Transportation headlines, Friday, September 6

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. Have a transportation-related article you want included in headlines? Drop me an email

And don’t forget, Metro is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

Editorial: clock is running out for real CEQA reform (Daily News)

The editorial takes the Legislature to the woodshed for — once again — failing to pass a bill that would make it more difficult for opponents to block projects they don’t like with lengthy court challenges of environmental impact studies. Instead, the Legislature has been pursuing bills exempting certain projects, such as a new arena for the Sacramento Kings, from CEQA review. It’s a good editorial and I think the Daily News is right: CEQA is a great idea gone awry. The result: endless rounds of studies that result in nothing getting done.

Rail car maker Kinkisharyo to move U.S. headquarters to El Segundo (Daily Breeze)

The move was prompoted by Metro exercising two options to purchase more light rail vehicles from Kinkisharyo, which was previously based in Massachussetts. The headquarters will add about 25 jobs in El Segundo in addition to the 250 jobs in Palmdale, where the company plans to assemble the light rail cars, reports the Daily Breeze. As the story notes, some other high-profile companies have left our region — so it’s nice to see one coming in.

Audio bus ads: too intrusive or too much money to pass up? (The Atlantic Cities)

This is different than TransitTV. The ads play every few stops. They’re short — 15 seconds. And they tend to promote businesses near a particular bus or train stop. And they’re done by a firm founded by two transit riders. Atlantic Cities seems to suggest they’re the smart way to go for transit agencies strapped for dollars.

Excerpt:

As things stand, though, audio bus ads seem to reside at the tolerable end of the transit marketing spectrum. Riders can always wear headphones, and audio campaigns might even prompt transit agencies to fix their habitually busted speaker systems. A little annoying? Sure. Demeaning or intolerable? Hardly. If the money is right, and the approach respectful, they might even be the responsible choice.

Agree? Disagree? One comment per customer please.

Records set on Pacific Crest Trail (ESPN)

The view from Kearsarge Pass with Kearsage Lakes at left and Bullfrog Lake in the distance.

Walk, don’t run through the High Sierra. Looking west from Kearsarge Pass — the PCT is just beyond Bullfrog Lake, the furthest lake in the photo. Photo by Steve Hymon

Josh Garrett, a cross-country coach at Santa Monica City College, set the new record for hiking the 2,655-mile Pacific Crest Trail from the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Diego to the U.S. Canada border north of Spokane. His time: 59 days, eight hours and 14 minutes. The new record narrowly eclipsed the previous record of 60 days — which had been set just one day prior.

Pretty remarkable athletic achievement for sure — Garrett was often hiking 18 hours a day or more through some intensely rugged terrain at altitude. That said, whenever I read stories about new trail speed records, I always feel badly for the hikers involved. I can’t imagine practically running through the High Sierra without taking the time to savor the scenery, explore off-trail or go fishing.

5 replies

  1. I think audio ads at stops can actually serve a wayfinding/discovery purpose and be a great benefit. The trick would be, for an agency like Metro that already lists “destinations” in an audio track at stops, how to separate free and paid ads.

    A paid ad could say “Exit here for Restaurant X, and show your TAP card to save 10%” — great benefit to riders and the restaurant, I would assume. But what about USC, the museums in Expo Park, Staples Center, Grand Park and other such destinations that are already present on the audio track? Do they get wiped out in favor of paying companies, or do they get differentiated somehow?

  2. I think at some point it all becomes too much noise and is tuned out. Also, less is more, too much audio every stop has the potential to confuse the rider.

  3. Audio ads on a bus are terrible. I choose every day, as much as I can, to live in my immediate environment. I shouldn’t be punished for that choice by being turned into a captive audience.

  4. There is already TOO MUCH NOISE on MTA buses (and that is just from the passengers!). Transit TV is annoying enough as it is, its program quality SUCKS, and having “neighborhood/bus stop focused ads” just ads to what is already an annoying ride!

  5. How about a trade?

    Mute Transit TV and trade that for short 15 second bus stop ads. No one wants to listen to Transit TV. It’s annoying because it’s loud, is in a constant loop where content doesn’t change, and it doesn’t know when to shut up. Can’t you just mute Transit TV and run it with closed captioning/subtitles instead?

    Then I’ll be for the short voice ads at bus stops. Short ads that change per bus stop is less annoying than Transit TV that runs the same thing over and over and over and over again. Repetition on in-your-face Transit TV is the most annoying thing ever!