Transportation headlines, Friday, Sept. 17

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

El Monte bus station’s last days (SGV Tribune)

Steve Scauzillo of the SGV Tribune writes retrospective on the El Monte bus station, and a piece of architecture he refers to as “something from bombed-out Dresden.” In other words: he was no fan of the old station and is looking forward to its replacement, which is scheduled to open in 2012.

Today’s musical interlude. When I was a kid, Weird Al was everything to me. He still kind of is. Here’s “Another One Rides the Bus”.

If you know of a song prominently mentioning a train or bus or transit, drop us an email at sourcemetro@gmail.com and we’ll add it to our list.

Japan Offers Loan to Build CA HSR Project (CA High Speed Rail Blog)

Japan’s transportation minister announced that his country would provide a loan to help build California High Speed Rail, but declined to mention how much the country would be willing to lend. Japan is now in a competition with China when it comes to pursuing work with the California High Speed Rail project — building the line will be big business for someone. But as the blog notes, Congress seems content to wait this one out rather than jump in the fray with its own funding.

Giving traffic lights a mind of their own (Popular Science)

European researchers say there’s a better way to keep traffic flowing in urban areas. Instead of pre-programming traffic signals in the traditional manner, they suggest a different type of network that allows the lights to talk to one another and adjust based on real-time conditions. Our question: what if the traffic lights get too smart and start taking over the ATMs, etc. Is this the path to Skynet and The Terminator? Just saying…