Transportation headlines, Tuesday, October 22

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ART OF TRANSIT: I spotted this photo, taken in Hong Kong earlier this year, on Flickr and really like the composition, mood and muted colors. It was taken with a Nikon D600. By chance, any Source readers using that camera? Like it or not? Email me with your thoughts. When I finally get around to breaking my D5100, I’m thinking about stepping up to full-frame (on my dime, not yours btw).

City Hall staff kept quiet on streetcar red flags (L.A. Times)

The article suggests that staffers kept mum on the uncertain price tag for the project and used a lower estimate of $125 million when asking downtown property owners to foot part of the bill. The latest cost estimate won’t be available until early next year; a City Hall report recently suggested the true price could be north of $300 million. Proponents of the project worry it could cost the streetcar the federal Small Starts grant it needs to be built. Or, and perhaps worse, an elevated cost could force the project to compete instead for New Starts money for bigger projects. That could spell trouble as the Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension are already due to get New Starts money.

BART, unions end strike with tentative agreement (San Francisco Chronicle) 

The announcement came last night and trains are running this morning, with full service expected to resume later today. “The union offer proposed to allow for work-rule changes regarding technology but to retain rules on safety,” according to the Chronicle. There’s also this:

The union proposal came the day after a train being used by BART managers struck and killed two workers inspecting tracks between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations. Before the strike, BART officials acknowledged they were training managers to possibly operate trains during a work stoppage. Union officials had said that practice is unsafe and filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court to stop it.

How electric vehicles are hitting the race track (Popular Science) 

A good read about efforts to make electric engines competitive with gasoline powered cars. Getting the torque and acceleration needed is one challenge. Reducing weight from batteries is another. My question: how do you replace the noise of the engines if everyone is running electric?:

Which reminds me to inform you that “Rush” is thus far is my favorite film of the year, although “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity” and “In a World” were also quite good.

3 replies

  1. 10 years ago this time, we were in the middle of the 35-day MTA strike. I personally went through all 3 most recent MTA strikes (94, 00, 03). Now when we are at least able to see Metro buses and trains on the streets every day, let’s feel good about that!

  2. The streetcar project is really a waste of money, and takes away funds from other more important projects.

    Streetcars are just not efficient methods of transportation.

  3. StreetCar Schmeet Car. L.A can put stuff in writing and it still doesnt happen. Planning life in the city can be properly annoying. I look forward to the subway hitting La Brea by 2045.