The Los Angeles County Metro Blue Line opened in 1990 and is the second busiest line in the Metro system with over 26 million boardings a year. The Blue Line runs north-south between Downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach and passes through the cities of Compton, Willowbrook and Watts. The City of Long Beach has 8 stops, each with pedestrian platform beds, public art, signage, and landscaping.
The Blue Line is vital to our local economy and important to our local transportation network. Metro estimates that over 6 million boardings occur every year at Long Beach stations.
Unfortunately, there are may sections of the Blue Line that need immediate attention and investment from Metro. Much of the public art that has been damaged over the years has never been replaced, and there is a need for landscaping improvements.
Most importantly, there needs to be a stronger focus on public safety and customer experience. As you may know, our Long Beach Police Department does not patrol the Metro. The LA County Sheriff’s Department patrols the entire Metro system throughout the county.
This Tuesday, May 29, 2013, I've placed legislation on the City Council agenda to encourage additional Metro reforms. First, I have asked the City Council to take an official position to ask Metro to install paid electronic turnstiles at every Long Beach station. These turnstiles are common at other stations throughout the county and there is no reason we should not expect the same technology at our stops. Installing turnstiles will assist public safety personnel with managing riders, and ensuring that riders are paying the fare.
In addition, the legislation directs the City Manager to work with Metro on a plan to address other public safety concerns, as well as maintenance and repair. I want to thank my City Council co-authors on this, Councilmembers Suja Lowenthal, James Johnson, and Steven Neal.
I am confident that with Metro as a partner, we can address these and other important transportation challenges