San Pedro, CA — Today, the Metro Board of Directors Planning and Programming Committee approved a motion authored by LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn to preserve the Silver Line from Downtown Los Angeles to San Pedro and ensure the buses along this route will be electric buses. The motion was co-authored by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin, and Inglewood Mayor James Butts and will move to the full board for approval.
The Silver Line, also known as the J line, is a bus rapid transit line that runs from El Monte, through Downtown Los Angeles, to San Pedro.
Last month, Supervisor Hahn voted against Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan because it included a plan to end the Silver Line at the Harbor Gateway Transit Center rather than its current route to San Pedro. The rationale given for the change was that the Silver Line was going to be electrified and that Metro did not own any land near the San Pedro area that could be used for charging stations.
“That was an unacceptable answer for me,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “If we are going to meet Metro’s stated goal of having a zero emissions bus fleet by 2030, we are going to have to get creative about where we put charging stations. We can’t throw up our hands and give up on electrifying bus routes in areas where Metro doesn’t own land.”
The motion passed today by Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee asks Metro staff to meet with the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles, and neighboring transit agencies to discuss potential private property, joint-use, and public right of way opportunities for charging stations that could serve the Harbor Area, beginning with the Silver Line. Staff would also provide recommendations for how to fully electrify the Silver Line in the Zero Emission Bus Implementation Master Plan due before the Metro Board in the Spring of 2021. Importantly, the motion also directs Metro to continue Silver Line service to San Pedro until the Board discusses and chooses a recommendation on how to move forward.
“Harbor Area residents don’t just want the Silver Line to be direct and dependable, they want it to be a zero emissions line that doesn’t contribute to the unhealthy air pollution they have dealt with for decades,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We can and we should electrify the Silver Line and keep it going all the way to San Pedro.”
A number of San Pedro and Harbor Area residents called in to support Hahn’s motion.
“As a wheelchair user I found it very important to get to downtown using the Silver Line without a transfer,” said Ramon, a 15 year resident of Downtown San Pedro. “Where there is a will, there is a way, so make it happen.”