By Steve Hymon, December 4, 2014
The Metro Board held their final meeting of 2014 this morning; audio of the meeting can be heard by clicking here.
It was a short agenda with three receive-and-file items (in other
words, items that serve as reports and don’t require a Board vote)
on areas of reader interest:
•The Board received an update from Los Angeles World Airport
officials on their Automated People Mover project (known as APM) that
will include a transfer to the Crenshaw/LAX Line at Aviation/96th
The current airport plan is to build three APM stations in LAX’s
central terminal area. One station would serve Terminal 1, 6 and 7, the
next station would serve Terminals 5 and 6 and the last station would
serve the Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminals 3 and 4.
Moving sidewalks would be used to help passengers get from the stations —
which would be within the terminal horseshoe road — to the terminals.
Another nugget: officials said that they want APM vehicles to be large
enough to accommodate passengers with luggage on SmarteCartes.
The current plan, according to LAWA, is to start construction of the
APM in 2017 or 2018 with construction taking five to seven years.
Airport officials say they are mindful of one potential deadline: the
2024 Summer Olympics. The Los Angeles area is preparing a bid and is
vying with three other cities — San Francisco, Boston and Washington
D.C. — to represent the U.S. in the international competition to
determine which city will host the Games.
As for the APM, it will also stop at a new Intermodal Transportation
Facility that will have parking, serve as a shuttle bus stop and pickup
and drop-off area for passengers. The next APM station would be at the
Aviation/96th Station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line — a station that Metro
will build that is planned as being terminal-like and much more robust
than the usual light rail platform.
The final APM station would serve a consolidated rental car facility
to be constructed east of Aviation Boulevard. As the name implies, the
facility would bring together the more than a dozen rental car companies
that serve LAX. Airport passengers would use the APM to reach rental
cars, thereby removing the need for shuttles from rental car companies
to endlessly circle the horseshoe road serving the airport terminals.
•The Board received a Metro staff report
on the budget development process for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that
begins July 1. The report looks at both Metro’s
short/long-range revenues and expenses and suggests that the Metro Board
at some point will have to revisit the question of fare increases (the
Board approved the first of three increases recommended by Metro staff
last year) and trimming operating expenses, perhaps through transit
service changes. Metro staff is scheduled to give another financial
update in February. Point of emphasis: nothing happens
fare-wise or service-wise without a civil rights analysis (and hearings
for a fare increase) and final approval of changes by the Metro Board —
the 13-member body of mostly elected officials that oversees Metro.
•The Board also discussed a receive-and-file report from Metro staff
on a change in policy that would allow all police officers to ride
Metro for free whether on- or off-duty and whether in uniform or not.
During the discussion, Board Members said there was a need to increase
police presence on transit but some Board Members questioned whether
police in plain clothes would serve as a useful deterrent. The item will
likely be revisited in 2015.