Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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Template:About

Template:Infobox Public transit The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as Metro, MTA or LACMTA) is the California state-chartered regional transportation planning agency (RTPA) and public transportation operating agency for the County of Los Angeles, and is the successor agency to both the former Southern California Rapid Transit District and Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. The agency develops and oversees transportation plans, policies, funding programs, and both short-term and long-range solutions that address the county's increasing mobility, accessibility and environmental needs. The agency is the primary transit provider for the City of Los Angeles while the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) operates its own Commuter Express bus service to outlying suburbs in the city and the popular DASH (Downtown Area Short Hop) mini-bus service in downtown and other neighborhoods in the city. The MTA has its headquarters in central Los Angeles.<ref>"Help & Contacts." Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.</ref>

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates the third-largest public transportation system in the United States by ridership with a 1,433 mi² (3,711 km²) operating area and 2,000 peak hour buses on the street any given business day.<ref>APTA Ridership Reports Statistics - United States Transit Agency Totals Index. Retrieved April 4, 2006</ref> Metro also designed, built and now operates Template:Convert of urban rail service.<ref>metro.net|About Metro Retrieved April 4, 2006</ref> The authority has 9,200 employees, making it one of the region's largest employers.

The authority also partially funds sixteen municipal bus operators and a wide array of transportation projects including bikeways and pedestrian facilities, local roads and highway improvements, goods movement, Metrolink, Freeway Service Patrol and freeway call boxes within the greater metropolitan Los Angeles region.

Security and law enforcement services on Metro property (including buses and trains) are currently provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Transit Services Bureau via contract, in conjunction with Metro's Transit Security department. Between 2003 and 2008 Part I crimes have decreased 29.4% on Metro rails and 10% on the Metro buses.

In 2006, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was named Outstanding Transportation System for 2006 by the American Public Transportation Association. Most buses and trains have "America's Best" decals affixed.<ref>LA County’s Metro Cited as Nation’s 2006 Outstanding Public Transportation System. Retrieved June 8, 2006</ref>

Services

Metro Rail

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses. Metro Rail is Los Angeles County's rail mass transit system. It is the indirect descendant of the Pacific Electric Railway's Red Car and Los Angeles Railway "Yellow Car" lines, which operated in the area from the early to middle twentieth century. Currently, Metro Rail operates three light rail lines and two rapid transit subway lines, altogether totaling 79.1 miles (127.3 km) of rail, 70 stations, and over 300,000 daily weekday boardings as of August 2009.

Template:LACMTA icon The Blue Line (opened in 1990) is a light rail line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Long Beach.
Template:LACMTA icon The Red Line (opened in 1993) is a subway line running between Downtown Los Angeles and North Hollywood.
Template:LACMTA icon The Purple Line (opened in 1993) is a subway line running between Downtown Los Angeles and the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles.
Template:LACMTA icon The Green Line (opened in 1995) is a light rail line running between Redondo Beach and Norwalk in the median of the Century Freeway (I-105), providing indirect access to Los Angeles International Airport via a shuttle bus.
Template:LACMTA icon The Gold Line (opened in 2003) is a light rail line that runs between East Los Angeles and Pasadena via Downtown Los Angeles.

Metro Liner

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses.

File:LA metro liner with bicycle rack.jpg
A Metro Liner vehicle at the North Hollywood station on the Orange Line.

Metro Liner is Los Angeles County's bus rapid transit system. Metro Liner is meant to mimic Metro Rail lines, both in the vehicle's design and in the operation of the line. Vehicles stop at all stations, tickets are sold only on platforms, passengers can board at any door, vehicles receive priority at intersections, and are painted in Metro Rail's silver livery.

Template:LACMTA icon The Orange Line (opened in 2005) runs between southern San Fernando Valley from the Warner Center Transit Hub in Woodland Hills to the North Hollywood station where the line connects to the Red Line.
Template:LACMTA icon The Silver Line (opened in 2009) runs between between the San Gabriel Valley from the El Monte Bus Station in El Monte to the Artesia Transit Center via Downtown Los Angeles.

Metro Bus

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses.

File:LACMTA Bus Stop 4-704 SM Blvd.JPG
Metro bus stop sign for Local line 4 and Rapid line 704 in Santa Monica.

Metro operates three types of bus services which are distinguished by the color of the buses.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> However, when mechanical problems occur, a bus of any color may be substituted to continue service on the route.

File:MetroLocalnew.JPG
A Metro Local bus on Line 81 (Figueroa St.) with its trademark orange color

Metro Local buses are painted in an off-orange color the agency has dubbed “California Poppy”. This type of service makes frequent stops along major thoroughfares. There are 18,500 stops on 189 bus lines. Some Metro Local routes make limited stops along part of their trip but do not participate in the Rapid program. Some Metro Local bus lines are operated by First Transit, Veolia Transportation, and Southland Transit.

File:Line233.jpg
A Metro Local articulated bus at layover on Line 233 (Van Nuys Blvd.).
File:720 Metro Rapid.jpg
A Metro Rapid articulated bus on Line 720 (Wilshire Blvd. Whittier Blvd.).

Metro Rapid buses are distinguished by their bright red color the agency has dubbed “Rapid Red”. This bus service offers limited stops on many of the county's more heavily traveled arterial streets. Metro claims to reduce passenger commute times by up to 25 percent by several methods, among them the lack of a bus schedule so that drivers are not held up at certain stops.

File:MetroExpress.jpg
A Metro Express bus on Line 577X (San Gabriel River Frwy.) at CSULB in Long Beach

Metro Express buses are painted a dark blue color the agency has dubbed “Business Blue”, the routes are designed as premium, minimal stop services along Los Angeles's extensive freeway network. Currently there are two lines, 450X and 577X.

Some Metro Local lines also use the county's freeway system along their trip. They are labeled as Express services but make more stops on their trips and are not considered to be "premium" Metro Express lines.

The LACMTA operates North America's largest fleet of CNG-powered buses.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The CNG fleet reduces emissions of particulates by 90 percent, carbon monoxide by 80 percent, and greenhouse gases by 20 percent over the 500 remaining diesel powered buses in the fleet. Alternative fuel buses have logged more than 450 million operating miles since 1993, an industry record.

Transitways

Metro operates two transitways that carry multiple bus routes for part of their trips through Southern California. When traveling within the transitways, the buses run in express service, stopping only at transitway stations. The transitways are meant to mimic the Metro Rail lines, because while each bus may have a different final destination passengers can board any bus and travel to any of the other stations. The two transitways are connected by a dedicated Metro Liner route, the Silver Line.

Other services

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Fares

The following table shows Metro fares, effective July 1, 2010 (in US dollars):

Fare Type Regular Senior
/Disabled
/Medicare
Base Fare $1.50 $.55*
Base Fare (Silver Line) $2.45 $1.15
Tokens $1.50
Metro Day Pass** $6.00 $1.80
Weekly Pass $20.00
Student Fare Card (with monthly stamp) $24.00
College/Vocational (with monthly stamp) $36.00
Monthly Pass $75.00 $14.00
Metro-to-Muni Transfer $.35 $.10
Zone charge (per zone, maximum two zones) $0.70 $0.30
Monthly zone stamp (per zone, maximum two zones) $22.00 ^

* US$0.55 fare 5 am–9 am and 3 pm–7 pm non-holiday weekdays.
**As of March 15, 2009, no day passes are sold on buses without possession of a TAP card, which can be purchased at various retail outlets for $2 for use on the bus. Rail ticket vending machines continue to issue day passes without TAP card purchase. All passes are now available on TAP card. A Reduce Fare TAP card is now available for Senior/Disabled, College/Vocational students and K–12 Students.
^ Zone charges are not imposed for discount pass holders, but are imposed for discount cash fare payers.

There are no fare gates on the Metro Rail system or the Orange Line. Instead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Metro fare inspectors conduct random checks of the system. If riders are caught without a ticket they can be fined up to US$ 250 and/or ordered to perform community service for 48 hours.

Fare evasion was estimated in 2007 to be at 6%Template:Citation needed, costing Metro $2.6 million annuallyTemplate:Citation needed. In response to this, the Metro board approved fare gating of all stations on the Red and Green Lines, and selected stations on the Orange, Blue, and Gold Lines, capturing 84% of passengers using the system. Adding fare gates was selected to increase fare collections, implement distance based fares on rail and transitways in the future, and reduce the potential of the system to terrorist attack.<ref>Metro.net</ref> Former Metrolink executive director Richard Stanger critiqued the gate installation by citing its cost and ineffectiveness, concerns ultimately dismissed by the Metro board.<ref>Metro.net</ref>

In 2007, with the consent decree with the BRU expired, Metro announced plans for a fare hike. They said that they needed to reduce their $US 100 million deficit, which would be done either by raising fares or reducing service. This proposal garnered strong opposition from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Bernard Parks, the Bus Riders Union, and low-income residents.

On May 24, 2007, the Metro board approved fare increases, which were lower than their original proposal, but eliminated the semi-monthly pass.

Measure R calls for all senior and disabled fares, as well as student passes, to be frozen at current rates until July 1, 2013.<ref>Metro.net</ref>

The Rider Relief Transportation Program (RRTP) provides fare subsidy coupons to eligible riders who purchase daily, weekly, or monthly Metro passes, TAP cash value, and EZ transit passes from participating transit systems. Eligible riders include adult regular riders, Senior/Disabled/Medicare, K–12 grade students, and college/vocational students who are pre-qualified by a participating community-based agency. RRTP subsidy coupons are available to Los Angeles County residents whose household income levels meet the following criteria. Persons in:

  • Household size: Annual Income
  • 1: $25,000
  • 2: $29,600
  • 3: $33,300
  • 4: $37,000
  • 5: $39,950
  • 6: $42,900

Residents of the Cities/County and students of schools and colleges already being subsidized for Metro fare media will not be eligible to receive the coupon subsidy.

Ridership

Average daily boardings for February 2010 are as follows:<ref name="facts" /><ref> http://www.metro.net/board/Items/2011/04_April/20110420AHCPItem1.pdf</ref>

Metro Local/Limited/Rapid/Shuttle & Express lines Blue Line Template:LACMTA icon strip Green Line Template:LACMTA icon strip Red LineTemplate:LACMTA icon strip & Purple Lines Template:LACMTA icon strip Gold Line Template:LACMTA icon strip Orange LineTemplate:LACMTA icon strip Silver Line Template:LACMTA icon strip
Weekdays 1,143,363 77,788 37,456 147,482 30,512 23,141 8,304
Saturdays 709,062 52,018 19,258 93,576 21,359 10,436 2,595
Sundays and Holidays 585,040 49,006 18,235 82,719 20,735 10,436 1,918
File:Los Angeles County Public Transport.png
Percentage of workers commuting to work by public transport in Los Angeles County, in 2007

Governance

Metro is governed by a Board of Directors whose 13 members are:

Responsibility for local bus service is delegated to five Sector Governance Councils, each governing bus service in a service sector comprising the bus lines operating from the yards in a given geographical area. There are five sectors: Gateway Cities, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, and Westside/Central. Members for each governance council are selected by a combination of city councils, councils of governments, and county supervisors representing the area. Many members are local politicians, but each governance council is required to have at least two regular "transit consumers" on their council, which is defined loosely and includes transit riders as well as executives at other transit agencies within the sector. Although the vast majority of the appointees are also members of city councils of cities within the sector, one sector's council – Metro San Fernando Valley – is composed almost entirely of non-elected officials. Governance council members are then confirmed by the Metro Board of Directors, and can be removed from their position as desired by the nominator, or by the Metro Board. Governance councils approve service changes (although the Metro Board reserves ultimate authority over service), review the budget, address complaints about bus service, and provide recommendations to Metro management regarding the employment status of each sector general manager. Monthly meetings of the Board of Directors are organized and facilitated by Christopher Reyes.

One consequence of the governance council structure is that Metro can move much more quickly to add or remove service as needed. Therefore, the number of service changes has increased significantly since 2002, when service sectors began. In addition, because of the decentralization of responsibility, this means that bus riders who ride lines in multiple sectors must send multiple letters or attend multiple public hearings to express their concerns about lines that may be cut. Recently, a change was made that permits comments to be delivered to one sector, who will then forward comments to other sectors as appropriate. However, attendees of one sector's public hearing will only hear about the changes in their sector, and will not have the opportunity to speak directly with the staff in the other sectors at that hearing. In addition, each sector can set their own policies regarding public comment, and sectors are not uniform in how service changes are approved.

Communications between sectors and riders was poor, according to a report by the California State Auditor which was released one year into the new structure.<ref name="csa">"Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: It Is Too Early to Predict Service Sector Success, but Opportunities for Improved Analysis and Communication Exist." page 41, California State Auditor, December 2003. Retrieved May 1, 2006.</ref>

Funding

A complex mix of federal, state, county and city tax dollars as well as bonds and fare box revenue funds Metro. Funding sources (see footnote for current year budget)

Resources US$ in Millions
Fare Revenue 264
Prop A - 1/2 Cent Sales Tax 575
Prop C - 1/2 Cent Sales Tax 703
Federal Grants 547
State Grants 472
Interest Income/Bonds 179
Other Local Revenue 123
Total Resources US$2,863

<ref>Metro.net</ref>

Fleet

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses. Most buses are equipped with monitors for Transit TV broadcasts and to display real-time bus maps to show the location through GPS navigation; the latter is the first of its kind in the United States. Also, as part of Metro's ATMS project, most buses include a marquee displaying the date and time, Automatic Voice Annunciation (AVA) for audio and visual announcements for each stop, and an audio and visual Stop Requested announcement.

Most buses operated by First Transit, Transportation Concepts, and Southland Transit have five-digit fleet numbers. Contractors formerly operated some of the 2000-, 2300-, 2500-, 2700-, 3300-, and 4400-series buses; Southland Transit currently operates several (7000-7214), (7300-7514), series buses on Lines 254, 266, 270, 577X, and a few on 605. A few of these buses have the ATMS technology on them (when they were transferred from Metro), while the rest of them do not feature the ATMS technology that is on Metro-operated buses.

Metro Local buses are painted orange ("California Poppy"), Metro Rapid buses are painted red, and Metro Express buses are painted blue. Metro Local buses acquired prior to the adoption of these colors in 2004 are white with a gold stripe around the bus; these buses will be painted orange during their mid-life rehabilitation (except for the 5300-series New Flyer buses assigned to Metro Rapid lines, which were repainted in red livery in 2004-05). The 7000- and 7600-series buses acquired for Metro Rapid service in 2000 and 2002 are red with a white stripe along the top (7102-7112, 7617-7618, 7628, 7643, 7646 were white with a red Metro Rapid logo on all sides and some of these buses have been repainted to standard red and white and a few have been converted to Metro Local service), but some have been repainted to the current red and silver livery. Most had been repainted beginning in 2007; some have been repainted either in the updated Metro Rapid scheme or in Metro Local colors.

Metro operates the nation's largest fleet of CNG-powered buses. The CNG fleet reduces emissions of particulates by 90%, carbon monoxide by 80%, and greenhouse gases by 20% over the 500 remaining diesel powered buses in the fleet. Alternative fuel buses have logged more than 450 million operating miles since 1993, an industry record. Metro has retired all Diesel buses (not including contracted buses) and became an entirely clean-air fleet in January 2011.

Beginning December 17, 2006, Metro Local Lines 233 (Van Nuys Blvd.) and 204 (Vermont Ave.) were the first Metro Local lines to use Template:Convert NABI articulated buses, and were of the 9400-9500 series. These buses are also currently in use on Metro Local Line 66 (8th Street).

Bicycle transportation planning

In May 2009 METRO started to set up a Multi Mobility Working Group, which may lead to a change in TDM funding for bicycle projects as detailed is a separate entry on bicycle transportation planning in Los Angeles.

History

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AKA "LACMTA" or "Metro", even "MTA") operates a vast fleet of buses. As of 2009, the LACMTA operated the second-largest bus fleet in North America<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>, with a total of 2,911 buses.

Future

File:WestsideMetro.svg
Westside metro rail lines. Current lines and those under construction are shown in solid lines and those under consideration are shown in dashed lines with alignments and stations as published in LACMTA alternatives studies as of December 2008

In July 2006, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proposed a free transit week, which was inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area's Spare the Air days of free rides, which helped increase ridership by 10%. This proposal would help reduce traffic congestion and improve the air quality during the free week. In the wake of concerns raised by Metro's police and security heads (citing increased crime during the San Francisco promotion), this was downgraded by Villaraigosa at the September board of directors meeting into a general directive to increase ridership by 30% over the next year.

The renamed Foothill Construction Authority (formerly Metro Blue Line Construction Authority) is in the planning stages of a San Gabriel Valley extension of the Gold Line to the San Bernardino County border city of Montclair. In October 2009, the MTA Board unanimously voted to include the Foothill Extension in its long-range plan, and approved funding for the construction and operation of its first phase to Azusa. The terminus of this extension will be at a stop just west of Azusa's eastern border. This first phase is scheduled to break ground in June 2010, and is expected to be completed and opened in 2013. The Board also directed its staff to seek funding for the second phase of the Foothill Extension, in the hopes of completion by 2017.

The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (EMLCA) was established to construct the first phase of the Expo Line (Expo Phase 1) from 7th Street/Metro Center in Downtown Los Angeles to the intersection of Venice and Robertson Boulevards in Culver City. Funding is in place for this first phase, and phase two of this project was recently approved to bring the line to the Santa Monica pier in Santa Monica. Phase 1 portion of this project went to bid in the spring of 2006. The route of Expo Phase 2 will take an exclusive path along the former Pacific Electric Santa Monica "Air Line" right-of-way, through Palms/Cheviot Hills/Westside Village/Rancho Park.<ref>Metro.net</ref>

Metro continues to expand its Metro Rapid bus system with a goal of 28 lines by 2008.<ref name="realtor">Overview of Transportation Topics. Realtor.org. Retrieved April 4, 2006.</ref> A Special Master ruling in December 2005 requires Metro to increase service on all Rapid bus routes to every 10 minutes during the peak period and every 20 minutes during the mid-day and evening. Service would be required to operate between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. on all Rapid routes. Metro has chosen not to appeal the ruling and began implementation on all Rapid routes in June 2006.

In addition, the agency is embarking on a massive bus restructuring effort entitled Metro Connections. The project is designed to convert the current grid-based bus system, implemented in 1980, to a hub and spoke system focused on activity centers.<ref>Metro.net</ref> The system is to be phased in the next four years, and will include new express routes and reconfigured local service. Suburban service and low ridership shuttles will be considered for operation by municipal agencies, restructuring, or cancellation.

A new Universal Fare system called 'TAP' which stands for Transit Access Pass is currently in the testing phase and is expected to roll out to the public in early 2010. TAP was initially used by UCLA students, select businesses (B-TAP program) and Metro staff. As of October 2007, it has entered a two-month test program limited to the first 2,000 customers. This smart card will allow bus and rail passengers to tap their cards on the farebox for faster boarding. TAP readers have already been installed on buses and rail stations next to ticket vending machines. Because Metro Rail is a barrier free system, fare inspectors will be checking to make sure TAP users have validated their card by using a wireless handheld unit, however, these will not be used until 2010. This automated fare system will eventually be implemented on eleven other Los Angeles County transit operators and intends to replace the EZ Pass which allows travel between these transit agencies for one monthly price. Commuters from surrounding cities and communities will be able to travel across the county switching from one transit operator's system to another using one smart card to pay for fares.

In popular culture

The Metro rail and bus fleet often make appearances in films and television shows produced in the Los Angeles area, including Crash,<ref>IMCDb.org</ref> Superbad, The 40-Year-Old Virgin,<ref>IMCDb.org</ref> and Battle: Los Angeles.<ref>[1]</ref>

See also

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References

<references />

External links

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Template:Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Template:Greater Los Angeles Area Public Transit Template:Southern California Transit Template:Metrolink (Southern California) Template:County of Los Angeles

es:Autoridad de Transporte Metropolitano del Condado de Los Ángeles fr:Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority ja:ロサンゼルス郡都市圏交通局