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 or RSS feed.
Yes on Measure J (L.A. Times)
The Times’ editorial board endorses the proposal by Metro to extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax for 30 years until 2069 in order to accelerate transit and road projects. The Times notes that not every project may be sped up — it depends on the amount of federally-backed loans that Metro could secure. But the newspaper lists a number of benefits that Measure J could allow: cheaper borrowing, lesser construction costs, the availability of transit projects to the riding public years or decades earlier and more jobs. The editorial board also argues that most parts of Los Angeles County will benefit because traffic is a burden to the regional economy and prevents people from getting to their jobs.
Yes on Measure J: it’s traffic relief in L.A. cheaper, faster (Daily News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
This editorial argues that congested freeways throughout Los Angeles County are one reason to support Measure J, which could speed up transit and highway projects. As for critics of the measure, the editorial board says there are sufficient protections in place to protect funds for a variety of projects.
Editorial: taxing the future for transit today (Orange County Register)
The editorial agrees with a public official from Beverly Hills that Measure J is a cautionary tale for Orange County, where voters in 2006 agreed to extend the Measure M sales tax for transportation projects until 2041. The Register also argues that “Asking now to extend the tax until 2069 is unsupportable given that officials cannot anticipate the technologies and population patterns nearly six decades into the future. The city and school district in Beverly Hills have sued Metro, alleging that the environmental studies for the Westside Subway Extension — which proposes to tunnel under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus — were inadequate.
Transit planner Jarrett Walker’s latest post is fascinating — and highly relevant to any big metro area. He was asked to help overhaul Auckland’s transit system. The result: a new system that includes more frequent service on more routes at more times. The catch? Excerpt:
Only the geometrically inevitable one: more people will have to make connections from one service to another, and the fare system will need to encourage rather than penalise that.Whenever someone tells you that it’s too expensive or hard to encourage people to make connections, ask them how expensive it is to run the only the first network above while spending enough money to run the second. Networks that are designed to prevent transferring must run massive volumes of half-empty and quarter-empty buses and still have trouble delivering frequencies that make the service worth waiting for. The waste involved can be colossal, as you can see from the amount of service we were able to redeploy in more useful ways with this redesign.
As you know, Metro doesn’t include transfers in the cost of its base fares. And as our friends in the media like to say, that raises the question: is that lack of transfer really paying off in terms of revenue and ridership? If you have wise-ness to share, comment please.