Transportation headlines, Thursday, July 14

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.

Jet Blue flights between Long Beach and Burbank sell out (Jet Blue)

The two round-trip flights — for $4 a seat — sold out quickly as the airline looked to use the 405 shutdown/Carmageddon to grab some headlines. Interestingly, the airline’s website says the last flight of the day will take 35 minutes while the others have a travel time of about 15 minutes. There will of course be big-time media coverage of the flights, leading to more free advertising for the airline. We wonder if anyone will do a story about the incredible waste of jet fuel and the high greenhouse gas emissions attributed to jet travel.

Amtrak to surpass 30 million passengers for the first time (The Hill)

Good news for supporters of our nation passenger rail system – it’s expected blast past its record ridership numbers of last year by more than a million passengers. Amtrak’s president attributes the record numbers to smart spending by the federally funded company and a changing populace that’s eager to take advantage of the benefits of rail.

How do you promote transit to new students? (Metro Magazine)

Metro Magazine – a public transit industry periodical – asked colleges and transit agencies serving colleges about how they are promoting transit to incoming students. In California, San Bernardino’s Omnitrans reports an increase in interest about a new free pass program for students. Are colleges in L.A. doing enough to promote transit?

1904 Train Station to Help Connect Watts Towers to the Blue Line (Curbed LA)

The Watts Towers are one of L.A.’s most iconic structures – and they’re within walking distance of a Blue Line station – but despite this, the experience of visiting the Towers has always been a bit lackluster. Curbed LA reports that this may soon change after a grant of $250,000 was awarded to turn the Blue Line adjacent Watts Train Station into a visitors center and create an “artist’s pathway” leading to the Towers.

6 replies

  1. It would actually help to promote Watts Towers by renaming 103rd St Station to something more recognizeable like “Watts Tower Station.” Then people would know “oh, Watts Tower is there!”

    Same with other stations across our Metro System. Pico should be renamed to Staples Center Station, LA Live Station, or LA Convention Center Station.

    You have all these landmarks in LA, it would help transit riders and tourists to get around this city by naming station names with landmarks.

  2. For the JetBlue thing, one should also interview those who took the flight whether all the time needed to get to the airport 2 hours before, being subject to go through invasive TSA screening procedures, waiting for everyone to board, waiting for push back, taxi to the runway, being able to do nothing with your cell phones or anything electronic until in the air, finally in the air for less than 10 minutes where you can finally turn on your electronic device only to turn it off again because it’s about to land, taxi-ing to the jetbridge, waiting for your turn to get off from the single aisle space, is totally worth the hassle of flying between Burbank and Long Beach. And I didn’t include checking bags and retrieving them at the carousel!

    Phew.

  3. Re:How do you promote transit to new students?

    I attended Arizona State for undergrad. The university paid for student passes on the buses and light rail, so while not “free,” it eliminated any marginal cost to students (since you paid for it indirectly through fees whether you used it or not and it didn’t matter how much or how little you used it). So far, light rail ridership has exceeded forecasts.

  4. Obvious, people still have to rent cars when they arrive at airports. That is fine. People always rent cars when they arrive at airports anyway.

    However, our rail system is just like airports. Except Red Line, people have hard time reaching destinations within the vicinity of stations.

    That is similarity between Jet Blue airline and LA rail systems

  5. @I want to drive

    If there was a direct rail connection to the airport you wouldn’t need to rent a car to get around the city.

    That’s something we lack in LA; no direct rail to LAX. The moment we step out of the terminal after collecting our bags, we’re greeted with horrendous traffic that screams welcome to LA, now get yourself a car.

  6. I went to go buy a ticket and, too, realized it was sold out. Kudos to jetBlue for recognizing there’d be a great deal of demand for their services. I doubt many other airlines would have had the foresight.