Public transportation is a vital lifeline for the residents of District 14 — including Ysabel, a lifelong public transit rider who has relied on the train and bus to commute to school and work. And like so many Angelenos, she has spent hours wondering just how late the bus is going to be.

The Los Angeles transit system needs a radical transformation to address the issues of mobility, equity, safety, accessibility, reliability, and sustainability.

Here’s how Ysabel plans to build a healthier, safer, more connected District:

Fare-Free Transit:

Ysabel’s commitment to fare-free transit is a commitment to the working-class Angelenos who form the backbone of District 14. Currently, fares represent a mere 1.7% of the transportation budget, while almost 75% is expended in administering the fare collection program. By eliminating these fees, we can direct resources toward improving the quality and accessibility of public transportation, ultimately benefiting the very people who need it most—working-class Angelenos.

  • Fare-free safety: Making public transportation free for all residents is not just a matter of convenience; it's a solution to the problem of safety. When more people have access to affordable transit options, our streets become safer places due to a decrease in cars, and our buses and trains become safer places because of increased ridership leading to safety in numbers.
  • Repurpose Fare Resources to Improve Transit Services and Reduce Rider Burden: The funds currently allocated for fare collection can be redirected towards improving the quality and efficiency of our public transit system. These improvements can include increasing the frequency of buses and trains, expanding service routes to underserved areas, and enhancing accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The result is a more robust, reliable, and responsive public transit system that benefits everyone in our city.
  • Maximize Efficiency: The administrative costs associated with fare collection, such as TAP card infrastructure, personnel, and maintenance, represent a significant drain on the resources of our public transportation agencies. By eliminating fares, we can streamline these processes, reducing administrative overhead and maximizing the efficiency of our transit system. This efficiency translates into savings that can be reinvested in the system itself. Moreover, the elimination of fare collection removes barriers that can slow down boarding and alighting, ultimately making our public transit more attractive and convenient for all residents.
  • Advocacy: While Councilmembers cannot unilaterally pass a measure to make the entire Metro system fare-free, Ysabel knows the power of advocacy. She will build coalitions, engage with stakeholders, and influence decision-makers to gradually transition towards a fully fare-free transit system that serves the best interests of our community.

Public Transit Expansion:

  • Comprehensive Network Expansion: Ysabel’s commitment is to create a public transit network that serves all neighborhoods within District 14. This means expanding bus routes and increasing the frequency of transit services across the district.
  • Prioritizing Underserved Areas: Ysabel will prioritize the neighborhoods that have historically been underserved by public transit infrastructure. She will work to identify and address transportation deserts, where residents face disproportionately long commutes, limited job access, and reduced quality of life.
  • Community Engagement: To ensure the success of District 14’s public transit expansion, Ysabel will actively engage with community members, local organizations, and stakeholders. Their insights and feedback will shape the development of transit routes, stops, and schedules, making our transit system truly reflective of the needs of our diverse district.

Pedestrian Infrastructure:

  • Safety First, Especially Around Schools: Ysabel’s top priority is the safety of our residents, particularly our children. Ysabel will work to ensure that traffic lanes are not prioritized over the well-being of our students. This means redesigning streets around schools to minimize traffic hazards, reduce speed limits, and implement safety measures such as speed bumps and flashing lights.
  • Pedestrian-Friendly Streets: Ysabel envisions streets that prioritize pedestrians, not just cars. She will work to create pedestrian-friendly streets with wider sidewalks, improved crosswalks, and strategically placed benches for resting.
  • Traffic-Calming Measures: Every 28 hours an Angeleno is killed in a car crash. It's unacceptable that traffic-related fatalities continue to plague our city. Ysabel will implement traffic-calming measures such as roundabouts, chicanes, and raised crosswalks to slow down traffic, making our streets safer for everyone.
  • Community Involvement: Transportation infrastructure decisions should be collaborative efforts. Ysabel will actively involve our communities in the decision-making process because the people who live and work in a neighborhood are the best experts on its transportation needs. Community input will be sought at every stage, from planning to implementation.
  • On-Demand Crosswalks: In areas with high foot traffic, Ysabel will reintroduce on-demand crosswalks to enhance pedestrian safety. These crosswalks will give pedestrians the ability to activate traffic signals when they need to cross, providing an extra layer of safety in areas with heavy foot traffic.
  • Protected Bike Lanes: Implementing protected bike lanes means creating dedicated spaces where cyclists can safely travel without the fear of colliding with motor vehicles. This proactive approach will help reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities on our roads, making it safer for everyone, including pedestrians and motorists.

Bus Shelters and Infrastructure:

  • Capital Project Prioritization: Ysabel will advocate for a robust allocation of funds to enhance our bus shelters and transit infrastructure through carefully planned capital projects.
  • Reducing Advertisements for Funding: Ysabel will work to reduce the heavy reliance on advertisements for funding transit infrastructure. Instead of saturating our public spaces with advertisements, Ysabel proposes a more community-oriented funding model. By diversifying our funding sources, we can preserve the aesthetics of our city while still providing essential public services. This shift aligns with Ysabel’s commitment to putting the interests of people above corporate interests.
  • Eliminating Hostile Architecture: Ysabel is committed to dismantling hostile architecture that disproportionately targets and alienates unhoused Angelenos. This includes the removal of features like bars on benches, which serve as deterrents to unhoused residents seeking a place to rest.
  • Bus Shade with Greenery: To combat the intense Los Angeles sun, Ysabel proposes the strategic planting of trees as a means of creating natural bus shades. This approach not only provides relief from the heat but also contributes to a healthier and more sustainable urban ecosystem. By integrating greenery into our transit infrastructure, we can enhance the overall experience of public transportation while also mitigating the urban heat island effect.

Train and Bus Safety:

Far too often, passengers don’t feel safe on public transportation. It’s time to build a safer, more inclusive public transportation system.

  • Invest in Mental Health Crisis Responders: A significant portion of incidents on public transit involve people who are experiencing mental health crises. Rather than relying on law enforcement to intervene, we should invest in specialized mental health crisis responders who can de-escalate tense situations, provide support, and connect riders with appropriate services. These responders should be trained to address a wide range of mental health issues and be readily available on trains.
  • Expand the MTA Ambassador Program: The MTA Ambassador Program has shown promise in enhancing the safety and accessibility of our public transit system. To reach its full efficacy, we must expand the program to ensure transit accessibility for all, including unhoused individuals. There should be an ambassador on every train platform, ready to assist passengers, answer questions, and address concerns. This will create a more welcoming and secure atmosphere for all travelers.
  • Bathrooms for All: To promote inclusivity, cleanliness, and welcoming environments within public transit, we will advocate for public restrooms at every Metro stop on the A and E lines. Access to restrooms is not only a matter of convenience but also a fundamental human need. By providing this essential facility, we can make public transportation a more comfortable and dignified experience for all passengers, including families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.

Systems Change:

  • Building Collaborative Partnerships: Achieving meaningful change in our transportation system requires a united front. Ysabel will work to foster collaboration among various public agencies responsible for transportation planning and implementation. This includes working closely with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), city planning departments, and community organizations.
  • Strategic Comprehensive Budgeting: Ysabel will champion the development of a comprehensive budget system that prioritizes investments in public transit, active transportation infrastructure, and initiatives that reduce our city's carbon footprint. Currently, transportation budgeting is decided year by year without a particular direction. By scrutinizing existing budgets, identifying waste and inefficiencies, and redirecting funds towards progressive transportation solutions, we can ensure that every dollar spent brings us closer to a more sustainable and equitable transportation system.
  • Long-term Transportation Planning: Short-sighted transportation policies have often plagued our city, resulting in congestion, environmental degradation, and unequal access to transportation options. To address this, Ysabel will create a visionary long-term transportation plan that looks decades into the future. This plan will be developed with extensive community input, ensuring that it reflects the diverse needs and aspirations of our District 14 residents.

Land Use Integration:

  • Affordable, Sustainable Housing Communities: Ysabel’s will prioritize expanding public transit options near the creation of affordable, sustainable housing communities.
  • Transit-Oriented Development (TOD): It’s time to embrace a transit-first approach. Ysabel will actively discourage car-centric development and instead champion transit-oriented development as the way forward. This means denser, mixed-use development near transit hubs and corridors, designed to reduce the reliance on personal vehicles. By prioritizing public transportation, walking, and cycling, we aim to reduce traffic congestion, cut carbon emissions, and create healthier, more livable neighborhoods.

Third Spaces and Quality of Life:

  • Create accessible and welcoming third spaces to elevate the quality of life for all residents.
  • Ensure these spaces promote community engagement and inclusivity.

Funding through Public Banking:

  • Public Bank LA: To tackle the issue of funding our transportation projects, Ysabel will advocate for public banking in Los Angeles. The public bank will be owned and operated by the city, which will work solely in the best interests of the residents. A public bank is a means to secure financing for our ambitious transportation projects, such as expanding our public transit systems, building new cycling lanes, and improving pedestrian infrastructure. The savings accrued from reduced debt servicing costs will be redirected into critical transportation infrastructure projects.

Other Issues