Transportation headlines, Monday, November 17

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ART OF TRANSIT: The Eastside Gold Line Extension celebrated its fifth birthday this weekend. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: The Eastside Gold Line Extension celebrated its fifth birthday this weekend. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Garcetti motion encourages affordable housing at Metro stations (Streetsblog L.A.)

A good look at a motion approved by the Metro Board on Thursday that would, most notably, require 30 percent of Metro’s future join developments near rail lines be 30 percent affordable housing. Metro says that about 25 percent of units in residences developed thus far are affordable. Metro’s joint developments are usually on land that was needed for construction.

The motion had some other interesting ideas, including a program to include TAP cards for new residents of such developments and creating a regional loan program to encourage more affordable housing to be built. The motion is part of a wider conversation about preserving and/or creating more affordable units in a region with rising real estate costs and an expanding transit network.

LACMTA ridership — October. 2014 data (Let’s Go LA)  

A thorough breakdown of the latest Metro ridership estimates. As the blog notes, it’s a mixed bag with ridership largely flat although for no clear, obvious reason (the blog posits that gate locking may be a contributing factor as could be cheaper gas and a better economy spurring more to drive). The Gold Line and Expo Line have seen new high estimates while there are dips from peaks seen in the last couple of years on the Red/Purple Line, Blue Line and Green Line. Bus ridership is pretty much the same. Let’s Go LA thinks ridership is significant to consider bus rapid transit on corridors such as Vermont, Western, Santa Monica and Venice.

$18M in windfalls spurs Metro study for expanded toll lanes on SoCal freeways (CBS Los Angeles) 

Coverage of a motion approved by the Metro Board last week, asking Metro staff to study potential freeway corridors where ExpressLanes expansion may work. One clarification: The motion does not specify any particular freeways, although freeways and/or freeway segments must be in Los Angeles County. Metro officials say the program has proven popular, with 265,000 transponders issued, more money raised than expected and an increased number of vanpools and transit riders on buses that use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways.

Win or lose on Sunday, social media is a draw (New York Times)

The article isn’t about transportation. Rather, it largely concerns lousy NFL teams and how they deal with angry fans on social media — and there are certainly parallels to how government agencies and businesses must do the same now that customers can’t let the world know what they’re thinking in real time. Most of the teams agree that taking the “everything is awesome” approach doesn’t work so well when you’re team is being pummeled.

 

6 replies

  1. From the article: Metro officials say the program has proven popular, with 265,000 transponders issued, more money raised than expected and an increased number of vanpools and transit riders on buses that use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways.

    Causation and correlation should be explained better. As an example, the ExrpessLanes on the 10 would not imply that there would be more riders on buses as the old carpool lane used to handle the exact same riders. But it also points to one thing, and that is that the ExpressLanes have actually made the rides longer from the El Monte Station to Union Station, and would be a negative due to the congestion that occurs on the ExpressLane theses days during rush hour, where portions of it are near a standstill. Before the ExpressLane, the congestion was far less than what it is now.

    What your data does say imply is that the economy is improving, and thus, there would be more bus riders. Saying that the ExpressLanes are a net positive to the community would be, IMO erroneous. We should have just kept the carpool lanes as they were and not try to tout the spin that you have.

    My last question is, since we have all that transponder data, exactly who drives them, and in what type of cars? Have they truly become Lexus Lanes?

    • The problem with congestion on the Express Lanes is primarily between Cal State and Downtown LA, where it drops to one lane in each direction while the mainline 10 freeway is six lanes wide. That can be addressed with raising the price on that segment to shoo most of the single passenger vehicles away.

      • Well, the price is nowhere near high enough. I’ve seen it up past $8 on that segment, and the BMWs, Mercedes, etc. all continue to ride it. I suspect that many of them lie, and mark themselves as 3 people so it is free to drive it.

        I’ve also seen it marked as HOV only during rush hour. Guess what? Still, 1 person, and luxury cars on that stretch. It’s a sham, and realistically, ticks me off as it’s not right. The rules for carpool lanes should be strictly enforced but they are still extraordinarily lax.

  2. Do you see LA AFB, CA kick off Vehicle to Grid study? I can’t find any articles to back this up. You can try the LA AFB Public Affairs office. LA AFB is going green.

  3. More affordable housing is definitely needed in LA due to high cost of rents and lack of new homes being built. It’s simple economics really: low supply, high demand = higher prices. No one can afford a home in LA anymore, you need at least $400,000 to buy a decent home in LA. LA’s not going to fix the problem with only a few projects meant for few lucky people. LA County already surpassed 10 million residents and the population keeps growing by the thousands every year. Adding 550 homes is a small drop when what’s really needed is a massive high-density public housing project that brings down prices to more affordable levels.

  4. Convert those new car pool lanes on the 405 to express lane and use the income to fund the light rail the valley is now demanding adjacent to the 405.