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If you haven't already done so, please read the Metro section on the Camera Towns page

LA Metro / MTA Documents
Big Refund in 2017? - See Set # 7, Below


It may be possible to completely ignore a Metro ticket!

1.  The LA County Superior Court does not report ignored red light camera tickets to the DMV.  More info is in "Countywide Information," which is Docs Set # 2 on the LA County Documents page.

2.  If your "ticket" does not have the Superior Court's name and address on it, it is a fake ticket (also called a Snitch Ticket) mailed out by Metro in an attempt to bluff you into identifying the driver.
For more details about Snitch Tickets, see the Snitch Ticket section at the top of the Your Ticket page.



If your ticket is for a right turn from northbound Canoga Avenue, please be sure to read Set # 6 below, and contact me.

If your ticket is from Century/Grandee, please be sure to read Set # 7 below, and contact me.



Yes, this is the webpage with a LOT of info about tickets from the red light cameras sited near Metro's busways and light rail lines in LA County. 

But first, this important political announcement...




In 2018, Vote No on Sheila Kuehl

Do you live in LA County?  Was Zev Yaroslavsky your County Supervisor?  (Until Nov. 2014, he represented the Third District, which includes the central and western San Fernando Valley, Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, the City of West Hollywood, and part of Hollywood.)

Zev "termed out," and in the Nov. 2014 election, Sheila Kuehl won the race to succeed him, by a narrow margin.

Sheila Kuehl authored 3
                  speed camera bills
Sheila "Kuehl Cams" Kuehl, in 2007

During her career in the California Legislature, Kuehl made three attempts to pass bills to allow the use of automated speed enforcement (photo radar) in California.

As an LA County Supervisor, she has a seat on the MTA/Metro board and she will be a vote to continue and expand Metro's huge (101 cameras, so far) red light camera system. 

In 2016 she voted to put an additional LA County-wide sales tax, to go to Metro, on the Nov. 2016 ballot.  (See Measure M on the Action/Legis page, for more about that tax.)

Kuehl will be up for re-election in Nov. 2018 and Nov. 2022.



About Metro/MTA

Metro, also known as the MTA, and formally titled the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, operates bus, subway, and light rail public transit in Los Angeles County.  Metro has red light cameras at road crossings along its Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley, along the Eastside Gold Line light rail in East LA, along the Blue Line light rail which runs north-south between downtown LA and Long Beach, and along the Expo Line light rail which runs out to West LA and Santa Monica.

Metro's cameras are provided by Conduent (formerly Xerox/ACS ).  Read Defect # 5 on the Home page.  Most tickets are signed by the County Sheriff, and most tickets are prosecuted by the LA City Attorney.   The signals at the busway intersections are usually maintained by the city in which the intersection is located.

If you are doing a Public Records Act request for Metro records, the request should be sent to Metro's Records Management Department, at (213) 922-2342, fax (213) 922-2389, rmc (at) metro.net.  Metro's main number is (213) 922-2000.  However, if you are doing a Public Records Act request for details about the signal lights (signal timing chart, maintenance records) at or near a busway intersection located in the City of Los Angeles, your request should go to the City's Department of Transportation, at:  City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation, 100 S. Main St., 10th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 972-8470.
If you are filing for Discovery, file it with the Los Angeles City Attorney if "your" intersection is in the City of LA.  For tickets filed at the Van Nuys courthouse, the address for the LA City Attorney would be:  Office of the City Attorney, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 160, Van Nuys, CA 91401 Phone (818) 374-3300. 
If "your" intersection is in an unincorporated area not in the City of LA, your  Discovery request should go to the LA County  District Attorney, and your Public Records Request for details about the signal lights should go to the LA County Public Works Department.

Be sure to read the "Countywide Information," which is Docs Set # 2 on the LA County Documents page.

The phone number for the sheriff who handles the Metro tickets is (818) 701-2861.

In early 2012 the MTA sponsored a bill in Sacramento to require LA County judges to issue bench warrants to motorists who do not reply to their MTA/Metro camera tickets.  After strong opposition, the bill failed to move ahead. 
It could come back in a later year, so please phone your legislators and ask them to stop any new edition of AB 2147.  More info a
bout the bill is in the "Whom to Believe?" section on highwayrobbery.net's LA County Documents page and in Set # 5, below.



Docs Set # 1
Long Late Times:  Lighted Limit Lines, Simulated Gates
New 10-9-07


Graph by highwayrobbery.net


At least one Orange Line camera detects an unusual proportion of very long Late Times.  I believe that these long Late Times occur because the busway intersections are unusually complex, with several having two or three sets of traffic signals in rapid succession.  The graph above is from a 2007 comparison of red light camera ticket Late Times at Balboa / busway to Late Times at two large but  relatively conventional  intersections in other cities (Hawthorne and Los Alamitos). 

A file containing the raw Late Time data is here.
 


This is the intersection of Reseda Blvd. and the busway.  It has three signals in a 250-foot span.  For a larger copy of this photo, click here.

In 2009 and 2010 Metro and the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation (LADOT) conducted an experiment, adding in-pavement red LED lights to the limit lines at two of Metro's red light camera-enforced intersections - one on the Orange Line busway, and the other on the Blue Line light rail.  An Apr. 2011 Interim Report showed inconclusive results:  An average 17% decrease in the number of red light camera violations at the test intersections, compared with an average 20% decrease at the control intersections.  (The 2010 Executive Summary available in Set # 2 below includes graphs of the monthly numbers of violations at those test intersections.)

Lighted limit line, LA Metro system, 2010
Lighted Limit Line LEDs, from Interim Report


 
  In Dec. 2009 the Metro Board directed staff to install quadrant gates at 24 intersections along the
Gold Line Eastside Extension.  In May 2011 Metro conducted a two-week experment along the 3rd Street portion of the Extension, adding lighted "no turn" signs, bells, and an all-red signal phase to simulate the effect of gates.
Metro Fact Sheet
Metro Press Release
More Info from Metro (Click on "Quadrant Gates")
Virtual Video of Gold Line Extension Route



Docs Set # 2
Ticket Counts - and Possible Refunds

New 2-17-14, updated 10-14-17

Click:  Ticket Count Table - for All of Metro's 100+ Cameras

Ticketing Highlights

  In June 2016, most of the previously very heavy ticketing along Canoga Avenue (Orange Line - see Set # 6, below) was way down but as of Aug. 2016 it was back up, and ticketing by nineteen other Metro cameras, many located near USC, was way up too, as much as twenty-eight times the rate in 2015.  (Also see Set # 7, below.)

If your ticket was at a location where ticketing has recently jumped up, and you think that the intersection is confusing or dangerous, watch the David Goldstein report on the 11 pm Channel 2 news on Monday Feb. 27, and please also contact me.  (On March 2 Channel 2 said there may be refunds of tickets issued at Century/Grandee.  See Set # 7, below.)
 

Los Angeles
                  MTA/Metro red light camera ticketing

The small table immediately above covers only those cameras which highwayrobbery.net expects will end 2016 with a large increase in tickets issued, compared to 2015.  To see the data for those and all other MTA/Metro cameras, click on the link for the Ticket Count Table, above.
 


The big Ticket Count Table is maintained by highwayrobbery.net, using official documents obtained under the California Public Records Act.  The official source documents are available here:

Blue Line:
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014*
2015, to June*
2015, to July*
2015, Aug. to Dec.*
Jan. 2016
Feb. 2016
Mar. & Apr. 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
Aug. 2016
Sept. 2016
Oct. 2016
Nov. 2016
Dec. 2016
Jan. 2017
Jan. 2017 (new format)
Feb. 2017
Mar. 2017
Apr. 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
Aug. 2017

Expo Line:
2012
2013
2014*
2015, to June*
2015, to July*
2015, Aug. to Dec.*
Jan. 2016
Feb. 2016

Mar. & Apr. 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
Aug. 2016
Sept. 2016
Oct. 2016
Nov. 2016

Dec. 2016
Jan. 2017
Feb. 2017
Mar. 2017
Apr. 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
Aug. 2017
 
Gold Line:
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014*
2015, to June*
2015, to July*
2015, Aug. to Dec.*
Jan. 2016
Feb. 2016

Mar. & Apr. 2016
 May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
Aug. 2016
Sept. 2016
Oct. 2016
Nov. 2016

Dec. 2016
Jan. 2017
Feb. 2017
Mar. 2017
Apr. 2017
May 2017
June 2017

July 2017
Aug. 2017
 

Orange Line:
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014*
2015, to June*
2015, to July
2015, Aug. to Dec.*
2016, Jan. & Feb.

Mar. & Apr. 2016  
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
Aug. 2016
Sept. 2016
Oct. 2016
Nov. 2016
Dec. 2016

Jan. 2017
Feb. 2017
Mar. 2017
Apr. 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
Aug. 2017
 


Systemwide Executive Summary:

2009
2010 with Supplemental Metrics (pg 4)
2010 Monthly Totals
2011
2011 Monthly Totals
2012
2013

2014*
2015, to June
July 2015 and After:  Executive Summary No Longer Available from Metro

*Until Feb. 2015 Metro was not able to produce reports for July 2014 or later, and until Feb. 2016 Metro was not able to produce reports for July 2015 or later.







Docs Set # 3
The Contract, the Quota, Paying $4 Million Too Much

2000 Contract
2000:  Part B
2000:  Part C
2000:  Part D

2001:  First Amendment
2004:  Second Amendment
2006:  Modification 3
2006:  Staff Report for Modification 3
2009, 2010, 2011:   Extensions and Modification 4
2012:  Evaluation
2013:  Modifications 6 - 8
2014:  8-Year Contract to 2022 (15 MB pdf)

The current contract was signed in June 2014 and extends to June 30, 2022 but can be canceled on 60 days notice, with no penalty (see page 65 of the contract pdf).

The contract sets a ticket quota.  See page 102 of the contract pdf, this article, and Defect # 9 on the Home/Defects page.


Paying Too Much

Per the contract's Payment Summary (on page 225 of the contract pdf), the total cost of the contract is $19.1 million, which works out to about $1913 per camera per month. 
Invoices

Metro agreed to pay way too much.  In March 2014 the City of Elk Grove approved a new contract which specified the following schedule of rents for their five cameras.


Imaged from Exh. D of the Elk Grove (California) Contract

 
By June 2014, Metro's average camera was more than ten years old, so the target rent, per the Elk Grove schedule (above), should have been $1500 (or less, considering the economies of scale offered by Metro's system, which has 104+ cameras).  Metro will pay $4,124,000 extra over the eight years 2014 - 2022 (compared to a $1500 target), and will need to issue an extra 68,733 tickets in order to cover that extra rent (Metro gets about $60 from each ticket issued).  To see more about how much other cities pay, see FAQ # 17.






Docs Set # 4
The Revenue


  MTA/Metro's monthly ticket revenue from the court is available in the Revenue Spreadsheet on the
LA County Docs page, which is the source of this graph:

LA Metro
                MTA red light camera revenue




Docs Set # 5
Bench Warrants for Ignored MTA/Metro Tickets? 
No,  an Amnesty!


It has been reported that staff in the office of a local councilman, and a reporter for one of the local daily newspapers, have been advising callers and readers that tickets from the red light cameras near the MTA/Metro busways and light rail cannot be ignored - the suggestion being that MTA/Metro tickets are in some way superior to those issued by the other agencies and cities in the County. 
The best indicator that their advice is not correct is that in 2012 the MTA asked a state legislator to sponsor a bill which would have required the Court to issue bench warrants on ignored MTA/Metro tickets.
MTA's official reports of the percentage of tickets paid (available on the MTA Docs page) show why they are so concerned.
As of Dec. 2007, 75% of the (year-old) Orange Line tickets issued in Dec. 2006 had been paid, while
as of Dec. 2013 only 21% of the tickets issued in Dec. 2012 had been paid.  

Article
MTA Staff Report Discussing the Bill

The 2012 bill did not pass, but then in the 2014 session there was a
new bill which could have been amended to require warrants.  Had it passed (it did not), it would have gone into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

In late 2014 a
new effort began to start a pilot program to give the courts a greater incentive to pursue the collection of fines.  That too failed, and was replaced by amnesty programs.


Amnesty

The latest amnesty program started Oct. 1, 2015 and runs until Mar. 31, 2017, and could save you a lot of money on an old ticket - particularly if you are low income.  For more information, see Amnesty in the Site Index.
 





Docs Set # 6
The Trap in Canoga Park


In 2013
the seven "no right turn on red" cameras installed along Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park (Metro's Orange Line busway runs parallel to Canoga Avenue with a lateral separation of just 50 - 100 feet) generated 13,381 tickets, 38% of all the tickets in Metro's 100+ camera system. 

  In an effort to stop those thousands of people from making those dangerous right turns across the busway, Metro installed Blank Out signs which light up when a bus is nearby.  They flash this image, supposedly of a bus,



but which at first glance might be mistaken for Clyde, the ghost from Pac-Man.

Metro's BUS sign
                        looks like Clyde, fromPac-Man

In addition to that potential for misidentification, the BUS sign presents these other problems.

1.  It is an unapproved sign (not listed in CalTrans' MUTCD), thus exposes Metro and the City of LA to liability in the event of an accident.
2. The BUS signs depend upon the motorist's understanding of an English word.
3.  The BUS sign fails to tell the driver what to do, or not to do.  A first-time visitor to the area who does not know where the Busway is - or even that there is such a thing nearby - will not know what to do when he first sees the BUS sign.  What if, in his haste to obey the (brightly and rapidly flashing) sign, he assumes that he is obligated to clear the roadway for an emergency vehicle, and swings a right turn to get out of the way?
  
The BUS signs have been ineffective against right turns on red - in 2014 and 2015 ticketing by those seven Canoga Avenue cameras was 43% and 49% of all tickets issued by Metro's camera system.  (The official reports of the number of tickets issued are available in Set # 2, above.)  Metro should change the faces of the present BUS signs to display the universal graphic for "no right turn."

Blank Out sign universal symbol no right
                    turn  


Metro has installed a number of the "no right turn" Blank Out signs along the Expo Line, in West LA.
 

Sign at Metro's Expo Line and Farmdale, West
                    LA
Sign at Expo Line and Farmdale

Click for Pictures of More Signs along the Expo Line
 
The effect of changing the Blank Out signs along Canoga Avenue to display the "no right turn" graphic would be immediate - a halving, or more, of violations - and it would be quantifiable by the month following the change.


2016:  More Signs, Fewer Tickets - for a While

In early June 2016 LADOT installed large No Right Turn On Red signs (not electric) along Canoga Avenue, and the figures for June and July (see the spreadsheet linked in Set # 2, above) showed a big drop in ticketing.
But in August, ticketing was back up.

In 2014, trees were allowed to cover the Photo Enforced warning signs along Canoga Avenue. 
Photo Page


If your ticket was at a location where ticketing has recently jumped up, and you think that the intersection is dangerous, confusing, or just a ticket trap, please contact me.




Docs Set # 7
The Trap in Watts - Will There Be Refunds?


In the middle of 2016 ticketing by two cameras in Watts suddenly increased by more than a factor of ten. 
On Feb. 27, 2017 David Goldstein of Channel 2 broadcast a report (archived copy) about the camera on westbound Century at Grandee (the Metro tracks).  On March 2 Channel 2 reported (archived copy) that here could be refunds of tickets issued there.  From the article:
On Wednesday, (Mayor) Garcetti, who is the first vice chair of the MTA Board Of Directors,
told CBS2 that wrongfully ticketed drivers should “absolutely” get their money back.

“I would encourage MTA to refund those dollars, and for the sheriff to stop issuing those
tickets until it’s fixed,” Garcetti said. “Certainly I would vote for that as an MTA leader.”

Even
Metro seemed to agree that there should be a refund, when the March 2 edition of its in-house blog used the title of Goldstein's Feb. 27 article as a sub-headline:
"Hundreds of motorists were likely wrongly targeted by cameras at LA intersection."
 As of late June 2017 Metro had not announced a refund. 

If your ticket was at a location where ticketing has recently jumped up, and you think that the intersection is dangerous, confusing, or just a ticket trap, please contact me.




Docs Set # 8
Local Attractions Near the Metro Orange Line Busway

Restaurants:  Asanebo, Black Market Liquor Bar, Bow & Truss, Brandywine, Mistral, Sushi Katsu-ya,

Shopping:  Ventura Boulevard, Canoga Avenue, Topanga

Other:  Universal Studios, Warner Brothers




Docs Set # 9
More Coming


There may be some more information posted in the next few weeks.  Mark your calendar to remind you to come back here and look!




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