Los Angeles City Councilman Ernani Bernardi on Wednesday called on the Southern California Rapid Transit District to hold a hearing in the San Fernando Valley on proposed fare increases that would particularly affect Valley bus riders.
"I strongly urge that you schedule at least one additional public hearing on the proposed changes in the Valley so that the people who would be most affected by the fare increases have an opportunity to be heard," Bernardi said in a letter to the RTD. A spokesman said the RTD board will consider Bernardi's request.
The board has scheduled a hearing Feb. 20 at its downtown Los Angeles headquarters on a number of alternatives designed to reduce a budget deficit, including charging more for longer distances traveled.
Under the proposal, parts of Los Angeles County would be split into zones. The East Valley would be in one zone and the West Valley in another. A 40-cent charge would be added to the 85-cent base for each zone entered. The RTD staff has recommended against the so-called zone fares, saying they would be costly and difficult to implement.
Fare Increase Studied
The RTD also is considering increasing the basic fare from 85 cents to $1, cutting service and charging higher fares during rush hour.
In other transit developments, the City Council's Transportation and Traffic Committee on Wednesday:
Set Feb. 17 for a hearing on a proposal by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky to establish a citizens' commission to consider transportation improvements for the Valley, including proposing a route for a light-rail line. Committee Chairman Nate Holden scheduled the hearing after Kurt Hunter of the North Hollywood Residents Assn. expressed concern that the Valley could lose transit funds because of delays in creating the commission.
The commission was proposed by Yaroslavsky in December after the county Transportation Commission suspended consideration of a Valley light-rail line because of opposition to all five of the proposed routes.
Approved spending $641,820 to beef up service on a city-subsidized, privately run commuter bus line between Westlake Village, Woodland Hills, Encino and downtown Los Angeles. Funds also will be used to extend the line to USC. The proposal now goes to the full council for expected approval.