Transportation headlines, Tuesday, September 10

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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison!

Hope on the horizon? The Crenshaw Line and the question of jobs (L.A. Streetsblog) 

Coverage of a rally held over the weekend by workers and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, both of whom are hopeful that building the 8.5-mile light rail line will create job opportunities for locals. A project labor agreement approved by the Metro Board and negotiated with local unions is designed to steer some jobs and apprenticeships to those living in economically depressed areas.

But there remains challenges in overseeing how contractors and their foremen hire for these type of jobs. Excerpt:

It isn’t always easy.

Because these potential workers are often truly disadvantaged, things like not having a driver’s license (required for the We Build program), reliable access to a phone, or confusion regarding the process of getting a job in a skilled field can really set them back.

So can the fact that there are so few jobs available.

In fact, the contractor is currently projecting there will only be 350 positions open for work on the Crenshaw Line.

Yep.

350.

It’s a far cry from the “thousands” that elected officials had told people in the area that they would be likely to see.

But, say Metro representatives, people shouldn’t be discouraged.

Metro is dedicated to the PLA model in future projects, and there are many in the pipeline. Because of Measure R, Metro and Public Works will be regularly rolling out new projects for the next 25-30 years. So, even though they might not get hired for the Crenshaw Line now, the best thing workers can do is make sure they are trained and prepared to take advantage of those future opportunities.

There is no doubt that building new infrastructure helps support jobs. It’s a trickier proposition when people start tossing around huge numbers on posters about new job creation. There’s certainly a downstream effect — the manufacturing of parts, for example. Hopefully the PLA will net positive results; I do think it’s more than worth trying.

Broadway streetcar faces $200-million funding gap (L.A. Times) 

The original estimated cost of $125 million could range from $232 million to $327 million when utility relocation work and other costs are factored, according to city officials. Streetcar supporters respond by saying that federal grants and other funds will be found, in addition to the approximately $62.5 million expected to be raised from a tax on downtown property owners near the proposed project.

Here is the city report referenced in the story.

I suspect the biggest challenge for the project will be snaring a sizable federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts program. It certainly can be done, but the particular issue here is that Metro is already pursuing a New Starts grant from the FTA to build the Regional Connector in downtown L.A. and extend the Purple Line further west. So it becomes a question of how much the FTA is willing to invest in downtown. Hey — maybe having an Olympics here will help!

Riding the Dubai Metro is like driving a Porsche (The Atlantic Cities) 

Pretty amazing video — some great footage from the United Arab Emirates. While ridership for the Metro has grown to more than 100 million a year, there is no shortage of love for cars in Dubai. Thus, the video. My Lordy Lord, did you see how wide the seats are on those rail cars?

Angels Flight could be shut down for months, NTSB says (L.A. Times) 

The problem is figuring out what caused the derailment of one of the two rail cars last week and waiting for the NTSB to finish its investigation and issue a report. Could take six to nine months.

8 replies

  1. The Broadway Streetcar project is a complete joke. What would draw more riders would be the use of refurbished PCC or older streetcars. We don’t need ugley streetcars like they have in Portland. I was behind one during rush hour in Portland and hardly anyone boarded it. But go to San Francisco and their PCC’s are packed.

    • The streetcar was crowded on my last visit, although it has been a few years. Ridership has gone up since then. The streetcar in Portland goes through downtown, near Portland State University, and then through the busy Pearl and Northwest neighborhoods. Here are their numbers.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Now show us a comparison of the numbers for Portland vs the numbers for San Francisco “F” Line. I think you will see San Francisco’s project is far more sucessful.

    • Hi Mike;

      You have access to the internet — look it up and perhaps your comments will be more insightful when they’re combined with actual facts.

      Wouldn’t surprise me if the F line’s ridership is higher. It runs through downtown San Francisco and up the Embarcadero to the popular Fisherman’s Wharf area.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • That’s exactly my point. Along with the revitalization of Broadway and the adjacent downtown streets, historic streetcars vs a new ugly streetcars is a no brainier. Why revitalize a area to a look of the past and then throw in a 21st. century travel mode in the middle of it. The 21st century streetcars may fit in traveling through the Bunker Hill redevelopment but not down Broadway. It just does not make sense.

  3. The Broadway Streetcar is a waste of time since it goes in a transit rich area. The Portland Streetcar provides service to an area which was not adequately covered by transit in the past (albeit only half a mile from the Transit Mall, it is a dense area and so needed the service). I hope the Feds fund more needed projects, like the Gold Line Foothill Extension, and not this boondoggle.

    • It will not fit in with the Broadway project which is to transform the area look back to it’s hayday. Then throw in a ultra modern streetcar does not make since.

      And by the way, I’ve seen the Portland streetcar which L.A. is basing their idea on and it’s a ugly looking transit vehicle.