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Mayor Appoints Downtown Councilman to Metro Board

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, March 26, 2009, at 10:40AM
Metro Board Appointments Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Councilman Jose Huizar at this morning's press conference announcing his appointment to Metro's Board of Directors.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today appointed Councilman Jose Huizar to Metro's Board of Directors, giving Huizar a powerful platform to push for transportation improvements on Broadway and advocate for the Downtown streetcar.

"I think it's a tremendous boost for the streetcar," Huizar said this morning when asked how the appointment would affect his favorite project. "It helps to think about how the streetcar relates to other transportation systems in the Downtown area, particularly the Connector."

Huizar said that transit, particularly local circulator systems, will play an important role in Broadway's redevelopment. "As we are working on Broadway to build garages for the theatres, we also want to work to make those accessible for people to conveniently drive in from outside of Downtown, leave your car and take a bus, take a DASH or take the streetcar to get around Downtown."

In the fall of 2008 Huizar's office played a key role in pulling together private funding to extend the hours of Metro's Red Line subway on weekend nights in November and December.

Will Huizar use his new role at Metro to push for a wider extension of transit hours?

"Absolutely. One of the biggest obstacles for people to take public transportation is that it's not convenient for them. If they can ride into Downtown on the Metro, but can't get out late at night, it's not helpful. Keeping the routes open later, keeping the subway open later, and doing other things to encourage them to take public transportation, that's going to be my goal."

This morning's announcement took place at Metro's headquarters adjacent to Union Station. Along with Huizar, the Mayor appointed LADOT head Rita Robinson to the board, the first time an acting DOT head has served on the body.


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