Yesterday the LACMTA Board voted to approve the June services changes when they received and filed the results of the public testimony held in February. These service changes include the transfer of Lines 190 and 194 to Foothill Transit.
Since December 2014, General Committee 875 has been fighting to protect Lines 190 and 194 from being transferred following an unsolicited bid from Foothill Transit. In early 2015 then General Chairman James Williams and International Representative Victor Baffoni met with MTA staff and Mayor Eric Garcetti, while he was chairman of the MTA Board, and argued the case against the service changes. The General Committee’s efforts resulted in a cancellation of the June 2015 service changes which would have included Lines 190 and 194.
In December 2015 the General Committee was approached once again by John Hillmer from the MTA and advised that Lines 190 and 194 were back up for a transfer to Foothill Transit. Like the year before, the General Committee jumped into action to defend the work of these lines. General Chairman Marco Gudino held numerous meetings with Mayor Eric Garcetti and his staff as well as Supervisors Hilda Solis and MTA Board Chairman Mark Ridley Thomas. Phone calls, letters and numerous public testimonies were also given to the rest of the MTA Board during the process. In February 2016 the General Committee organized an outreach effort that resulted in a packed audience at the San Gabriel Valley Service Council. Those efforts netted an overwhelming public opposition to the proposed transfer.
In response to our continued pressure on the MTA and the board, MTA Staff along with Supervisor Solis’ staff organized numerous Foothill Transit representatives to speak in favor of the transfer of Lines 190 and 194 at yesterday’s MTA Board meeting. Supervisor Don Knabe then made a motion, not on the agenda, to approve the transfer of Lines 190 and 194. The vote was unanimous from the board.
This does not mean that the fight is over. The General Committee has numerous legal and procedural tools at its disposal to delay and potentially stop the transfer of Lines 190 and 194 to Foothill Transit. Once the MTA Board meeting concluded yesterday, General Chairman Marco Gudino and Local Chairman Robert Gonzalez were already strategizing, planning and consulting with legal counsel on its next moves.
You can keep up on the latest General Committee news and information on our website at gca875smart.org/news, on Facebook at /gca875smart and Twitter @gca875smart.