The San Fernando Valley is a large, diverse and populous place. Our Valley makes up 260 square miles of Los Angeles County, and one in every five county residents lives in the Valley.
Hundreds of thousands of those people take public transportation daily to get to around. Riders are students, working parents and people from all walks of life. No longer is the Valley a place where people only drive to go from place to place -- they walk, bike, ride rail and take the bus too. The Metro Orange Line is the most popular Bus Rapid Transit line in North America, and the North Hollywood Red Line rail station is the third busiest in our countywide system.
Yet, the Valley is missing a critical transit component: we lack a brick-and-mortar Metro customer service center where riders can conduct business and get information in person. Valley customers currently must travel to Union Station, East LA or South and Southeastern parts of the county to reach a service center. This just doesn't cut it, especially for working families and students who are transit-dependent.
Metro customer service centers offer a variety of services to riders. You can get timetables, plan your trip, provide feedback and purchase TAP cards, which you need in order to take advantage of the free two-hour transfers. It's also where you go to submit applications for reduced fare TAP cards, like those available to students, seniors and people with disabilities.
I'm happy to report that, just last week, the Metro Board unanimously adopted the motion I put forward with Supervisors Kuehl and Antonovich to study bringing a customer service center to the San Fernando Valley. Metro staff will now begin assessing what needs to be done to create a conveniently located customer service center in the Valley and then will report on the timeline for getting it done. We also instructed Metro to look at using an additional mobile customer service center to help riders in different Valley locations.
It's important for Valley residents to be able to have easy, in-person access to the Metro services they need. We are now one step closer to making that happen. I'll keep you updated about the progress of the Valley's customer service center in the months ahead.