September 22, 2022

New $30 Million Program will Improve Bus Service in Southeast LA

Los Angeles, CA – Today the Los Angeles County Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved a proposal by Supervisor Janice Hahn to create a “Southeast LA Transit Improvement Program.” The new $29.5 million program will deliver bus shelters, lighting, and real-time bus arrival information at bus stops throughout Southeast LA communities.

“Many of my constituents in Southeast LA depend on our buses — and they tell me how hard it is to wait for the bus at stops that don’t have shade from the sun or lighting at night,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “They don’t know when the next bus is coming, and sometimes they don’t even have a place to sit. With this new, nearly $30 million program, we are going to improve bus stops across Southeast LA, adding things like shelters, lighting, and screens with real-time arrival information, and we will make taking the bus a safer and more pleasant experience.”

This new program comes after Hahn led the Metro Board in reversing a long-standing plan to widen the 710 freeway this past May. The widening plan had received strong pushback from local environmental and community advocates and was not supported by state and federal transportation agency partners. Instead, Hahn is leading a new effort at Metro that will invest in improving transit and mobility for residents living and commuting along the 710 corridor stretching from the Ports of LA and Long Beach to the Southeast LA communities, while cleaning the air and improving goods movement for the Ports.

“Over the year, Metro has made precedent-setting progress on re-imagining the 710 South corridor. We have shifted our focus from moving cars and goods to serving residents with equity in mind. In line with this shift in focus, the Metro Board has passed Supervisor Hahn’s motion which helps to advance several projects that improve mobility throughout the corridor, including an active transportation project in East Los Angeles. We must continue to uplift projects like these through the work of the 710 South Task Force,” said Metro Board Member and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First District, who co-authored Hahn’s motion to accelerate the new SELA Transit Improvement Program.

“Today’s action is a step in the right direction to ensure that the mobility, prosperity, and safety needs of residents are met,” said Metro Board Director and Whittier City Councilmember Fernando Dutra who also co-authored today’s motion. “I am excited about these opportunities and appreciate the work led by our residents, locally elected officials, and community organizations.”

The new program also received support from local leaders who called into the Metro Board meeting.

“Our neighbors, comadres, and students deserve to have quality bus service,” said Bell Councilmember Ali Saleh. “They ride these buses regularly and don’t have any other ways to get to places like work or the grocery store. Some of our residents wait hours for buses. Supervisor Hahn’s motion is exactly the type of investments that we need to be making in our SELA region.”

“As community leaders, we need to continue advocating for our residents who do not have the luxury of driving a car,” said Lynwood Councilwoman Marisela Santana, also Vice President of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. “What I continue to hear from residents is the need to invest in better bus service and this motion does that.”

“A lot of our SELA cities, like Huntington Park, don’t have enough resources to make these critical investments in our communities,” said Huntington Park Councilmember Karina Macias, “so this motion gives us the support that we need to improve bus service for our most vulnerable riders. “

To fund the Southeast LA Transit Improvement Program, Metro will pursue grant funding which is currently available at unprecedented levels at both the state and federal level. New improvements to bus stops can be expected to be made in late 2023 and early 2024.

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