Saturday, September 26, 2009

Board Meeting, 9/24

Sorry all, Friday was a very busy day, and today was spent recuperating from a very busy day. Without further ado, I present my summary of the RTA Board meeting, from Thursday 9/24.

During the off-agenda public comments section, I asked two questions of the board and staff present- the first was when we would expect Google Transit to be working again. RTA's staff notified me that this would occur "by Friday"... and happily, it did. The second was in response to the Short Range Transit Plan's dropping of the late-night service that I and others have long awaited. I asked why the grant money for said service was moved into weekend service in Lake Elsinore and Mead Valley.

RTA's staff again responded, saying that the budget did not allow for the implementation of the proposed late-night services, and that the agency chose to use the grant money to soften the blow of service cuts rather than try to implement a scaled-back late-night service project. They also said that this option was presented to the public at service change meetings (not at the one I was at...) and at the July Board meeting, when it was voted upon. I'm not entirely sure if I'm satisfied with this response, but at least it's a response.

RTA's Board received a report on the new Corona transit center, whose design includes 8 bus bays and a connection to the existing pedestrian bridge at the North Main-Corona Metrolink station, and they awarded a contract to begin work on that project. According to the RTA Reader, construction is slated to begin in January 2010.

The new, more restrictive Dial-A-Ride policies were implemented as proposed. I, personally, agree with most of the respondents to RTA's community outreach project- in light of the current political and financial situation that we find ourselves, these policy changes were necessary, prudent and minimally destructive. The Board also directed staff to look in to charging Dial-A-Ride riders for no-shows, but no action on this matter was taken.

After the meeting, I caught up with some members of the agency's staff and asked about the Riverside transit center. The official stance of the agency is that they prefer to remain at the current Downtown Terminal and use their FTA funding to refurbish that site. Further action on the Riverside Inter-Modal Transit Center is up to the City- so write your councilman!

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