(May 6, 2005, updated with quotes) -- LB Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal has been elected to the governing board of a major government transportation body: the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Councilwoman Lowenthal becomes one of only thirteen members of the board who set policy and budgets for MTA, the second largest transportation agency in the U.S. Its service area is home to nearly a third of CA's residents and the agency has a budget of roughly $2.8 billion.
Councilwoman Lowenthal is expected to take the oath of office later this month.
MTA's governing board consists of all five L.A. County Supervisors, plus four members from the City of L.A. (including L.A.'s Mayor, who becomes board chair in June) plus four reps named by the League of Cities (representing L.A. County's 87 cities excluding L.A.).
Councilwoman Lowenthal was elected from the latter group, nominated by Downey Mayor Anne Marie Bayer at the April 15th meeting of MTA's Southeast/LB Sector City Selection Committee and elected with 97 votes. On May 5, she was confirmed by a vote of the Mayors (or their designees) from the League of CA Cities Selection Committee, comprised of Mayors from 87 cities; a quorum of cities was needed; 51 cities attended and voted for Councilwoman Lowenthal.
[update] In a City Hall release, Councilwoman Lowenthal said:
"I am looking forward to serving on the MTA. The southeast sector of Los Angeles County is facing some very critical issues including adequately providing safe and on-time transportation service to commuters, bus riders, and others who depend on an efficient system. The ever increasing goods movement system will require careful long-range planning and attention to the needs of all the surrounding communities."
Mayor O'Neill said in the release:
"I have known Councilmember Lowenthal for more than 10 years and have always found her to be passionate and committed to serving the needs of the community and the region. As a regional council and transportation committee member of Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Councilmember Lowenthal has advocated on behalf of Gateway Cities ensuring that Council of Government’s proposals were included in the Regional Transportation Plan. Through our combined efforts via the Gateway Cities, many important improvements to the region have been made or are under way. There is more that needs to be accomplished, and I feel confident that Councilmember Lowenthal will be a strong advocate for all the cities in the region." [end update]
The MTA is L.A. County's transportation planner, coordinator, designer, builder and operator of rail and bus service for an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.
Councilmember Lowenthal, who currently chairs MTA's Metro Gateway Service Sector, is a member of Southern CA Association of Government (SCAG) Transportation & Communications Committee, former SCAG Regional Council member and serves on LB's I-710 Oversight Committee.