Report on dirty bus stops and unreliable service draws reactions from LA Metro board members

A homeless man sleeps on a Metro bus bench at 8th and Alvarado streets in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. A community group found bus riders concerned about delays, dirty bus stops, lack of shade and unreliable service. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

In response to a nonprofit’s survey that found widespread complaints about poor bus service, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn on Thursday, Sept. 23, asked the head of Los Angeles County Metro to report back next month on what the transit agency is doing to fix the problems.

Supervisor Hahn, also a member of the LA Metro Board of Directors, was livid after reading about the report “The Bus Stops Here” in an article in the Daily Breeze, one of the Southern California News Group’s newspapers. She said she heard from constituents who agreed with the findings released by the group who conducted the survey, Investing In Place.

The survey reported that half of the Metro buses did not arrive when scheduled, while half of bus stops in the city of Los Angeles were dirty with trash or litter, and more than one-fourth had no shade. Stephanie Wiggins, Metro CEO, seemed to be caught off guard by the report and did not respond to Hahn’s questions.

“Folks read that report and are just concerned,” Hahn said to Wiggins during the Thursday Metro board meeting. “It was very distressing to read that report for our transit-dependent population.”

Hahn urged Wiggins to meet with her staff and report back to the board “and tell us how we are urgently addressing some of these failings in our system.”

Investing in Place conducted its survey by recruiting 58 volunteers who ride buses regularly. They provided 126 observations about bus service, and 244 comments about bus stops, on six busy Metro bus routes serving South L.A., Central L.A., East L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. The surveys were conducted November through December 2021 on bus routes that mostly serve people of color and those dependent on mass transit.

On Sept. 22, county supervisor and Metro board member Holly Mitchell made this observation about the survey in a tweet: “The Bus Stops Here report articulates the inconsistency of bus stop infrastructure in Los Angeles. It’s painful but not shocking that the greatest inconsistencies are observed in Black and Brown communities.”

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.@InvestinPlace’s The Bus Stops Here report articulates the inconsistency of bus stop infrastructure in Los Angeles. It’s painful but not shocking that the greatest inconsistencies are observed in Black and Brown communities. Local jurisdictions manage that infrastructure. (1/2)

— Holly J. Mitchell (@HollyJMitchell) September 23, 2022

Jessica Meaney, executive director of Investing In Place, was pleased with the attention the report drew. “We need to find a way to bring the experience people are having on Metro buses to the board room every month,” she said on Friday.

She has repeatedly asked that any of the 14 Metro board members, and members of the Los Angeles City Council, ride the bus with her.

“We would love to ride the bus with them,” she said. “The more policymakers who can ride the bus and connect with what’s happening on the ground, the more informed their votes can be.”

After the group presented its report to the L.A. City Council this week, the Council …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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