Transportation headlines, Thursday, July 12

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription orRSS feed.

Internet sales tax could help solve transportation issues (Boston Globe)

Here’s a well thought out opinion piece from the Boston Globe suggesting that Massachusetts urge Congress to approve national legislation enabling internet sales tax collection and then earmark the revenue for infrastructure spending … including transportation. It’s a great idea and California should consider joining in since, like Massachusetts, we have an internet tax that applies only to online sellers with a connection to our state. As the piece says, “this creates a tax advantage for online and other out-of-state vendors and penalizes local businesses, especially retailers, who not only face price competition from online giants, but also have to charge their customers sales taxes.”

L.A. light-rail junction poses risk (Los Angeles Times)

Today’s L.A Times says, incorrectly and without substantiation, that ongoing work on the junction where the Blue and Expo lines meet is presenting a risk of train derailment. Metro is assuring riders that this is not the case, that there is no derailment issue and that trains are traveling at less than 10 mph through the juncture to ensure that travel is safe.  Metro is concerned about long-term maintenance issues, specifically excessive wear on its vehicles through the sharp curve. The track section in question has been modified to combat wear. Metro and the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees certain rail operations in the state, are closely monitoring the track and also checking rail cars for excessive wear. Neither Metro nor the CPUC would allow trains to operate in an unsafe manner.

New operator takes over Van Nuys FlyAway (San Fernando Valley Business Journal)

A new operator is running the FlyAway shuttle between Van Nuys and LAX. Bauer Transportation Inc. began service July 11 between Van Nuys and LAX. Bauer will operate 117 trips per day and provide an additional 30 trips during holidays and other peak travel times. Why should travelers care? Bauer says it plans to introduce new buses that run on a biodiesel fuel mix and have amenities such as free Wi-Fi, cable TV, power outlets and leatherette seating. No date for the new buses has been set.

7 replies

  1. “Internet sales tax could help solve transportation issues”

    Note again the only thing they can come up with is more ingenious ways to tax the common folk instead of figuring out ways to increase revenues on their own.

    Taxed too much.

  2. I rode the Expo Line last Sunday morning. The train stopped at five consecutive traffic lights on Flower, with virtually no other cars on the road. This is unacceptable.

  3. Gee what a wonderful idea.

    Let’s make the internet small business owner based in Denver, CO whom I buy bicycle supplies from spend the extra cash to ensure taxes are collected from state, county and local levels of California and LA so that Measure R funds can be collected from there too!

    Oops nevermind that now that the small business owner now has to jack up their prices for everybody across the nation because CA and LA wants to collect the sales tax to fund their transit program.

    Government stupidity at its finest. No wonder CA and LA going broke. I wouldn’t be surprised in the next five to ten years, CA will be the first state in the nation to declare bankruptcy. You think the City of Stockton was bad, wait until the wave of City of LA and the State of CA files for Chapter 9!

  4. Taxing internet purchases do more harm to CA than good.

    Opening that door also means internet based businesses in CA will also have to do the same to start collecting taxes for other states.

    We have lots of internet based businesses in CA (Silicon Valley!) and once this law is passed, you’re just going to drive these businesses away to other states that have less tax laws.

  5. The internet sales tax issue is actually an area where a service could help the small website handle the issue. (That is all that I will say about that, think about it for yourself. Maybe one of the web saavy persons out there could start this up as a new little company.)

    California’s current “Use Tax” is a joke. They want me to document every purchase that I made all year and figure if it is subject too the tax or not. Suuurree, the average person is going to do that.

    The VNY FlyAway is something that shows how important the ‘405’ corridor transit project is. Heavy rail from LAX out to the Sylmar Metrolink station with a stop at VNY and express trains (starting at the Metrolink Station stopping at VNY, Orange Line, Purple Line, and LAX). Build the express tunnel capable of 80 MPH or better.

  6. Good luck with the internet tax issue.

    The moment they do this, people will just start buying things direct from China. Try asking online merchants in China to ensure taxes for CA and LA are collected. Yeah right!

  7. Oh hell no.

    Taxing people for purchasing things for items bought and sold in the same area is one thing, but taxing things for goods bought and sold over the internet is going too far.

    What, if I sell something on eBay or Amazon, I’ll have to make sure I have to collect sales tax at the purchaser’s rate? No way am I going to do that nor spend the time to research what that buyer’s tax rate is going to be. And like hell I’m going to be living in California if such a law is passed.

    The moment politicians in Sacramento starts taxing even the internet, a lot of people are gonna moving out of CA. That’ll show them that they can’t just come up with taxes as the almighty solution to solve everything!