Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Dec. 12

The holidays can bring out the best in us and also in trains, as these photos taken last Saturday in Milwaukee and Chicago show. But as former midwesterners will attest, the beauty that is December is transformed in January to weather not friendly to waiting outdoors for a bus. Another thing for Californians to be thankful for.

CTA Holiday Train, Belmont Station, Chicago. Photo by CTA SMALL 8248719168_123a3a7806_z

CTA Holiday Train, Saturday, Dec. 8, Belmont Station, Chicago/CTA photo

Pasadena hammers 710 tunnel, stops short of opposing it (Pasadena Sun)

Pasadena City Council members on Monday couldn’t garner the five vote necessary to oppose plans for a 4.5-mile tunnel to connect the Long Beach (710) and Foothill (210) freeways, but city leaders will go on record with a litany of questions and concerns about the project.

Opinion: Watch out Metro Scofflaws, free rides coming to an end (Los Angeles Times)

An opinion piece declares “There will always be some holes, though. At the transfer station at 7th Street and Metro Center, passengers are supposed to pay when they switch lines. But the TAP card validators are so discreetly placed that not many people use them.”

Metro Board member Pam O’Connor appointed SM mayor (Santa Monica Patch)

In addition to serving on the Metro Board, O’Connor represents Santa Monica on the Expo Construction Authority Board, which oversees the extension of light rail into Santa Monica. She was recently president of the Southern California Association of Governments. On the city’s website, she describes herself as a “strong advocate for public transit,” an “enthusiastic urban explorer” and regular user of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.

Najarian: Vote for MTA seat was ‘orchestrated’ (Glendale News-Press)

Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian is in a fight for his seat on the Metro Board, after failing to get appointed for another term — an outcome he claimed was orchestrated by officials upset by his opposition to a 710 Freeway extension through Pasadena.

3 replies

  1. I have to disagree with the opinion piece saying that the sole reason we were on the honor system and why we couldn’t use a locked system were due to paper tickets.

    Many agencies were using paper tickets for a long time and they had locked systems that were able to read paper tickets. Boston’s MBTA uses both the paper system and the Charlie Card. Up north in San Francisco, both MUNI and BART uses gates that handle paper tickets and the Clipper Card as well. In Tokyo, one has the option of purchasing paper tickets or use a Suica Card through their gates as well.

    I have to wonder if the writers of these articles have actually ventured beyond Los Angeles to see how mass transit is run in other cities.

  2. The LAT article about the honor system really doesn’t seem to be written by someone who frequently rides Metro. My own informal curious eyes have noticed that a majority of people who “don’t tap” are either metrolink transfers or monthly pass holders who don’t feel the need to tap yet because they aren’t required.

  3. “We’re socializing 1.5 million people to use rail,” Jordan said. “In New York and Boston, they grew up using rail. We’re retraining a whole population that’s still relatively new to them.”

    Umm, do they think Angelenos don’t ever visit other cities in the US like New York and Boston or travel to other cities around the world? How short-sighted is this view?

    We don’t need re-training, it’s Metro taking too long to implement these changes.

    Majority of Angelenos have either lived in other cities and many have traveled to different countries all over the world to experience first hand how mass transit works in other places. We have a diverse community with many different ethnic backgrounds from all over the world as well where family members would go back to their home country once every few years.

    We can adapt pretty fast like “oh, it’s like the system used in London” or “like the good old times back in NYC” or “ok, they’re using the system like in Seoul now,” or “hey, just like Mexico City and Bogota!”

    Metro, we are VERY familiar with different types of mass transit systems. You do not have to teach us or “re-train” us how to do this. We are not stupid, we KNOW how they work.

    Just lock the gates, move to tap-in and tap-out, and do it now. I don’t know why it’s taking forever. I don’t know why we can’t just say “starting January 1st, 2013, all gates are locked and we’re moving to tap-in and tap-out distance based fares, no exceptions, no ifs-and-buts, it’s set in stone. PERIOD.”

    How hard really is it to just do this? Why does it take so long? Government stupidity?

    Much as someone said in the past, government agencies takes forever to get anything done.