The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is holding a series of public hearings to obtain input from citizens on proposed service changes to metro bus lines.

Locally the transit agency is proposing the following:
* Reduce the frequency of Line 40 and add larger capacity buses
* Modify route 620 to serve First Street and Mott Avenue
* Assign smaller capacity buses to route 710 and increase the frequency
* Put smaller business on Line 740 and increase frequency
* Modify route 202 to serve a new shopping canter on Alameda Street across from the Metro Blue Line Artesia station.
* Modify the route of line 607 to serve the Ladera Center at La Tijera Boulevard and Centinela Avenue.

These changes are in addition to those proposed to take place in December. Implementation of those modifications were delayed in order to give the MTA an opportunity to complete an equity analysis for the Federal Transportation Authority (FTA).

MTA was one of two bus systems in the country that last year was subjected to a civil rights audit under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The other was Atlanta’s MARTA system.

The review was prompted by a civil rights complaint filed by the Bus Riders Union that accused MTA of discrimination against the poor and people of color.

The MTA says it is proposing some of these latest changes (Line 740, for example) because of anticipated reduction in bus passengers with the opening of the Exposition Light Rail. Other changes are being proposed, because the agency said the passenger traffic is not heavy enough to support the larger buses (i.e. Line 710).

Any changes that are made are expected to go into effect June 17 or later.

The hearings will be held today at 2 p.m. at Salt Lake Park Community Center, 3401 E. Florence Ave., Huntington Park; Feb. 10 at 9:30 a.m., Inglewood City Hall, One Manchester Blvd., Inglewood; and Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in El Monte City Hall East, Council Chambers, 11333 Valley Blvd., El Monte.