Thursday, December 20, 2018

Metro Enters the Equity Game, Fans Eager for a Goal!

Earlier this month, we hosted a webinar to recap our #JustGrowth Work Group’s impact in 2018, and we explored three potential mobility campaigns for 2019. If you missed the webinar or would like to refer to the presentation, click here to download the slides and keep on reading this blog post for a recap. We listened to your pre-webinar feedback and shared the latest in LA on transportation equity, transit oriented communities, and active transportation funding & projects. We will schedule another webinar to discuss our other potential 2019 campaigns soon!

Our #JustGrowth Work Group made a lot of progress in 2018 — principally, we advocated for Metro to adopt an Equity Platform, which Metro’s Board of Directors adopted over the summer. In 2019, we want to see Metro remain committed to achieving equitable outcomes with their ongoing transportation investments. We want to see Metro’s investments improve people’s quality of life in communities with the greatest need and histories of underinvestment.


Transportation equity

In February, Metro began developing maps to better understand the areas in LA County where people experience resource deficiency and opportunity disparity. As Metro staff creates these maps to reflect communities’ resource needs, Metro staff should focus on collecting and analyzing data that captures the characteristics of all trips (not just rush-hour or work trips) from all types of people (across genders, race, and income). By adopting this approach, Metro will be better equipped with the data to justify mobility investments that best serve their rider’s needs.


Transit Oriented Communities (TOC)

This past June, the Metro board adopted a TOC policy to signal Metro’s commitment to shaping neighborhoods so more people across Greater Los Angeles can enjoy high-quality transit access. Metro staff is now finalizing a framework paper to clarify Metro’s role in shaping this kind of community given cities and counties keep authority over land use and zoning regulation. In 2019, members of this work group will continue to work with Metro staff to ensure that all TOC policy documents create transit accessible communities and counter the negative consequences of land-value enhancing policy, such as residential and commercial displacement, with specific mitigation measures.


Active transportation funding & projects

Active transportation projects that use Measure M sales tax revenue can be funded from one of (at least) two Measure M programs: the Multiyear Subregional Programs (MSPs) and 2% Active Transportation Program (2% ATP).

Elected members on the nine Councils of Governments (COGs) exercise authority over the MSP funds, which account for $210 million (over 5 years) of spending reserved for active transportation projects. Metro staff, on the other hand, decides how to distribute 2% ATP funds. In 2018, Metro staff shared in other work groups how Metro staff intends to design a competitive process to distribute to cities Measure M 2% ATP funds that amount to $85 million over 5 years. In 2019, this work group will continue its work with Metro staff to explain the benefit of distributing 2% ATP funds according to need — as described in Metro’s existing plans, programs, and policies — and challenges that smaller cities in LA County will face if Metro awards 2% ATP funds by competition instead of distributing by need.


As 2018 draws to a close, Investing in Place thanks you for your participation in the #JustGrowth Work Group. When you return in 2019, look out for two upcoming engagement opportunities: 1) another #JustGrowth Work Group webinar on additional mobility campaign issues: bus service/dedicated bus lanes, gender equity in transportation, and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions; and 2) information on a special Metro Policy Advisory Council meeting, in the works for February, to discuss the equity possibilities and implications of pricing road overuse in Los Angeles. We look forward to working with all of you in 2019 to achieve a #JustGrowth vision for Los Angeles!

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