On November 9, 2001, Eric Mann was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying for the first time that MTA appeared to be obeying court orders that the Authority increase bus service:
"Our understanding as we look at the data is that you have met the criteria" of the federal agreement, Mann told the MTA board before a crowd of about 200. "I am saying publicly, 'It looks like you have already' " put enough buses on the road to currently satisfy the agreement.
Mann said Thursday that after a recent review of bus lines with new MTA leadership, he is satisfied the agency is now running about 350 additional buses, reducing overcrowding.
But that same day, guesting with Warren Olney on KCRW's Which Way L.A.?, Mann substantially backed away from what was reported in the Times. He described it as "extending an olive branch" at the request of the Hahn administration. He referred to four parts of the Consent Decree, of which the new buses were part one. Mann agreed that for now, the MTA had seemed to have fulfilled that part, but would fail to have enough buses to meet upcoming standee limits of five per average bus. (Click here to hear the entire KCRW interview.)
Three days later, he was back to his usual attack rhetoric, telling the Daily News that new MTA CEO Roger Snoble "needs to order 1,000 new compressed natural gas buses ... [so] that kids get to school on time and minimum-wage workers don't spend an hour and half to two hours going to work." (Never mind the fact that the CEO doesn't order buses, the MTA board does.)
Which Eric Mann is speaking the truth?
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