Friday, September 7, 2018

Updates on the Measure M 2% Active Transportation Program, Equity Framework, and Dedicated Bus Lanes

On Tuesday, August 28th, Investing in Place held a conference call to provide updates on:

  • Metro Equity Platform
  • new dedicated bus lanes working group
  • progress and next steps regarding Measure M 2% ATP.

Links here for: agenda and call materials. Below is a recap of the conversation.

Metro Equity Framework

The Metro Equity Framework was adopted in February 2018 to apply equity principles and measures to key Metro plans and programs, like the NextGen Bus Study (a redesign of our entire bus network) and the Long Range Transportation Plan (Metro’s financial road map for the next 40 years). The Metro Policy Advisory Council (PAC) has also been reviewing policies and programs that could be linked to principles and measures of the Equity Framework, such as Transit-Oriented Communities and Metro 2% ATP.

The agency has combined Equity Framework listening and learning sessions through their stakeholder meetings for the NextGen Bus Study and Long Range Transportation Plan. In addition, Metro has conducted two Equity Framework PAC work groups this summer, discussing the general framework and potential performance metrics regarding equity gaps.

New info! Metro plans to recap these work groups at the upcoming September 11 full PAC meeting.

An important component of the Metro Equity Framework is the “establishment of a formal or informal advisory group supporting the equity platform,” or Equity Council. Investing in Place will be closely tracking the formation of this council and will share updates as they arise.

Dedicated Bus Lanes

In the voter-approved Measure M expenditure plan, there is a $350 million allocation for Countywide Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). And in addition to that new funding, currently three potential Metro BRT corridors are now studied and developed:

  • Vermont (Hollywood to South Bay)
  • North Hollywood to Pasadena
  • North San Fernando Valley  

Implementation for the Measure M Countywide BRT program has not begun. Metro is currently selecting a consultant for a BRT Visioning/Principles study to update the last one conducted in 2013. Metro staff anticipate that the BRT Visioning/Principles study is likely to start in late Fall 2018.

Pro tip! Countywide BRT should not be confused with Metro’s NextGen Bus Study. Countywide BRT is a Measure M program that will consider new corridors to implement Bus Rapid Transit, which includes features such as dedicated bus lanes, all-door boarding, and/or traffic signal priority for BRT buses. NextGen is a redesign of Metro’s existing bus network that is currently conducting stakeholder and agency outreach with a goal of final network recommendations by Spring 2019.

With average bus speeds in Greater Los Angeles hovering at around 8-11 mph, the need to improve bus service in the region is critical. Investing in Place seeks to organize a constituency to advocate for the need to prioritize dedicated bus lanes and weigh in on how the corridors should be selected.  Local jurisdictions oversee the streets where BRT corridors would be located so implementation relies heavily on cooperation between these jurisdictions and Metro. We need an external campaign to demonstrate communities support high-quality transit for bus riders.

We held an initial meeting to discuss how partners would want to engage around a campaign for Dedicated Bus Lanes. Groups included: Bike SGV, Climate Resolve, Earthjustice, FAST – Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic, LA Thrives, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), Move LA, and NRDC. Notes from that meeting can be found here.

Please reach out to us if you are interested in joining a push for dedicated bus lanes in the LA region!

Measure M 2% Active Transportation Program

A key reason Investing in Place and other advocates championed Measure M in 2016 was the creation of the first ever regional funding for walking, biking, vision zero, crosswalks and sidewalks. Approximately $17 million of annual Measure M active transportation funding exists in the new Measure M 2% Active Transportation Program (2% ATP). Investing in Place has written extensively on this issue :

In July the PAC held a 2% ATP work group meeting. Metro introduced a 2% ATP cash flow analysis, which essentially divided up the fund into four main categories: First/Last mile, LA River Bike Path, Bike Share, and Metro Bike and Pedestrian Programs. Each category includes funding allocations for the next five fiscal years.

New info! Metro staff have recently shared updates and created a Q/A Information Sheet for the Policy Advisory Council attempting to answer key questions Investing in Place and the 2% ATP work group has posed to Metro.  

Metro has stated that the current 2% ATP cash flow analysis above is a “starting point” and that the 5-year projected dollars aren’t fixed. As discussed earlier in this recap, Metro wants to use the Equity Framework to inform future programs. Measure M 2% ATP is a critical opportunity to demonstrate that commitment and spirit of investing our tax dollars into communities that need it the most.

How is Metro ensuring that its first-ever regional funding for “regional active transportation network” and “multimodal connectivity” results in an equitable distribution of active transportation dollars? We are staying tuned to this issue and hope you will too.

Key Dates for Discussion:

  • Tuesday, September 11 at 1:30- 3:30 pm – Metro quarterly full PAC Meeting (open to the public, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012) – click here for agenda
  • Monday, September 17 1:30 – 3:30pm  – Metro 2% ATP Work Group meeting (open to PAC members and +1)
  • Tuesday, September 25 at 2pm – Metro PAC Equity Metrics workgroup meeting (open to PAC members and +1)

We’re not throwing shade but neither is LA #GotShade

by Investing in Place

We’re hiring! Policy Analyst and Advocate positions now open

by Jessica Meaney