U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spent Thursday trying to persuade House Republicans to appropriate money for California’s bullet train plan. Republicans say the train is too expensive and won’t attract private investors; LaHood says it certainly won’t get private dollars if no government money is forthcoming.
Our view: give toll road drivers a break (Daily News)
The editorial board of the Daily News says fines incurred by motorists who use the ExpressLanes on the 110 without a transponder should be forgiven until after the holidays. The Daily News also says that 12,000-plus citations issued in the first three weeks of the ExpressLanes is proof Metro needs to do more outreach.
Turning Measure J’s defeat into victory (Move LA)
The transit activist group has a nice piece on their website explaining that Measure J was essentially a Plan B to accelerate transit projects. Plan A was to persuade Congress to fully adopt the America Fast Forward program, which consists of both federally-backed loans and a bond program that supplies lenders with valuable credits to lower their taxes. The loan program was adopted by Congress but Republicans had issues with the bond part — and the bond part, quite frankly, had the potential to supply more dollars to agencies such as Metro. In the post-presidential election world, however, Republicans may be reconsidering the bond program as a way to have a jobs strategy and reduce direct government spending on transit projects. We’ll see!