Transportation headlines, Thursday, May 5

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.

Are Metrolink stations in the middle of nowhere? (More than Red Cars)

A fascinating post tackles the question whether stations for commuter rail are too far from other amenities or housing so that people don’t have to drive to get to the train. The blog analyzed the stations through Walk Score — the website that rates a place’s so-called “walkability” — and found that system-wide, Metrolink stations rate “somewhat walkable.” Fourteen stations rated as “car dependent” and four rated as being in a “walker’s paradise,” with Claremont’s station almost getting a perfect score.

Casting oil upon the waters: the House’s drilling bills (NRDC Switchboard blog)

The headline should provide a hint to where the NRDC stands on the three drilling bills before the House of Representatives this week. The environmental group argues that the bills, in sum, would expand drilling to virtually all American waters and would make regulations more lax than they were before the Deepwater Horizon exploded and then spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico for months last year. “Under these bills, the U.S. would truly be acting like an addict, willing to sell out any principle, dispense with any caution, endanger any asset to get its next fix. Again, these bills ought to be seen as irresponsible even by supporters of increased drilling,” writes the NRDC’s David Goldston.

Volt owners get 1,000 miles between fill-ups (General Motors press release)

This is the car’s manufacturer talking, so that’s the obvious caveat. The key to the statistic is that the Volt can be recharged via electricity and run 25 to 50 miles per charge — meaning on a lot of trips, owners never have to use the vehicle’s gas engine. Owners also tell GM that they visit the gas station once a month, which can’t be good news to the big oil firms — if, indeed, the Volt is the wave of the future.

5 replies

  1. I lived in a transit oriented development for the Buena Park Metrolink Station for a year. It was convenient, but only for metrolink. There were buses that came by, but they didn’t go anywhere really. The development was built and owned by Cal State Fullerton for Faculty and Staff Housing. However, no buses went direct to the university. You had to transfer, and going by OCTA which has much slimmer ridership, buses came once, maybe twice an hour.

    In conclusion, it was okay.

  2. but besides the housing development, there was nothing else to walk to, it was just more houses.

  3. Jack, just curious, but why didn’t CSUF acquire some of the TODs at the Fullerton Metrolink station? There’s a huge condo complex there, and Fullerton is a tremendous hive of activity.

  4. It’s a bit unfair to try to test Metrolink’s walkability.

    After all, they didn’t build the tracks and they share many of their stations with Amtrak.

    Also, Metrolink has little control over whether a “TOD” is actually Transit Oriented or not. Blame the city or the developer if there’s no shops nearby.

    In any case, there’s nothing wrong with park-and-ride Metrolink stations. That’s just the nature of Southern California.

  5. It’s no secret that many Metrolink stations are car-dependent. Stations are basically park and ride facilities.

    Of course, Metrolink didn’t lay the tracks and therefore does not have much of a choice when it comes to walkability. It does not help that the OCTA fails to serve Metrolink stations in any competent way.