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Monday, March 23, 2020


In this Issue

  • Metro Announces Path Forward to Provide Transportation Service
  • You Can Still Practice Social Distance and Ride Transit
  • Signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement for WPLE Section 3
  • Congresswoman Waters Features Metro CEO In COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall Meeting
  • Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) Rail Fleet Services Graduation
  • Procurement Postings
  • Construction Notices

Metro Announces Path Forward to Provide Transportation Service

On Friday, I joined several of the Senior Leadership Team members on a live-streamed press conference to outline aggressive steps taken by Metro to continue to provide transit service and to safeguard the riding public and Metro’s workforce in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. With the state of California and local officials announcing "stay at home" orders last week, we reiterated that bus and rail service will continue but with service adjustments to reflect on-the-street reality of lower demand. Both bus and rail service will be adjusted that will result in slightly less service than offered on the typical weekday but more than on a typical weekend. We are calling this is our hybrid service package. As a result, some bus trips may be canceled, and all rail lines will run slightly less frequently during peak hours. Late night service on rail lines on Friday and Saturday nights will also be adjusted. Service could be adjusted further as the situation with the virus evolves.

Furthermore, last night I informed the Metro Board of our steps toward keeping our frontline employees safe. Metro has received additional masks and are deploying them in priority order, making sure they get to those whose jobs are mandated by CalOSHA and our frontline employees, including Operators, custodial staff and those who have direct contact with our patrons. We have several thousand more on order and expect receipt soon. Starting at 1:00 a.m. this morning, all Operators are being mandated to use the Operator Barrier to ensure another level of protection. In addition, I have also directed and mandated all rear-door boarding moving forward. All patrons, except for those needing the on-boarding ramp, will be required to enter through the rear door. We will continue to do everything we can, as swiftly as we can, to support our employees delivering critical services to the public. 

The recorded Facebook Live event can be viewed, here.

You Can Still Practice Social Distance and Ride Transit

Metro is an essential service to many people in our communities and Metro remains here for them through this difficult time. Although we support and strongly encourage the Safer at Home policy, I want to assure the public and Metro employees that we are doing everything possible to maintain a healthy and safe system for our customers who rely heavily on Metro buses and trains as their lifeline to get where they need to go throughout LA County. We know our services are extremely important to thousands of people in the most populous county in the United States, including first responders, hospital workers and essential county and city workers.

I had a chance to ride the B (Red) and D (Purple) Lines last week and can assure everyone that there are spaces between passengers to maintain safe distances while riding transit. We have already strengthened our cleaning regimes within buses, trains, stations and facilities and are aggressively working toward installing and increasing sanitation stations and access to hand sanitizer at major transit stops and stations to allow riders to wash their hands, one of the best safeguards against the COVID-19 virus. We are also exploring and researching how to equip buses and trains with hand sanitizer dispensers to help control the spread of the virus. Though this challenge is unique, and we are operating with an abundance of caution, we are not operating from a position of fear. We understand the devastating effects COVID-19 is having and Metro will do everything it can to ensure we get through this.
Signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement for WPLE Section 3

On Tuesday, March 17, I joined the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams and FTA officials via tele-conference to sign the $1.3 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the Westside Purple Line Extension (WPLE) -Section 3. The Congressional 30-day review period for this FFGA, as mandated by the FAST Act, ended on March 11, 2020. Section 3 of the WPLE will extend this heavy rail line from the future Century City station to the planned Westwood/VA Hospital station at a total cost of $3.6 billion.

I want to personally thank all Metro Board Members and their staff for their strong and sustained support as we have worked together to advance an unprecedented four active FFGA’s for Los Angeles County; and a special thanks to Metro Government Relations-Federal Affairs Team for their persistence and tenacity throughout this process. I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, our entire LA County Congressional Delegation, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams, FTA Region IX Administrator Ray Tellis and Director for Region IX Los Angeles Office Charlene Lee Lorenzo for working diligently to ensure this FFGA moved forward in a deliberate and effective manner. We will be working with our Board of Directors and U.S. Department of Transportation to determine a suitable time in the future to celebrate this final federal funding contribution that will complete construction of the WPLE.
Congresswoman Waters Features Metro CEO In COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall Meeting

On March 19, I participated in a tele-Town Hall meeting organized by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. As the Congresswoman noted in a communication with her constituents, "As our nation grapples with the impacts of COVID-19, it is imperative that you and your families are well informed about the actions that the federal government and our state and local officials are taking in the face of this public health crisis."

I was pleased to share information regarding the concrete steps our agency is taking in response to the COVID-19 crisis and how we are working with local, state and federal authorities to ensure that our work together is effective and well-coordinated. Congresswoman Waters, who is a longtime champion of our agency’s mobility programs and projects, very much appreciated the information we provided her constituents in California’s 43rd Congressional District. The tele-Town Hall with Congresswoman Waters also included the participation of representatives from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, health clinic representatives, and many of the school districts in her Congressional District. We deeply appreciate the opportunity provided to Metro by Congresswoman Waters to inform her constituents about the actions our agency is taking in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) Rail Fleet Services Graduation

I would like to thank the collaboration efforts and partnerships involved in supporting LA Metro’s Career Pathway Programs for our incumbent workforce. Transportation Deputies for LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda Solis participated in the recent Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) Rail Fleet Services Graduation by presenting a Proclamation from the County of Los Angeles and a pin depicting the Los Angeles County Seal. In addition, both deputies shared their inspirational messages congratulating the class of 42 who will have or will be assigned to maintain LA Metro’s Rail Fleet; as the agency moves forward to complete its rail expansion efforts.  

The Metro Labor/Management Team has partnered to provide a career pathway program for Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) members titled the Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) referred to as the JAC Program. The Rail Fleet Services Division has partnered with the Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) to develop training for those ATU members interested in becoming Rail Equipment Maintenance Specialists (i.e. railcar mechanics). Participants in the program must have at least 24 units of accredited coursework in electrical and/or electronics, meet both attendance and specific job requirements to be accepted in the program and have successfully completed six months LATTC coursework or training. The program has graduated a total of 54 ATU members since the program began in September of 2014.  LATTC now offers a two-year Associate Degree in Rail Systems Technology and Rail Technical Training certificates for those who have an interest in learning basic foundational coursework in one of LA Metro’s hard-to-fill positions - equipment maintenance specialist, track inspector, traction power inspector, signals inspector and electronic communications inspector.
Procurement Postings

Kit - Disc Pad (IFB)
Metro released Invitation for Bids (IFB) to procure disc pad kits. The procurement process blackout period is expected to run from Thursday, March 19, 2020 through Friday, July 3, 2020.

This procurement is for the purchase of disc pad kits required to maintain the bus fleet and thus avoid disruption in service. Award of a contract will provide a commitment from the supplier to ensure availability as outlined in the Technical Requirements on an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract basis.

Any inquiries concerning this procurement action during the blackout period must be directed to and may only be answered by Tanya Allen, Procurement Planning Administrator, at allentm@metro.net.

Workers' Compensation Utilization and Peer Review (RFP)
Metro released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to procure the services of an experienced contractor to provide as needed Workers’ Compensation Utilization and Peer Review services. The procurement process blackout period is expected to run from Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Monday, June 1, 2020.

Contracted services must ensure that any and all requests for treatment, medications, diagnostic testing or surgery from providers are appropriate and follow evidence-based guidelines. Requests must follow all legal and statutory requirements. Both the spirit and letter of the regulations, as identified by the Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), must be adhered to. Utilization review should be tightly coupled with peer review, case management, bill review, pharmacy network and other medical cost containment programs

Any inquiries concerning this procurement action during the blackout period must be directed to and may only be answered by Marc Margoni, Principal Contract Administrator at (213) 922-1304.
Construction Notices: Regional Connector, Purple Line, I-5
Regional Connector: Street Restoration closures at 1st/Alameda in DTLA
Street restoration at the 1st St and Alameda St intersection is now underway and scheduled to last through August 31, 2020. Plan ahead as lane reductions and road closures will be in place through the summer, as this work will be completed in two stages, each lasting approximately four months.

This effort marks the transition into the final phase of construction for the Regional Connector and brings it one step closer to testing and revenue operation. To learn more, click here.

Purple Line Extension: Utility Potholing on Constellation Blvd East of Avenue of the Stars
Starting Monday, February 17 the construction contractor continued with utility potholing on the north side of Constellation Blvd. to identify utility and soil conditions near the future station entrance. Night-time lane and sidewalk closures will be required for this work. All other lanes and sidewalks will remain accessible. To learn more, click here.

Caltrans Interstate 5: All Construction Updates here.
"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."

                                                        ~ Bernard Williams
 
 
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