Skip to Content

Mayoral Candidate Kevin de León Wants Metro’s Trains and Buses to Be Faster and Stop More Often, and Let Seniors Ride For Free

8:55 PM PDT on May 16, 2022

    Transportation is a central topic of life in Los Angeles, with urgent repercussions for the world at large. We seek city leaders who prioritize exceptional and affordable public transportation, street safety, and adequate active transportation infrastructure while centering issues related to affordable transit-oriented housing development and dealing with the city’s crisis of hit and runs. Before voting for our next L.A. mayor, we needed to know where the candidates stand on the essential issue of transportation equity. In a collaboration with CicLAviaLos Angeles County Bicycle CoalitionClimate ResolveStreets For AllLos Angeles WalksAct-LAPOWERIKAR, Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement,  Pacoima Beautiful, and MoveLA, L.A. TACO presents a candid questionnaire given to all of L.A.’s mayoral candidates, with their answers in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. All responses were provided by the candidates via email. 


    How often do you walk, bike, ride transit, or otherwise get to your destinations without driving in LA? How would you judge the condition and importance of each of those transportation modes? How important is it for the next LA Mayor to experience all available transportation modes?

    ​​Most of the travel I do for Council or for my campaign is via my plug-in hybrid car due to the distances between meetings. However, I do spend a fair amount of time walking in my neighborhood. The fact is that L.A. has been built around car culture–not public transit–most of our public transit options have not been thought out as a cohesive system. I have ridden at various times light rail, metro, and Metrolink, and all have their advantages and areas that could be improved. But along with improving safety and comfort, I am committed to increasing the frequency of stops (for Metro, specifically), increasing safety for riders, and better connecting the Valley to the Metro LA area.


    As  Mayor, how would you incorporate community-based support and safety strategies prioritizing the needs of vulnerable Angelenos?

    I support a deeper focus on L.A. Metro’s adoption of the Equity Platform Framework. Through collaboration with community-based organizations, I believe this framework will allow us to address the disparities in access, opportunity, and quality of resources between neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

    Metro needs to continue to foster and expand its collaborative efforts with community-based organizations. These partnerships will increase the cultural competence of the Metro and community engagement, as well as increase the public trust in LA Metro and its projects. Through strategic infrastructure improvement plans, we can develop local economies and increase safety and access to opportunity in our most vulnerable neighborhoods.


    How would you assess L.A. City’s Vision Zero policy, and what concrete steps would you take to implement its Vision Zero program by 2025? What role does the Mayor have in encouraging City Council members to take political risks in supporting Vision Zero projects and commitments like the City’s Mobility Plan 2035, that may remove parking or travel lanes?

    As part of a partnership with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, we have instituted a series of Mobility Improvement Programs along Valley Boulevard, Huntington Drive and Eastern Avenue. Key elements of these projects have included: incorporating Vision Zero features such as high-visibility crosswalks, painted curb extensions, and traffic signals that prioritize pedestrian safety; improved accessibility features; the development of Bus Rapid Transit concepts and facilities; improving traffic flows to increase safety; implantation of a bike network; and managing on-street parking. Through these projects, my goal is to improve transit service, connectivity and ridership as well as increase safe access for travelers to employment centers, educational facilities, healthcare facilities, parks, and recreational centers in the area.


    L.A. Metro’s current shortage of bus operators significantly impacts bus frequency and reliability. How would you address this problem and also further increase bus frequency and ensure service reliability as ridership rebounds? Do you support Metro’s advocacy of a fare-free transit system? 

    The staff shortage Metro is facing is something that we are seeing in many sectors. As Mayor, I would ensure we have a robust Local Hire Program for bus drivers and work closely with the community colleges and LAUSD to create pipelines so that students have careers lined up at Metro when they are graduating.

    If we are going to have behavior changes and have people use transit, then it needs to be safe and reliable. That's why I have advocated for dedicated bus lanes as they increase speed and improve reliability. I've worked to implement dedicated bus lanes on Olive and Grand in Downtown and on Colorado in Eagle Rock, and I’ve called for increased

    I do support Metro’s advocacy for a fare-free transit system, specifically for those under 25 and seniors. Based on ridership numbers from the past two years, when fare was free, it is clear that a fare-free system encourages increased ridership. I believe that a fare-free system will enhance the number and frequency with which Angelinos utilize public transport.


    How would you create more participation, accountability, and transparency in the budgeting process for LADOT or LA Metro projects, especially among limited English proficient and low-income communities? How would you ensure that project funds are equitably distributed?

    As previously mentioned, I believe the continued integration of partnerships with community-based organizations is key to increasing transparency, trust, and community participation in L.A. Metro projects. A continued emphasis on the Equity Platform Framework will ensure that project funds are being distributed in a manner that seeks to reverse in equities between neighborhoods and advance equity in Los Angeles. I have introduced a motion in Council to have the City do more in-language communication, and this would apply to Metro, as well.


    What amenities and programs do you support to reduce traffic congestion, increase active transportation, and increase transit (bus and rail) ridership? As Mayor, how would you coordinate dozens of neighboring cities and public agencies to improve local and regional access to transportation modes aside from driving?

    In my transportation plan, I have proposed eliminating fares for those under 25 as well as seniors. In addition, I support Metro’s plan to electrify all buses by 2030. Tailpipe and mobile emissions are some of the largest contributors to air pollution in the Southland, and electrifying buses – getting away from CNG -- is one of the most effective ways for us to cut those. Additionally, I support increased light rail as a way to connect the city, as well as protected (with barriers) bike lanes. Lastly, my Transportation plan calls for two specific items: increasing the frequency of Metro stops to better serve the needs of working Angelenos, as well as better connecting the Valley with Metro Los Angeles. For far too long, the Valley has been an afterthought in transportation planning. I will prioritize the Sepulveda Transit Corridor and create rail access to the Burbank Airport to help get individuals out of their cars and onto public transit.



    ¿Con qué frecuencia camina, anda en bicicleta, viaja en transporte público o llega a donde necesita ir sin conducir en Los Ángeles? ¿Cuál considera que es la condición y la importancia de cada uno de esos medios de transporte? ¿Cuán importante es para el próximo alcalde/alcaldesa de Los Ángeles el conocer bien todos los medios de transporte disponibles?

    La mayoría de los viajes que hago son al Concilio o para actividades de mi campaña y dadas las distancias entre reuniones los realizo en mi carro híbrido que tiene enchufe. Sin embargo, paso una buena cantidad de tiempo caminando en mi vecindario. La realidad es que Los Ángeles se ha construido en torno al automóvil y no con el transporte público en mente y la mayoría de nuestras opciones de transporte público no se han pensado como un sistema organizado. En muchas ocasiones he viajado en tren ligero, el metro y Metrolink y todos tienen sus ventajas y cosas que se pueden mejorar. Pero junto con mejorar la seguridad y la comodidad, me comprometo a aumentar la frecuencia de las paradas (para Metro, específicamente), aumentar la seguridad de los pasajeros y conectar mejor la zona del Valle con el zona metropolitana de Los Ángeles.


    Como alcalde/alcaldesa, ¿cómo incorporaría estrategias de apoyo que se originan entre la comunidad y las de seguridad que priorizan las necesidades de los angelinos más vulnerables?

    Apoyo el profundizar y centrarse en la adopción de la Plataforma de Equidad dentro de Metro. Creo que esta, por medio de la colaboración con organizaciones comunitarias, nos permitirá enmendar las disparidades en el acceso, la oportunidad y la calidad de los recursos que existen en las diversas vecindades de Los Ángeles.

    Metro, como agencia, necesita continuar fomentando y ampliando sus esfuerzos de colaboración con organizaciones comunitarias. Estas colaboraciones aumentarán la competencia cultural y la participación de la comunidad, así como también desarrollará la confianza del público en Metro y sus proyectos. Por medio de planes estratégicos de mejoras de infraestructura podemos regenerar las economías locales y aumentar la seguridad y el acceso a oportunidades para nuestros vecindarios más vulnerables.


    ¿Cómo evaluaría la norma de Vision Zero de la ciudad de Los Ángeles y qué pasos concretos tomaría para implementar este programa para 2025? ¿Qué papel desempeña el alcalde/alcaldesa en exhortar a los miembros del Concilio para que tomen riesgos y apoyen la Vision Zero y se comprometan a realizar proyectos como el Plan de Movilidad de la Ciudad para 2035, el cual puede eliminar los carriles de estacionamiento o de viaje?

    Como parte de una asociación con el Departamento de Ingeniería de Los Ángeles hemos instituido una serie de Programas para la Mejora de la Movilidad en el Valley Boulevard, Huntington Drive y en Eastern Avenue. Entre los elementos clave de estos proyectos se han incluido: la incorporación de algunos aspectos de la Vision Zero tales como los cruces peatonales de alta visibilidad, pintar el borde de las extensiones de las aceras e instalar señalamientos de tráfico que priorizan la seguridad peatonal; hacer mejoras en dispositivos de acceso; el desarrollo de conceptos del Bus Rapid Transit (instalaciones de carril específicos para autobuses); mejoras en los flujos de tráfico para aumentar la seguridad; la implementación de una red de carriles para ciclistas; y la gestión de estacionamientos en la vía pública. Mi propósito es mejorar el servicio de transporte público, la conectividad y aumentar el número de pasajeros, así como el acceso seguro de los viajeros a sus centros laborales, instituciones educativas y de atención médica, parques y centros recreativos en el área.


    La actual escasez de operadores de autobuses de Metro afecta significativamente la frecuencia, la consistencia y el poder depender en los autobuses. ¿Cómo abordaría este problema al mismo tiempo que aumenta la frecuencia de los autobuses y garantiza la consistencia del servicio a medida que se recupera la cantidad de pasajeros? ¿Apoya la lucha por un sistema de transporte sin tarifas? 

    La falta de personal que enfrenta Metro es algo que vemos en muchos sectores. Como alcalde, me aseguraría de tener un Programa de Contratación Local para conductores de autobuses y trabajaría muy de cerca con los colegios comunitarios y LAUSD para crear espacios y que los estudiantes tengan carreras y vocaciones en Metro al graduarse.

    Si queremos que la gente haga cambios de comportamiento y que usen el transporte público, entonces debemos cerciorarnos de que sea seguro y confiable. Es por eso que he abogado por carriles exclusivos para autobuses ya que aumentan la velocidad y mejoran su confiabilidad. He trabajado para implementar carriles exclusivos para autobuses en Olive y Grand en el centro y en Colorado en Eagle Rock, y he pedido un aumento…

    Apoyo el abogar por un sistema de transporte público sin tarifa, específicamente para aquellas personas menores de 25 años y adultos mayores. Basándose en los datos sobre la cantidad de pasajeros durante los últimos dos años, cuando no había la tarifa, está claro que un sistema sin tarifa fomenta una mayor cantidad de pasajeros. Creo que un sistema sin tarifas mejorará el número y la frecuencia con la que los angelinos utilizan el transporte público.


    ¿Cómo fomentaría más participación, responsabilidad y transparencia en el proceso de la creación de presupuestos para los proyectos del Departamento de Transporte de Los Ángeles (LADOT, por sus siglas en inglés) o Metro, especialmente entre las comunidades con dominio limitado del inglés y otras de bajos ingresos? ¿Cómo garantizaría que la distribución de fondos entre los proyectos se realice de manera equitativa?

    Como lo mencioné anteriormente, creo que la integración constante y el trabajo conjunto con organizaciones comunitarias es clave para elevar la transparencia, la confianza y la participación comunitaria en los proyectos de Metro. El continuo énfasis en la Plataforma de Equidad garantizará que los fondos para proyectos se distribuyan de tal forma que se revierta la inequidad entre los vecindarios y se promueva la equidad en Los Ángeles. Presenté una moción en el Concilio para que haya más comunicación interna y esto también será aplicable a Metro.


    ¿Qué servicios y programas apoya usted para reducir la congestión del tráfico, aumentar el transporte activo y aumentar el número de pasajeros (en autobús y tren)? Como alcalde/alcaldesa, ¿cómo coordinaría esfuerzos entre docenas de ciudades y organismos públicos para mejorar el acceso local y regional a los diversos medios de transporte aparte de conducir?

    En mi Plan de Transporte he propuesto eliminar las tarifas para menores de 25 años así como para personas adultas mayores. Además, apoyo el plan de Metro para electrificar todos los autobuses para 2030. Las emisiones de los tubos de escape y vehículos son algunos de los mayores contribuyentes a la contaminación del aire en esta zona del sur de California y electrificar los autobuses, alejarse del GNC (gas natural comprimido), es una de las formas más efectivas para reducir esas emisiones. Además, apoyo el aumento del tren ligero como una forma de conectar la ciudad, así como tener carriles protegidos (con barreras) para bicicletas. Por último, mi Plan de Transporte exige dos elementos específicos: aumentar la frecuencia de las paradas de Metro para atender mejor las necesidades de los trabajadores angelinos, así como conectar mejor el Valle con el área metropolitana. Ya por mucho tiempo, el Valle ha sido relegado en cuanto a la planificación del transporte. Daré prioridad al Corredor de Tránsito de Sepúlveda y crearé un segmento de tren para dar acceso al Aeropuerto de Burbank y así ayudar a que las personas dejen sus carros y prefieran utilizar el transporte público.

    In Chinese










    作为与洛杉矶市工程局合作的一部分,我们已经沿山谷大道、亨廷顿大道和东方大道制定了一系列的流动性改善计划。这些项目的主要内容包括:纳入 "零死亡愿景 "功能,如高能见度人行横道线、路缘石延长线和优先考虑行人安全的交通信号;改善无障碍设施;发展公交车快速交通概念和设施;改善交通流以提高安全性;植入自行车网络;以及管理路边停车。通过这些项目,我的目标是改善交通服务、连通性和乘客量,以及增加旅行者对该地区的就业中心、教育设施、医疗设施、公园和娱乐中心的安全访问。




    如果我们要改变行为,让人们使用公交车,那么它就必须是安全和可靠的。这就是为什么我一直倡导公交专用车道,因为它们可以提高速度,改善可靠性。我一直致力于在市中心的Olive和Grand以及在Eagle Rock的Colorado实施公交专用道,并呼吁增加公交专用道。








    In Korean

    ​​저는 시의회나 선거운동을 위해 이동할 경우 회의장 거리 때문에 대부분 플러그인 하이브리드 자동차를 이용합니다. 하지만 주변 지역을 걷는 데도 상당한 시간을 보냅니다. 사실 LA는 대중교통이 아닌 자동차 문화를 중심으로 건설되었습니다. 대부분의 대중교통 옵션은 응집력 있는 시스템으로 간주되지 않았습니다. 저는 경전철, 지하철, Metrolink를 여러 번 타봤는데 모두 장단점이 있고 개선할 부분이 있습니다. 그러나 안전성과 편안함을 개선하는 것과 함께 정차 빈도를 늘리고(특히 Metro의 경우), 승객의 안전을 증진하며, Valley와 Metro LA 지역을 더 잘 연결하기 위해 최선을 다하고 있습니다.

    저는 LA Metro의 형평성 플랫폼 프레임워크(Equity Platform Framework) 채택을 크게 지지합니다. 지역사회 기반 조직과의 협력을 통해 이 프레임워크는 로스앤젤레스 지역 간의 자원 접근, 기회 및 품질 격차를 해결할 수 있게 해 줄 것이라고 생각합니다.

    Metro는 지역사회 기반 조직과의 협조 노력을 지속적으로 육성하고 확대해야 합니다. 이러한 파트너십은 Metro의 문화적 역량과 지역사회 참여를 증대시킬 뿐만 아니라 LA Metro와 그 프로젝트에 대한 대중의 신뢰를 높여줄 것입니다. 전략적 기반 시설의 개선 계획을 통해 우리는 지역 경제를 발전시키고 최취약계층의 안전과 기회에 대한 접근성을 높일 수 있습니다.

    로스앤젤레스시 공학기술국(Bureau of Engineering)과 파트너십의 일환으로 우리는 Valley Boulevard, Huntington Drive 및 Eastern Avenue를 따라 일련의 이동성 개선 프로그램(Mobility Improvement Programs)을 제정했습니다. 이 프로젝트의 핵심 요소에는 보행자 안전을 우선시하는 가시성이 높은 횡단보도, 도색된 연석 확장 및 교통 신호 등의 Vision Zero 기능 통합, 접근성 기능 개선, 급행 버스 체계(Bus Rapid Transit) 개념 및 시설 개발, 안전 증진을 위한 교통 흐름 개선, 자전거 도로망 이행, 노상 주차 관리 등이 있습니다. 이 프로젝트를 통해 제가 이루고자 하는 바는 대중교통 서비스, 연결성 및 승객 수 개선 외에도 이용자들이 해당 지역의 고용 센터, 교육 시설, 의료 시설, 공원 및 레크리에이션 센터를 안전하게 이용할 수 있게 하는 것입니다.

    Metro가 직면하고 있는 인력난은 대부분의 부문에서 볼 수 있는 현상입니다. 시장으로서 저는 버스기사를 위한 강력한 지역 고용 프로그램(Local Hire Program)이 있는지 확인하고 커뮤니티 칼리지 및 로스앤젤레스 통합 교육구(Los Angeles Unified School District, LAUSD)와 긴밀히 협력하며 파이프라인을 구축해 학생들이 졸업할 때 Metro에서 경력을 쌓을 수 있도록 할 것입니다.

    행동양식을 변화시키고 시민들이 대중교통을 이용하게 하려면, 안전하고 신뢰할 수 있어야 합니다. 이러한 이유로 저는 버스 전용 차선이 속도를 높이고 신뢰성을 개선하는 데 찬성하는 바입니다. 저는 다운타운의 Olive와 Grand, Eagle Rock의 Colorado에 전용 버스 차선을 실행하기 위해 노력했고 증원을 요구했습니다.

    저는 특히 25세 미만과 고령자를 위한 무상 대중교통 시스템에 대한 Metro의 옹호를 크게 지지합니다. 무상 운임이 시행됐던 지난 2년간 승객 수를 보면, 무상 운임 시스템이야말로 승객 증가를 유도하는 것은 명백합니다. 저는 무상 운임 시스템이 로스앤젤레스 시민들의 대중교통 이용 횟수와 빈도 향상에 기여할 것으로 믿습니다.

    앞서 언급했듯이 저는 지역사회 기반 조직과의 지속적인 파트너십 통합이 LA Metro 프로젝트에서 투명성, 신뢰성 및 지역사회 참여를 높이는 열쇠라고 믿습니다. Equity Platform Framework에 대한 지속적인 강조는 프로젝트 기금이 로스앤젤레스에서 이웃 간의 형평성을 되돌리고 이를 증진하는 방식으로 분배되게 할 것입니다. 저는 시에서 언어 소통을 확대하는 조치를 시의회에 발의했으며 이는 Metro에도 적용될 것입니다.

    교통 계획을 통해 저는 25세 미만과 고령자에 대한 요금을 철폐할 것을 제안했습니다. 또한 2030년까지 모든 버스를 전기 버스화 하겠다는 Metro의 계획을 지지합니다. 테일 파이프와 이동식 배기가스는 Southland의 대기 오염에 가장 큰 영향을 미치는 요인 중 하나이며, 전기 버스는 압축 천연 가스에서 벗어나 우리가 대기 오염을 줄일 수 있는 가장 효과적인 방법 중 하나입니다. 또한, 저는 도시를 연결하는 방법으로 경전철 증대와 보호막이 있는(장벽 설치) 자전거 전용 도로를 지지합니다. 마지막으로, 저의 교통 계획안은 두 가지 특정 항목을 요구합니다. 바로 일하는 로스앤젤레스 시민의 요구 사항을 더욱 효과적으로 충족시키기 위해 Metro 정차 빈도를 늘리는 것과 Valley와 Metro Los Angeles의 연결성 개선입니다. 너무 오랫동안 Valley 지역은 교통 계획안에서 뒷전으로 밀려나 있었습니다. 저는 Sepulveda 대중교통 회랑을 우선순위로 정하고 Burbank 공항행 철도를 구축해 시민들이 자동차를 벗어나 대중교통을 이용할 수 있게 할 것입니다.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024

    The Final Round of TACO MADNESS 2024 Is Now Open for Voting! It’s Highland Park vs. San Fernando Valley

    It was an incredible comeback to deny last year's winner and bring a first-timer from the San Fernando Valley to the finals. They will have an uphill battle against Villa's Tacos, who lead all teams in total votes so far in the 2024 competition. L.A.'s favorite taco will be decided on Sunday, April 14th, at 11:59 P.M. 

    April 11, 2024

    This New Koreatown Onigiri Spot Is Unlike Any Other in Southern California

    Supamu, which started as a food truck and a series of pop-ups, brands itself as Southern California’s first Okinawa-style onigiri. What sets its onigiri apart from competitors? All the details are in the post, plus where to find it.

    April 10, 2024

    When ‘Tomorrow’ Never Comes: The Saga of a DTLA Bar Staff’s Struggle To Get Paid

    A barback recalled a time when he had to use a payday loan app to cover a dinner bill. “How can you, with a straight face, hand someone a check knowing that there isn’t money in the account,” the barback questioned.

    April 10, 2024
    See all posts