Transportation headlines, Friday, October 28

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.

Republicans look to give federal transportation funds to states (The Hill)

The Hill’s federal legislation blog reports that Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would transfer control of federal gas tax revenues to the states over a four-year period. By 2017, states would control 80 percent of federal gas taxes, leaving it to them to decide how to spend those funds. This would be a break from the last half century, during which the federal government has established and funded national transportation priorities like the interstate highway system. I’m intrigued, but skeptical: On one hand a state like California might use the funds to invest more heavily in transit projects than the feds would have allowed; On the other, I worry about states investing only in road projects at the expense of more sustainable transportation projects.

Surviving public transportation as a senior (KALW)

Local public radio station KALW interviewed seniors in San Francisco about the benefits and challenges of riding transit. Fortunately for Bay Area seniors, the organization Planning for Elders offers Senior Survival School to help those who are trying transit for the first time or want to know more about the services offered. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, transit is going to play a bigger roll in their lives and also necessitate changes the way transit systems serves their needs. According to advocacy group Transportation for America, “by 2015 more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent.”

Ten questions to ask for a transit line to LAX (City Watch)

Ken Alpern, chair of the nonprofit Transit Coalition attended a Metro presentation on connecting Metro Rail to LAX and has these ten questions that he’d like to have answered about the project — mainly of the political and logistical variety. Here’s a good one: “8) The LAX People Mover Project is approximately 6 months (perhaps longer) behind the timeline of the current Metro Green Line to LAX Project.  Should both projects be completed together, or is it to Metro’s advantage to finish their project first?”

3 replies

  1. Why not build the Green Line to LAX first and officially open the LAX station when the People Mover is completed 6 months later? It’s not like they both have to be built AND finished at the same time. But with Metro finishing first, it does add extra pressure to LAWA to stop dilly-dallying and get serious about the LAX People Mover; the project is not even a hint of the LAX People Mover nor is it listed as a high priority item at LAWA’s LAX Development Project website
    http://www.lawa.org/laxdev/laxdev.aspx

  2. Although it’s true that some states would probably choose not to invest in transit, other states are currently forced to invest less than they’d like in transit now. I’d like to hear a few more arguments on both sides, but it seems to me like a good idea for states to invest in what they prioritize (let’s face it, as much as we love transit, it doesn’t work everywhere.)

  3. As an afterthought, perhaps money should be doled out in this way: determine much gas tax money currently goes to state projects vs. federal projects (ie projects that cut across state lines) and give the amount of money that currently goes to local projects to the states, and keep the rest for the federal government to administer those collaborative projects.

    While I do think states should have more freedom to spend the money how they choose, they’re should probably be a federal organization to head the construction of a national high speed rail network. As well as maintain the interstate.

    (Also, realizing that I’m going both ways on this, perhaps there should also be some way to work merit of projects in?