Transportation headlines, Monday, Nov. 23

The first item that caught my eye on today’s transportation headlines was a post by Dakota Smith at Curbed LA on Friday afternoon on Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz’ ongoing study of a personal rapid transit (PRT) system to span the Sepulveda Pass.

Koretz, who represents parts of the Westside and the San Fernando Valley, talked about such systems during his council campaign last spring and even brought it up during a debate that I co-moderated in May.

Without going into great detail, the basic issue involving PRT systems is that they rely on small pod cars to whisk people to their destinations — the above video shows the PRT system built at Heathrow Airport in London to connect one of its terminals to a parking lot. PRT may sound great but it has never caught on as a substitute for mass transit for long trips because rail cars or articulated buses can carry a lot more people; for example, Metro officials say that a subway train can carry 800 people at once.

The other thing worth noting is that the Measure R sales tax increase approved by voters last year includes $1 billion for a transit project along the 405 corridor to connect the San Fernando Valley to the Westside. The type of project has not been determined — it has yet to be formally studied by Metro (Koretz does not serve on the Metro Board). That said, it’s also worth noting that PRT has never been considered by Metro as a worthy option on any of the transit corridors it has already studied.

Although a bit on the wonky side, I found myself nodding in agreement with an opinion piece in the Detroit News arguing that more federal stimulus money should be spent on mass transit. More jobs would be created and more public good would be done than filling potholes, writes author Kathryn Phillips of the Environmental Defense Fund.

The rest of today’s headlines are after the jump.

Blue Line Commuter Passengers Face Delays Because Of Construction Work [Today]
Los Angeles Times

Bus-Rail Debates In A Beautiful Abstract City, And In Los Angeles
Human Transit

California Budget’s Going To Be Dreadful
Los Angeles Times

Canada-USA High Speed Possibilities
Trains For America

Commentary: Redirect New Infrastructure Stimulus Toward Mass Transit
Detroit News

Compromise In The Air For Downtown Connector, Expo Phase II
LA StreetsBlog

Kick Off Set For Gold Line Extension To Azusa
Sierra Madre Weekly

L.A. Central Faces Foreclosure: $1 Billion Project Was Envisioned As Retail Counterpart To L.A. Live
Los Angeles Downtown News

LA Transpo: How About Some Good News?
CityWatch

Little Tokyo Wary Of Proposed Light-Rail Connector Line: The Community Fears That Construction, Noise And Hundreds Of Daily Trains Could Ruin Business And Property Values, But Metro Has Offered Up An Underground Plan That Seems To Be Easing Concerns
Los Angeles Times

MacArthur Park Gentrification Watch?: Westlake Theatre Plan Moves Forward
LA Curbed

Metro Unveils New Regional Connector Plan: Little Tokyo Working Group Endorses New Concept For Metro Regional Connector
Rafu Shimpo

Metrolink Delays Vex Riders And Officials
Riverside Press-Enterprise

San Gabriel Valley Cities Eye Measure R Funds To Replace Dwindling Transit Revenue
Pasadena Star-News

Senate Health Bill Holds Onto Grants For Healthier Transportation
DC StreetsBlog

Senators Push To Restore Federal Highway Funds
Wall Street Journal

Some On Metrolink Board Question Leadership Of David Solow
Los Angeles Times

Tracking The DASH Online
LA Metblogs

Traffic Solutions: Councilman Studying Elevated Podcar System
LA Curbed

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