Transportation headlines, Monday, April 4

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.
A commute too far (Wall Street Journal)

The WSJ uses a Metro employee who has a 174-mile roundtrip-commute (some by car, some by Metrolink) between Temecula and Los Angeles as an example of the 3.4 million Americans who have extreme commutes. And the WSJ doesn’t see that number shrinking soon. Excerpt:

Not only has the recession forced job seekers to widen their search radius, but out-of-reach home prices and households with multiple earners who commute to different workplaces are also major factors in the rise of extreme commuting. “It may not be very green, but the reality militates that most of us can’t live outside the gates of the factory any more,” says Mr. Pisarski.

The article also says that carpooling in the U.S. is way down since 1980 and offers tips to extreme commuters on finding carpool partners and staying healthy.

Desert Xpress feels like monorail redux (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Columnist Adrienne Packer recalls some of the promises made about the monorail in Vegas before it opened — specifically it would reach downtown and the airport and be a financial success. But ridership has dropped in the past couple of years and it costs $5 a ride. Packer hears similar promises being made about the proposed bullet train between Vegas and Victorville and wonders why anyone in Vegas traveling to L.A. would buy a rail ticket and then endure the expense of renting a car in Victorville to complete their journey.

SF Muni’s on-time performance slips slightly (S.F. Chronicle)

In the last quarter of 2010, the Muni’s on-time performance dropped to 71 percent — meaning 29 percent of buses, light rail and streetcars showed up four minutes late or more or more than one minute early. Officials say that one reason for the dip may be that some of the routes most recently analyzed are also more prone to being late because of regular delays along the way. Metro’s on-time performance was 77 percent in January and just under 75 percent in February, when weather may have been a factor. That’s up from 60 percent two years ago.