How federal funding fails to match demand for transit in the U.S. (DC Streetsblog)
Streetsblog’s Washington bureau points us to a handy compendium of the nation’s transit projects complied by advocacy group Reconnecting America. The group found, unsurprisingly, “strong demand for transit projects around the country but a dearth of federal support for such projects,” reports Tanya Snyder. In fact, the organization deduced that just those projects in the that are “late stages of engineering and construction alone would ‘connect 3.5 million more jobs to transit [nationwide], an increase of 25 percent.’” I’ve got to think a good chunk of those jobs are along the Westside Subway corridor, right? Here’s the direct link to Reconnecting America’s list, which prominently features forty-some transit projects throughout the Southern California region.
L.A. rolls out clean bus fleet (L.A. Times)
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation – which operates the Commuter Express bus service – has begun to roll out 95 new compressed natural gas buses, reports the Times’ Ari Bloomekatz. The new fleet will replace some buses that are apparently older than I am, including one that’s logged 1.2 million miles – enough to travel to New York and back almost 200 times. New features like reclining seats and triple bike racks should help keep loyal riders and attract new ones.
Amtrak: Record breaking thanksgiving ridership (Railroad.net)
We’re always hearing about how busy Thanksgiving air travel is, so it’s nice to see that Amtrak is seeing ridership gains as well. The national railway saw an 2.2% ridership increase over last year’s Thanksgiving week, requiring the agency to put every train in its fleet into service.
California lawmakers say goodbye to their state-purchased cars (Sacramento Bee)
State lawmakers auto perks have come to an end after several decades, a casualty of the state budget crunch. However, the Bee notes that if legislators simply shift to the typical $.55 cents-per-mile reimbursement rate for state employees on work-related trips, the benefits might actually cost taxpayers more.