Transportation headlines, Wednesday, January 29

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Talking headways podcast: rail to LAX? (L.A. Streetsblog) 

The Streetsblog podcast discusses connecting LAX to the Metro Rail system — and last week’s Board discussion about whether rail should go all the way to the terminals or to a people mover. The people mover gets some love, btw. The airport segment is the first one on the podcast and there is also talk about trains and airports in general that’s interesting.

The revival and future of public transit in Los Angeles, part one and part two (transport blog NZ)

This New Zealand-based blog takes a nice look at the recent history of rail expansion in Los Angeles County — and all the distances are in kilometers, a nice tactic I may borrow to make everything sound even more grandiose.

My favorite part of the post is this reader comment:

Dave B

Very interesting to read this, having made a recent trip to Los Angeles myself, and made a point of using the rail system as far as possible. The trip from LAX to Union Station required four stages/three changes: Free shuttle bus, Green line, blue line, then red line, so it was not the fastest transit. However what impressed me was the cheapness of travel. US$1.00 to purchase a TAP-card which could then be loaded with credit. $1.50 per single ride anywhere within the metro area (bus or train), or $5.00 for day-pass.
Auckland and Wellington overpriced PT fare-setters please take note!!

And clearly visible was the proposed branch-off point for the spur to LAX airport on the Green Line. Unfortunately this line does not go to the city centre (or allow for through-running onto the Blue line which does), so unless something changes, the city will still not be accessible from the airport without a change of trains. The system is clearly still a work-in-progress, but an exciting and inspirational one, given how it had to claw its way back into existence from nothing just a couple of decades ago.

DOT chief: Obama transportation funding proposal ‘bold’ (The Hill)

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx praises his boss’ proposals in the State of the Union speech to close tax loopholes and use the money to pay for infrastructure improvements. President Obama also briefly urged Congress to approve a multi-year transportation funding bill in 2014 — the current one expires later this year. Others say the President largely skirted the issue and didn’t address the need to raise the federal gas tax in order to keep up with federal transpo expenses.

New ranking of best U.S. cities for public transit (WalkScore)

Los Angeles ranks ninth, one notch below Baltimore and slightly ahead of Portland, Oregon. The ratings are based on the average resident’s accessibility to transit. Empty calories, IMO, but fun to ponder in combination with the walkability ratings.

Who’s to blame for Santa Monica’s traffic hell? Readers weigh in (L.A. Times)

Somewhat mixed views from readers on the impact of bike lanes and some downright negative views on new residential developments in Santa Monica and Pasadena.

And this laugher: one reader says she visits Old Town in Pasadena less often because of traffic on Colorado and lack of parking. Hint: there are several other east-west streets that can easily be taken into and out of downtown Pasadena, such as Walnut, Union, Cordova and Del Mar. As for parking, there are almost always meters available on Raymond and Fair Oaks next to Central Park, a five-minute walk to Colorado.

And not speaking of transit….could KISS have been any more terrible the other night at the Kings-Ducks game? Too bad because I was quite fond of them back in the days of yore, by which I mean the 1970s. Here’s a fun piece of nostalgia for those who need a work break:

6 replies

  1. Would the Green Line spur connect to the Crenshaw Line? Which direction does this spur branch off from?

  2. Hmm. On the subject of best transit towns, I’d put Chicago ahead of both Washington and Philadelphia.

    And on the subject of LAX, I’ve always said that having the Crenshaw Line stop abruptly where it meets the Expo Line (which, by the time it opens, will be the west end of the Gold Line), without actually going downtown (much less to Union Station) is one transfer too many for it to actually serve LAX passengers, and two transfers too many for anybody trying to get themselves, and their luggage, between LAX and Union Station.

    • This is awesome. The part with KISS starts at the 26 minute mark. This actually makes the lip syncing the other night look pretty good.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source