Transportation headlines, Thursday, July 11

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

High Desert Corridor concepts unveiled (L.A. Daily News)

Transportation officials unveiled Wednesday various concepts for a proposed High Desert Corridor from the Antelope Valley to San Bernardino County that would allow travelers to bypass some of the busiest freeways in Los Angeles County and potentially link with the California High Speed Rail project to Las Vegas.

Alhambra hosts 710 Day (Glendale News Press)

While anti-freeway activists have dominated the dialogue over efforts to extend the Long Beach (710) Freeway northward, the city of Alhambra launched the first salvo on Wednesday in its campaign to drum up support for the extension.

San Bernardino County officials say bus rapid-transit system nearly completed (San Bernardino Sun)

As Metro works on a BRT down massively jammed Wilshire Boulevard, others are doing likewise. Construction of a $192 million rapid-transit bus system through 15 miles from  San Bernardino to Loma Linda may be completed in a couple months, with service beginning in 2014. Metro’s Wilshire Boulevard BRT will stretch from Valencia Street to Centinela Avenue. The first 1.8-mile segment of peak hour bus lanes on Wilshire opened June 5.

Rail link to Ontario airport studied (Press Enterprise)

San Bernardino County transportation officials agreed Wednesday to spend nearly $600,000 on a study of potential ways to provide rail access to the LA/Ontario International Airport. As most readers know, Ontario has suffered a significant downturn in airline traffic — something a rail link would quite likely positively influence. 

12 replies

  1. A rail link could actually have a negative influence on airline traffic: it depends on who pays for the rail link. If it increases the airport’s costs then fares might go up, and consequently traffic will decline.

  2. The 710 Day festivities unfortunately have the appearance of tainting Metro’s process. What if BRT or LRT turn out to be a better solution for the corridor? (In particular, BRT would be a lot cheaper, have less impacts on the community, and offer transportation benefits to lower income people who are more transit dependent.) At this point, all of the alternatives are supposed to be treated equally until the EIR is released, and then people can compare the pros and cons of each option.

  3. It would be great for the 710 tunnel to have BRT. My commute on the 485 is interminable as it is.

    As for Ontario, for all the talk of extending the Gold Line, it would be much cheaper and pay off better if Metrolink had a branch line to Colton; as the rail line is today, it could stop right in front of the terminal!

  4. And with the regional connector being built, one can now travel all the way from Venice Beach to Ontario Airport, a whopping 60 miles of travel for $1.50, while someone who wants to go from MacArthur Park to Staples Center, a 2 mile worth of travel, to cost $3.00 because it involves a transfer.

    Brilliant!

  5. A rail line from Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station to the airport is the best bet for SB. Since the SB Line is the most traveled line in Metrolink system it has the most scheduled trains. How many travelers use the line that is on the south side of the airport? The Riverside Line Metrolink line should continue to be service by a bus.

  6. Sixty miles for $1.50? This is getting ridiculous. I’m beginning to agree with others that we need some kind a distance based fare reform plan, especially if it’s proven to work elsewhere. It makes no sense that those with shorter rides that involves a transfer has to pay $3.00 while another traveler going all the way from Venice Beach to Ontario Airport can get by with $1.50.

    How often does one have a need to go from Venice Beach to Ontario Airport anyway? If someone wants to go from Venice Beach to Ontario Airport, they can pay the fair distance value of sixty miles. Five bucks would be more than a fair price to travel the full length of the 60 miles from Venice Beach to Ontario Airport.

  7. I think rapid transit like HRT, LRT and BRT should be imagined systematically. Come up with the ideal, future rail sytem for the county, put in on a map, and strive for that. Corridor piecemealing (like 710 LRT) is serving a small group of people, and serving them inadequately. What does it connect to? How does it fit in or benefit the rest of the METRORail and Bus sytem? Will you have to transfer from 710 LRT to one or two other services to get to where you want to go (therefore defeating the purpose of bridging this gap)?

  8. We definitely are going to need fare reform, and we need it now if Metro is planning to extend its outreach beyond LA County.

    The existing fare structure is like a cell phone company giving only two choices: “pay-per-call” no matter how long or short the call is, like costing $1.50 per call whether it’s a short voice mail check or a long call to your family and friends, or a unlimited calls monthly rate of $75 a month. Pick one or the other, and the bad thing about it is that there is absolutely no guarantee it will remain at that rate. There is no pay-by-the-minute option which is what most people are better off with because it’s the most fairest way for everyone to be charged for a call.

    Metro operates exactly like that. A choice between a $1.50 per ride no matter how long or short the ride is versus a $75 a month unlimited ride plan, with absolutely no guarantee it will remain at that rate. There is no pay-by-the-distance option which is what most people are better off with because it’s the most fairest way for everyone to be charged for travel.

    The $1.50 per ride versus a $75 a unlimited rides a month plan might be okay for small, compact cities like New York and San Francisco, but if Metro is going to be expanding its presence all the way out to Ontario Airport which is over 60 miles away from our shorelines and not even within LA County to begin with, it’s becoming more and more irrational to keep the fare structure as we have today.

    And there’s no guarantee it’s going to be $1.50 per ride or $75 a month forever. At what point do we say that this is insanely a dumb idea? When fares costs $5.00 a ride or $200 a month?

  9. Metro offers a lot more than just two choices! There is a day pass, 7-day pa, and stored values — in addition to single fare and 30-day pass. There are also senior, disabled, and youth discounts. If you think that there should be zone charges, or short-distance-discounts, fine, but it’s hardly as dire a situation as some are making it seem.

  10. George H:

    New York: 303 sq. mi.
    Base fare: $2.50
    Transfers: one free; 2 hour validity
    30-day unlimited pass: $112
    Longest single ride: 31 miles (A subway)

    San Francisco: 48 sq. mi.
    Base fare: $2
    Transfers: unlimited free; 90 minutes validity
    Monthly unlimited pass: $66
    Longest single ride: 24 miles (91-Owl bus)

    Contrast with London, where single-ride fares range from $2.11-$12.99 (that’s if you use an Oyster Card; cash fares are higher).

    Prefer to drive? Unleaded gasoline in the UK is currently averaging around $7.72 a gallon, and central London’s daily congestion charge is $15.10.

    Be careful what you wish for.