Sat, Jul

Sepulveda Pass Transit – Is Metro Transparent and Accountable?



[This is the second article in a series examining whether Metro can be a trusted steward for the Sepulveda Pass Transit project.]

Metro is the least transparent and accountable public agency that I have ever tried to work with. They hold “dog-and-pony-show” public meetings with trivial content. They withhold critical information. They don’t respond to questions. They never own up to their large cost overruns and schedule slippages on projects. They ignore trying to partner with communities and have real dialog. And they act this way consistently on all projects in all communities. This is why most people are baffled about what’s happening on Metro’s complex Sepulveda Pass Transit Project from the Valley to Westside.

So before writing further articles about Metro failing as a trusted steward for this project, let’s look at the project today. After 14 years of studying various concepts, Metro is now focusing on six final “Alternatives” – and within a year or so will select one of them to construct. Many people know that three of the alternatives are monorails and three are heavy rail subways. Beyond this, people seem dazed and confused. Metro should have a simple summary page about the alternatives, but they don’t. A year ago, I decided to put together my own one-page “InfoSheet”, as shown below this article. Many people thanked me and said the InfoSheet really helped them understand the alternatives.

The InfoSheet presents available facts about the project from Metro reports and contractor proposals – but required me to estimate costs and construction times, because Metro has only once publicly presented costs for four old concepts in July 2019 – and has never presented construction times. My estimates meld Metro data, Metro Board report information, and actual construction costs for the Purple Line subway extension, then escalates them at currently high inflation rates for this type of construction. They aren’t perfect, but better than the nothing Metro has provided. If Metro complained about my estimates, my response would be “If you have better estimates, why are you hiding them from the public?”

Please look at the Sepulveda Pass Transit Project InfoSheet below. I hope it helps you better understand this complex and hugely expensive project. You can download a copy on www.SOHA914.com at “Click Here for Sepulveda Pass Transit InfoSheet”.

(Bob Anderson is a nuclear engineer with 50 years engineering and business development expertise in the aerospace and high-technology sectors. He is VP and Transportation Committee Chair of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. Contact him at [email protected].)