Metro to launch nation's first major public transit agency Spanish language blog

It goes without saying that I think this is a very positive development; the more people that government can explain itself to, the better.

With nearly 10 million people, Los Angeles County is a diverse place and about 47 percent of the population here is of Latino or Hispanic origin, according to the Census Bureau. Latinos and Hispanics are now 16 percent of the U.S. population.

How will this impact The Source? In good ways. While both The Source and El Pasajero will have unique content, we’ll also be sharing some content (after, of course, careful translation is done). So that means more unique content on the Metro website and, hopefully, more information on the transportation scene in the Southland.

Here’s the news release issued by Metro today:

Metro on Friday, April 8, will become the first major public transit agency in the nation to launch a Spanish language blog, underscoring the growing influence of Latinos in Los Angeles County.

El Pasajero is an interactive website that will post a steady stream of news and features, photos and video about virtually every aspect of mobility that Metro is involved in from running buses and trains to overseeing highway improvements, bicycle and pedestrian programs, goods movement, vanpools, carpools and more. Timely service alerts and breaking news about transportation will be highlighted.

The spotlight will be on Latinos who represent the largest percentage of Metro customers and Metro employees as well as the county’s population in general.

Edited by Jazmin Ortega, a seasoned Spanish-language news reporter, and a team of bloggers, El Pasajero will take an in-depth look at key issues affecting the Latino community including how to do business with Metro, tracking where Metro funding comes from and how it is spent, the changing dynamics of transit in Los Angeles County after the passage of Measure R in 2008, law enforcement and transit, rail safety, dealing with rising gas prices, fun, affordable family destinations via Metro, dining adventures accessible by Metro, the environment, public art, new technology, joint development, high speed rail and other topical issues.

The daily blog also will offer person on the street video interviews, reader feedback, polls, contests and other interactive features.

“El Pasajero is a must-read for anyone who cares about mobility in Southern California,” Ortega said. “We want to bring a greater understanding of what Metro does and how it’s spending our money to improve transit for everyone, whether we drive on the freeway, ride the bus or rail or bicycle to get where we need to go.”