the question was, once we build out our project would you support us continuing part of the tax to keep our system in good working condition? 76% of you said yes and 24% said no. so we thank you very much for participating in will ask another question here in just a couple of minutes but right now we are going to go to Dennis in Diamond park, go-ahead Dennis
Dennis: Hi this is Dennis from Diamond Park, I didn’t get all of the sales tax information. Is is general sales tax for the city of califonia or is it gas sales tax ?
Johns Fasana: Thank you Dennis for calling. the sales tax were talking about will apply to just the Los Angeles County to support the Los Angeles County transportation and what they’re looking at would be a measure that would extend measure an additional about 18 years I believe it is and it would also, for the new portion go out to 2057 right now that are looking your 40 years the board may look at 45 years or 50 years but right now the current planned route is 40 years .
Pauletta: Thanks very much first vice chair John Fasana. we are going to go now to Stephanie in Elmont ,okay go-ahead Stephanie.
Stephanie: Hi my name is Stephanie from Elmonte, One of the riders using the purple line, my question is. A lot of people use the purple line to go to Santa Monica so whats the extension for the purple line? My question is, is it starting now? And my other question is, When will it be finished?
Scott Page: Hi Stephanie this is Scott in service planning and actually have some good news exciting news for you am glad that you like riding the purple line I assume if you’re coming from Omani you probably also take the silver line to connect with the purple line so its a great way to get from Omani to the purple line okay. the purple line is going to open in three phases and construction is already started the first phase will operate from Western to La Brea to La Cienega and that will open in 2023 the next phase , phase 2 will operate from Beverly Hills basically Wilshire rodeo to Century City and that phase will open in 2026 and the third phase will operate from Century City the Westwood then it will cross the 405 freeway and terminate at the VA hospital just on the Westside of the 405. At this time there is no plans to extend it to downtown Santa Monica but you know we have like 20 and 720 on Santa Monica Blvd. as well as Santa Monica Big Blue bus is on Wilshire Boulevard and don’t forget the Expo line it does run to Santa Monica so you can take the silverline to downtown LA served with Metro and there you’ll be able to connect with the Expo line to Santa Monica and that service starts on May 20 thank you,
Pauletta: Thanks scott. We are going to go to Marilyn in Pomona go-ahead Marilyn
Marilyn: yes Hi, I live in the Pomona area and my concern is how much active does metro have or will have for handicap adults and elderly because I am in my early 50s. and I don’t want to be driving I guess probably after 65
John Fasana: Thank you are you we appreciate the call and I can tell you i think that something that a lot of people are concerned about is how they can get around system more efficiently.Metro has done a lot of things over the years to make it system easier-to-use we’ve moved exclusively virtually to low floor buses that are easier to enter . we’ve also with our rail system the boarding is level with the rail cars which makes it easier to access but also if someone have extensive disabilities in the cannot use the public transportation system there is a service called access services which still provide we call paratransit services and I will give you that number or for anyone else on the line that is area code 800-883-1295 again that area code 800-883-1295
Pauletta: And just adding to what Director Donna was saying part of this potential ballot measure plan to ease traffic is part of that funding going towards services for the elderly seniors and students and that’s 2% of the overall pot of the money going towards that so we realize this as our population ages that we need to plan for more service for seniors and the disabled and also for our students out there we see more and more students having need to have therefore there fares affordable. so we have about $2 billion estimated in the plan for those in our community so thank you very much for your question. we are going to go right now John , so John go ahead and ask your question
John : yes Hi, this is John from I have a question is Metro making any effort to provide more interested with land-use transportation integration strategies with the various municipalities across LA County . I know that LA county is such a huge place anyway dealing with 88 cities here. but every time I see new development going on especially next to a mass transit station it feels like there is always a resistance with several people , like people who don’t like large tall buildings, but when they start these developments near these mass transit stations, the way I see it doesn’t really effectively utilize the light rail system that we are spending billions on. So is there any effort by metro to work closely with cities and stuff like that. To help promote smart growth
Will Ritter: Hi John this is Will Ritter with countywide planning and development Department , and that is an excellent question and one that we are very focused on we actually have the public and were coming development entire group that’s been dedicated to development were we are working with the local municipalities the cities and the County throughout Los Angeles County and focusing on how we can promote really transit oriented communities around the stations that we are building as part of our rail expansion and other rep projects around areas in particular like union station and the like. This is something that we have to do with a lot of sensitivity as you can appreciate there are concerns of impacts to the local communities and when we begin to change land-use and promote in certain situations increase value of you know the areas around stations that might to have potential in fact displace some of the existing community but that is something that is we are actively engage with and we have a number of programs that include kind of grants and funding to local communities to help support their planning around those stations as well as how we might be able to partner with them to secure funds to support the actual implementation of these plan as Many of our funds are focused as we invest on the transit station itself so a lot of collaboration that is going we are skirting to our transit or development in really what we call now transit organised communities.
Pauletta: Thanks Will. we are here for a live telephone town hall meeting being hosted by LA Metro to talk about our future plan to improve transportation all across Los Angeles County this is a plan up for consideration by you the public and Metro’s Board of Directors which will be considering whether to put this measure on the ballot in November and with me tonight is first vice chair of the Metro board City Councilman from Duarte John Fosano and Director Fasana, this really the impact economically is something that we really can’t even fully grasp but there is no question what they can do for the whole economy.
John Fasana: Pauletta your actually correct and this is something that we’ve looked at really trying determine how does the constructing this system that will benefit us all affect the economic health of the region aside from just be able to move more efficiently. these projects are huge drivers .The goal line project alone that was just open cost over a billion dollars to build expos about $1.5 billion on the Crenshaw LAX line
will be about 2 billion and this money is all being injected into our local economy it represents thousands of jobs both direct and indirect .what this really means is the vendor provides coffee for the construction employees is making a few dollars so the dollars to go directly to the project the fund a lot of support services all the way up and down the chain and they help support the workers directly building the line themselves the topping for our economy and one of the things that we see with economic studies is has been shown that for every dollar invested in transit infrastructure that we get about four dollars added back in the local economy dollars are being recycled through and through to support the construction efforts so it really can affect the well-being of people throughout this region were doing everything possible to make sure our local workers benefit from the opportunity to expand the system.
Pauletta: thanks very much Director Fasana. we are going to go right now to Barbara in San Gabriel, go-ahead Barbara .
Barbara : Hi I ride the train the Metro’s ones up and down Pasadena LA to Brent, Cucamonga, i have two children that use also but I am a handicapped person and I use the restroom there and its a big concern to me that when you need a restroom the rest room are not clean And the other is that elevator to get up-and-down on the on the Tap, like on the 210, the elevator is usually not smelling good at all and you think people use that as a restroom.
Pauletta: Thank you very much for your question in common Barbara am go ahead and ask Director Fasana to respond.
John Fasana: Thank you Barbara and we recognize that there are times ,there are challenges the we do have issues with people sometimes they do create issues at the stations in fact cleanliness so that something that were looking out I know I’ve had concern as well that we have adequate restroom facilities we do a facilities now at the Omani station also another thing we need to do is to make sure the strategically throughout the system we do have adequate facilities and that they do need to be maintain so I take from your comment that we can do better job we will certainly strive to do so
Pauletta: thank you first vice chair John Fasana were going to ask you another question to get your feedback tonight so please correspond on with the number on your keypad that supports the answer that you want to go ahead and share with us tonight so the next question, if the election were to be held tonight would you vote for this proposed sales tax for transportation? press one for yes two for no, so again, if the election were to be held tonight would you vote for this proposed sales tax measure for transportation press one for yes no will be two, and will share the answer with you in just a couple of and we are going to go now to our next person in line to ask a question and that would be Albert from Claremont hello there Albert.
Pauletta: Go-ahead Albert your question
Albert: My question is whether where i can go on the Internet to find the detailed results the alternatives analysis to make for all these proposals
Stephanie Wiggins : Hi Albert, on the Internet for any of the alternatives analysis for any of our major projects you can find copies at WWW.Metro.net and that will be a tap that said projects and you can identify all the major projects and click on them and it will let you know on the right-hand side how you can click on the link for all of the report .is their particular alternatives analysis a particular project that you have in mind Albert?
Albert:No but you went much too fast for me to write
Stephanie Wiggins: I apologize Albert on the Internet .is WWW Metro in METRO.net when you go to our webpage our homepage there will be TABSin the first tab you want says grow and then it will talk about the projects it will list all of the project and program and you can click on the projects to find information on the report including the alternatives analysis that you to say thank you to you both
Pauletta:thank you very much Albert we appreciate that and that information for our website hopefully with helpful to a lot of the rest of you as well we are going to go right now that John in Pomona John go and as yourr question
John: My name is john my question really related to John Fasana, by the way thank you for the great job done on the extension of the goal line and your work that you’ve done for the line itself but the line needs to go all the way to Claremont and of course McLeary and the city of will do their job but we need to get there because parking situation was not meant to be the way it is and it will be met in the cities of Pomona andClaremont but if the funding does not come from this measure what plan B do you have to finish it because we do need to finish the line
John Fasana: First John thank you for your kind comments and certainly we have worked to get this project extended out first to Azusa .Azusa it was plan is an interim destination we really want this line to go all the way to Montclair I do want to point out that even in addition to the goal line extension to Claremont were looking at projects with this measure like the Eastside extension hopefully you either to Whittier hopefully along the a 16 to Montebello and over in the South Omani improvements to the 5760 interchange bottleneck and even the other flyover for the 605 10 interchange we got one of those done earlier this year wer looking further interchange improvements like the 605 60 as well as rural water things at stake in terms of this measure will the goal line extension continue to be a priority to Claremont if our measure does not pass? It will be a priority for me but realistically we do not have funds identified outside of this potential measure that we build line further east so we see this as being very important to meet that commitment to get it into Sammartino County.
Pauletta: Thank you Director Fasana and when we talk about improving transportation all across the County it really happened through a combination of funding is a definitely yes the local investment that were talking about here tonight but then what we also have the ability to do it leverage that local investment for other state and federal funding and that is really how we get major projects done and how we are able to provide more options for you and as we were saying earlier in our call is really all starts and ends with you the public that’s why we are here were here to serve you that’s why were on this call tonight because is important for us to hear what you have to say and what you were able to give us as feedback a little bit ago when we asking the question of if the election were to be held tonight would you support this sales tax measure for more transportation? and 83% of you said yes we appreciate that 83% of you said that you would support this tax measure for more transportation options and mobility all across the Metro area so we thank you for your comments I’m going to ask first Vice Chair Fasana this on if he has any closing comments before we round out tonight’s meeting Director Fasana,
John Fasana: Thank you Pauletta’s you said this really is all about you the public and how you get around and your wholesale operations for how you live how you commute to work how you can you recreationally and how we make our transportation patterns more effective and how we shorten commute times we come forward with a plan we continue to take input on the plan were really hoping that in November we can find out from you a whether we can move forward some of the vital transportation improvements but getting the goal line out to Claremont Looking at the site goal line extension and 5760 improvements among others a window projects of been identified throughout this County as well as addressing the needs of the seniors the customers with disabilities rider system as well the making sure that the safe system and really just making more efficient if you still continue to drive knowing that maybe a day or two a month a day or two a week whatever it is that you have choices maybe also set up a carpool knowing that if the carpool will work one day you can use transit as a backup there are all sorts of opportunities here we find that having choices having flexibility gives us the best chance to really use our system more effectively. I thank you for taking the time and I was really been helpful to me.
Pauletta: Thank you Director Fasana and we thank all of you for participating with us tonight again if you didn’t have a chance to ask a question you can stay on the line and you’ll be able to leave us a message you can also press seven to leave us your email address so that you can get of future information from Metro so on behalf half of Director Fasana, Stephanie Wiggins, Will Ritter and Scott Page for all of us here at Metro we thank you for being part of our community for being on the line with us and we wish you a good night.