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Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) - August 8, 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019 – 10:30 AM


Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)
One Gateway Plaza
3 rd Floor – Union Station Conference Room

1 Member and Staff Introductions
Housekeeping Items
10:30 – 10:35 am
Frank Chavez, Chair
2 ACTION: Approval of June 13, 2019 Meeting Minutes 10:35 – 10:40 am
Frank Chavez, Chair
3 PRESENTATION: Service Excellence Award 10:40 – 10:45 am
Frank Chavez, Chair
4 INFORMATION: Recommendation Made By Nomination Subcommittee 10:45 – 10:50 am
Frank Chavez, Chair
5 PRESENTATION: TAP Wearables Update 10:50 – 11:10 am
Beverly Levi Dagan, Metro
6 PRESENTATION: Metro First/Last Mile 11:10 – 11:30 am
Jacob Lieb, Metro
BREAK 11:30 – 11:40 am
7 PRESENTATION: Aira 11:40 am – 12:00 pm
Michael Hingson, Aira
8 NEW BUSINESS: Raised Subsequent to the Posting of the Agenda 12:00 – 12:15 pm
Frank Chavez, Chair
9 PUBLIC COMMENT 12:15 – 12:30 pm
Frank Chavez, Chair
(2 minutes per speaker)
10 ADJOURNMENT 12:30 pm
Frank Chavez, Chair


Meeting Minutes for June 13, 2019

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Accessibility Advisory Committee

Members in Attendance:

Frank Chavez (Chair)
Cynde Soto (First Vice-Chair)
Kathleen Barajas (Second Vice-Chair)
Jared Rimer
Karen Esquival-Mayes
Victor Dominguez
Tina Foafoa
Linda Keeney
John Mavis
Tonni Yee-Hemphill
Liz Lyons
Ellen Blackman
Patrick Burke


Mark Panitz
Kevin Dixon
Blanca Angulo
Christine Leahey


Artemio Ambrosio
Ben Rockwell
Laura Parra


Chairperson Frank Chavez called the meeting to order at 10:30 am, followed by a welcome and introductions. Committee members were informed of the conduct expectations and that personal care attendants are available to assist throughout the meeting.

2. ACTION: Approval of May 2019 Minutes

The minutes from the May 2019 meeting were approved by majority vote with the correction noted that the meeting minutes for May had approved the March 2019 meeting minutes.

3. PRESENTATION:  Appreciation Award for Dan Levy

The Accessibility Advisory Committee presented Dan Levy, Chief of the Office of Civil Rights at LA Metro, a plaque in honor of his many years of service to the agency and his commitment to accessibility for all.

4. PRESENTATION: ButterFLi FlexLA Wav Program

Krishna Tabor and Aaron Roy from ButterFli joined the meeting to present to the committee regarding the ButterFli service. Krisha explained to the committee that ButterFli is an on demand transportation service that is sponsored by FlexLA. The service provides accessible vehicles for all disabilities and is free of charge for low-income riders. Butterfli is available for use by all riders with disabilities and the team from Butterfli encourages AAC members to use the service.

5. PRESENTATION: Long Range Transportation Plan

David Lor, from Metro’s Long Range Transportation Planning department addressed the committee regarding current efforts to improve long range transportation planning. David explained that the plan is a 30-year guide for L.A. County on how to invest in transportation for the entire county. The guide contains a mobility plan to access opportunity, a transportation network management framework, how to implement the framework, and a section on enduring relevance.  The enduring relevance section is of particular importance as it mandates that the plan be periodically revisited and updated. David requested that all committee members go to ournext.LA and participate in a survey there which allows users to organize what they think is most important within Los Angeles County. The public input will be included in the draft plan to be published in Spring of 2020.


6. PRESENTATION: Feedback on Via Service

Integrated with presentation regarding new mobility endeavors.

7. PRESENTATION: New Mobility Endeavors

Marie Sullivan from Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation joined the meeting to discuss new mobility endeavors and get feedback from the committee regarding the existing services. Marie first addressed the Via service which was presented to the committee several months ago and consists of accessible vehicles that can fill in the first mile/last mile gap within three zones that are close to large transit hubs. Marie reported to the committee that the service is free and usage has been steadily increasing since its introduction. The pilot program for the Via service will last one year, Marie encourages all committee members to try the service.  Next, Marie addressed the Micro Transit project currently undertaken by Metro, which is still in the design phase. The service is designed to be an on demand ride sharing service addressing trips between 1-6 miles in distance that would be inconvenient to make via fixed route transit. The hope is to make transit more competitive for short trips usually addressed by ride sharing services. Accessible vehicles would be available to accommodate all disabilities. Vehicles will accommodate between 4 and 14 riders, with about 90 of them available for use. Metro is moving forward with the two part procurement for deployment of the service and hopes to have it operational in 2020.

8. NEW BUSINESS: Raised Subsequent to the Posting of the Agenda

Frank Chavez, Chair of the Committee, relayed to the committee that the Red Line Santa Monica/Vermont stop does not call out Braille Institute as a destination. He would like Metro staff to look into adding that back in. Karen Esquivel Mayes inquired as to whom was responsible for painting the steps for the silver line stations. She had a student with limited vision who missed a step because there was not enough contrast to identify the transition. Kathleen Barajas distributed the most current batch of newsletters from the Californians for Disability Rights organization that she is affiliated with. She informed the committee that they are accepting members and membership fees are low. Kathleen also relayed to the committee that she had attended a Metro service council meeting for her area and found that there was a lack of representation from people with disabilities. Kathleen would like to see Metro ask each service council to designate one seat for individuals who represent people with disabilities.


Paul Schroeder from Aira addressed the committee as a member of the public. Paul explained that his organization has developed a smartphone application that would function as digital eyes for the blind and visually impaired. The application would use the user’s cell phone camera to relay video to a third party who would then describe to the user what they are seeing. Paul would like to make a more formal presentation to the committee and has asked to be considered during the next steering committee meeting.


Meeting adjourned at 12:10 PM.