Company begins removing bus benches in Los Angeles (L.A. Times)
This is first I’ve heard of this: a firm that has about 6,000 benches at bus stops in L.A. has begun removing them because its contract was not renewed with the city. The firm, Norman Bench Advertising, made money through advertising. But city officials are’t happy that the company wouldn’t disclose how many benches it has or how much money it was making from the ads on them. The company did not return calls to the Times. It’s worth noting that bus stops are the responsibility of the city in which they’re located.
No more fumbling in the wallet: a fare card you can wear — in London (The City Fix) Check out these two conceptual versions of “fare cards” for the London transit system — one is a ring that can be worn, the other can be slipped onto a watch wristband. An art student came up with the idea, which I think is a good one.
Editorial: train speed racing up at high-speed (Orange County Register) Although the state bullet train project has a planned stop in Anaheim, the Register’s editorial board is skeptical the train will ever arrive. They point to increased cost of building the first segment in the San Joaquin Valley and wonder where — or if — the tens of billions of extra dollars will come from to get the train to San Francisco or Anaheim.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is urging California not to abandon the project because of elevated cost. But there’s no word if the feds will kick in more money to help finish the project.
Bike sharing can save lives (KCET So Cal Focus) Fascinating post about a study in Barcelona that found participants in a bike sharing program there had a lower mortality than those who drove. Bottom line: The increased exercise and lower air pollution compensated for the cycling accidents that resulted from having more bikes on the road.
In a speech at a car battery plant in Michigan, the President said that a new multi-year federal transportation spending bill would create jobs. The House and Senate have both produced outlines — drastically different, of course — of a bill. Metro is watching closely because both the House and Senate have included some of what’s needed to make America Fast Forward into law. It’s also worth remembering that the last federal transportation bill was passed in 2005 and was supposed to be renewed in 2009. Congress has just been extending that bill for the past two years due to politics.