Summary of Public Hearing Comments
June 29, 2008 Service Change Proposals
(Hearing held February 6, 2008)
Approximately 42 individuals attended the hearing held in Van Nuys. Twenty-eight of those individuals provided verbal testimony and 46 written testimonies were received via letters, facsimiles and emails by February 14, the close of the public record. In addition, 3 individuals provided verbal testimony on Metro San Fernando Valley bus lines at the hearing held at Metro Headquarters. One speaker submitted a petition with 29 signatures and another petition that consisted of 47 form letters was submitted at the hearing.
The respondents included representatives for Felipe Fuentes, 39th Assembly District Member - Northeast San Fernando Valley, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation and various other organizations including the Southern California Transit Advocates, Transit Coalition, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council, and the Bus Riders Union. The Cities of Burbank and Glendale each submitted written testimony.
The ninety-one respondents provided a total of 205 comments on various proposals including 2 petitions with 76 respondents. Approximately 21% (44 comments) supported, 79% (161 comments) opposed the various proposals, excluding the petitions. Some individuals commented on all line proposed for modifications including the Bus Riders Union and the Transit Coalition, who opposed all service reductions and one individual who supported all changes except one. The following is a brief summary of the comments received, summarized by type of service change proposal.
More detailed comments are shown in the staff report (scroll down to "Attachment B" at page 22).
Line/Segment Cancellations/Service Reduction
The proposals to cancel lines or line segments received 118 comments. The majority of the comments or 87% (103 comments) opposed and 13% (15 comments) supported the changes.
Line 154 (Tarzana-Burbank Station via Oxnard St, Burbank Bl): The proposal to cancel Line 154 received the most comments, including 2 petitions with 76 signatures. Of the twenty-five comments received, all but one opposed the change. Patrons stated that they relied on this service to get to work, school, and shopping. Many low-income, disabled, and elderly patrons ride this line and it is their only means of transportation. Cancelling the line would leave no alternate service in some areas.
Patrons along the western segment stated that they would have to access three other bus lines to make the same short trip to work and for shopping. The City of Burbank is opposed to this change due to the elimination of a critical link between the North Hollywood Station and downtown Burbank and the lack of replacement service along portions of Burbank Boulevard. Suggestions to operate peak service or restructure line in lieu of cancellation were received as well.
Line 155 (Universal City Station-Burbank Station via Riverside Dr, Alameda Av): The proposal to cancel Line 155 received the second highest number of comments. Of the 23 comments received, only two comments supported the proposal. Many patrons use this line to access jobs in Burbank and felt that Line 96 is not a viable alternative because the route and stops are not the same at many locations and service is very infrequent and unreliable. Suggestions were received to reroute either Lines 96, 224, 292 or new Line 222 over the route of line 155 in lieu of cancellation. The City of Burbank is concerned over the proposed reduction in service between the Media District and Downtown Burbank, as well as the elimination of service along Alameda Avenue. Some patrons commented that service needs to operate later to accommodate social activities at venues such as Universal City.
Line 183 (Sherman Oaks-Glendale via Magnolia Bl): The proposal to cancel the Downtown Burbank to Glendale Station segment of Line 183 received 18 comments. All of the comments, except 3 opposed the proposal, some stating that there would be no alternate service available along Kenneth Road. Other comments focused on the negative impact the change would have on patrons traveling between Burbank and Glendale, as well as access to connecting Glendale Beeline service. Both the Cities of Glendale and Burbank opposed this proposal and requested that the sector work with each city to either modify the alignment in Glendale or develop lower cost alternatives. The City of Burbank recognizes the low ridership in the hillside area of Burbank but feels there is still a demand that could be met with the operation of smaller vehicles.
Line 168 (Chatsworth Station-San Fernando via Lassen St, Paxton St): The proposal to cancel Line 168 received a total of 13 comments. Three respondents supported the proposal and 10 respondents, including Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, rejected the proposal primarily because there is no replacement service along Lassen Street and Paxton Street and patrons would be required to walk one-half mile to access alternate service.
Line 156 (Van Nuys-North Hollywood-Hollywood): The proposals to reduce service on Line 156, cancel midday service on Line 237 (Encino-Sherman Oaks via Balboa Bl, Woodley Av - Branch of Line 236) and cancel Line 634 (Sylmar Station-Mission College via Hubbard St) received 10 comments each. Of the 10 comments received, only one comment supported each of the proposals. Respondents who opposed the reduction in service on Line 156 stated that the Orange Line is too crowded and service is already infrequent through the Cahuenga Pass.
Line 237 (Encino-Sherman Oaks via Balboa Bl, Woodley Av - Branch of Line 236): Comments opposing the cancellation of midday service on Line 237 focused on the need to access the Woodley Orange Line Station, the Van Nuys Flyaway and Kennedy High School, and the Mid-Valley Regional Library. The Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council and Southern California Transit Advocates (SOCATA) both opposed the change and requested that service be restructured to eliminate duplication along the Victory and Van Nuys Boulevard segments. It was suggested that the route be combined with Line 239 at Rinaldi Street and Balboa Boulevard and new Line 159 operate between Cal State Northridge and Sylmar Station via Reseda Boulevard and Rinaldi Street.
Line 634 (Sylmar Station-Mission College via Hubbard St): Both Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes and Los Angeles Mission College opposed the cancellation of Line 634 since it provides a direct connection to the college from Sylmar Station. Many students and faculty travel from Lancaster and Palmdale to the station and transfer to Line 634 to the college. It was stated that there is no convenient way to get to the college from the station without transferring and traveling along a circuitous route.
Line 92 (Downtown LA-Burbank Station via Glendale Av, Glenoaks Bl): The proposal to shorten the southern terminal of Line 92 at Vignes Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue received nine comments. Three comments supported, with one suggestion to terminate the line at Patsaouras Plaza and another suggestion to extend some trips through downtown. Six comments opposed the proposal, with some stating that residents from Silverlake and Echo Park are already transferring to other lines in the heart of downtown. These patrons would be forced to transfer at the downtown periphery and travel a few blocks and then transfer to their connecting line.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation opposed the proposal to Line 92, 94 and 794, stating the change is premature. It was stated that these changes appeared to be part of a downtown restructuring plan but that this plan is still under discussion with Metro staff. As a consequence, existing Metro bus lines would not have the capacity to absorb transferring patrons since there is no funding to operate additional DASH service and fewer Metro bus lines would be traveling through the heart of downtown.
Metro Rapid Bus Proposals
The proposals related to the implementation of two new Rapid lines received a total of 73 comments. Approximately 29% (21 comments) supported and 71% (52 comments) opposed the proposals.
San Fernando/Lankershim Corridor
Line 224 (Sylmar-Universal City Station via San Fernando Rd, Lankershim Bl): The proposed reallocation of selected trips from Line 224 to new Rapid Line 724 received 9 comments. One comment supported the proposal and 8 respondents rejected to the proposal primarily, because the public hearing document was unclear. It was assumed that all trips would be reallocated to new Line 724 and there would be no service between the North Hollywood and Universal City Station. If this were the case, many patrons would be unable to access alternate service. The Southern California Transit Advocates (SOCATA) completely opposed this proposal and all proposals related to this change since they did not support the implementation of new Rapid Line 724.
Line 724 (Sylmar Station-North Hollywood Station via San Fernando Rd, Lankershim Bl): The proposal to implement new Rapid Line 724 received 5 comments. Two comments supported the proposal, with one comment stating that Line 724 would be a better feeder service to the Red Line. The Bus Riders Union provided conditional support of this line since it is part of the New Service Plan for the Consent Decree, but was opposed to reallocating resources from existing lines. Respondents who opposed the start-up of new rapids felt that rapids weren’t need or that this particular rapid line should not be implemented at all.
San Fernando Road South Corridor
Line 94 (Downtown LA-Sun Valley via San Fernando Rd): The proposal to extend Line 94 to Sylmar and reallocated trips to new Line 794 received 9 comments. Only one comment supported the proposal. The majority of comments stated that Line 94 should not be changed at all.
The proposal to shorten the southern terminal of Line 94 in downtown Los Angeles was supported by 3 comments and opposed by 9 comments due to the negative impact of transferring. SOCATA felt that this line was a poor choice for terminating at Union Station and suggested restructuring Lines 90-91 and 290 to terminate at Glendale Station and creating new Line 291 to operate via the route of Line 91 and 685. LADOT also opposed this proposal based on the comment provided on Line 92.
Line 394 (Downtown LA-Sylmar Station via San Fernando Rd- Branch of Line 94): The proposal to cancel Line 394 and reallocate trips to New Line 794 received 13 comments. Four comments supported the proposal, with one respondent supporting the proposal as long as trips are reallocated to the Option 2 proposal for new Line 794 and a Rapid bus stop is provided at the Bob Hope Airport. Nine comments opposed the proposal; with some stating that Lines 94 and 394 should stay the same and rapid should not take the place of local service. SOCATA completely opposed this proposal and all proposals related to this change since the resources from Line 394 would not be directly replaced by the route of new Rapid Line 794.
Line 794 (San Fernando Rd South Metro Rapid)
The proposal to operate Line 794 between Downtown LA and Downtown Burbank via San Fernando Road and Brand Boulevard (Option 1) received 9 comments. Four of the comments supported the proposal, with one comment stating that the route would serve Glendale Galleria. The Bus Riders Union provided conditional support of this option since it is part of the New Service Plan for the Consent Decree, but not by reallocating resources from other bus lines. The proposal received five comments opposing Option 1, including the City of Glendale. The City felt that Brand Boulevard is adequately served by both Metro and Beeline service and that "rapid" service was not possible along Brand Boulevard, primarily due to signalization at every block and mid-block pedestrian crosswalks. Other comments were opposed to the proposal due to issues with the route alignment or rapid bus service in general. SOCATA completely opposed this proposal and all proposals related to this change.
The Option 2 proposal to operate Line 794 between Downtown LA and Sun Valley primarily via San Fernando Road received 9 comments. Five of the comments supported the proposal. The City of Glendale supported this proposal based on high corridor ridership, good travel speeds and connectivity to other services. The City also stated that they would be able to implement signal priority by June 2008, which will not be available along Brand Boulevard. The City of Burbank provided conditional support based on a route extension to Bob Hope Airport and Sun Valley when their new transfer station is completed. Four comments opposed the proposal due to issues with the route alignment or rapid bus service in general.
The Line 794 proposal to shorten this line at Union Station received 7 comments. One comment supported the proposal and 6 comments opposed the proposal based on the same reason for not shortening Lines 94 and 394.
Other Service Changes
A total of 14 comments were received on the following Metro Connections related change to Line 163 and new local Line 222. About 43% of the comments opposed, and 57% of the comments supported the proposals.
Line 163 (West Hills-Hollywood via Sherman Way, Hollywood Way): The route of Line 163 is proposed to be split into two separate lines at Vineland Avenue and San Fernando Road. The Line 163 segment would operate on Sherman Way between West Hills and Sun Valley. This change received 11 comments, with 5 comments supporting the proposal, primarily if replacement service is available and that trips are interlined to mitigate transfers between Lines 163 and 222. The City of Burbank provided support based on the condition that there is no reduction in service levels on the Line 222 segment of the route. Respondents who opposed the proposal wanted to maintain the alignment of Line 163. It was also stated that the transfer location near Vineland Avenue and San Fernando Road is not a desirable place to transfer, particularly at night.
Line 222 (Sun Valley-Hollywood via Hollywood Way, Barham Bl): The eastern portion of Line 163 is proposed to be renumbered to new Line 222 and service levels are proposed to be reduced to better match demand. This change is related to the proposal for Line 163 and received 3 comments supporting the proposal, including one comment to add a rapid or express service along the alignment to add appeal.
The full staff report is in PDF format.
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