Transportation headlines, Tuesday, December 23

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

ART OF TRANSIT:

"Iron horse" vs real horse! Thanks for sharing this photo with us, @aniabown #MetroBlueLine #horsebackriding #cowboy #MetroRail

A photo posted by Metro Los Angeles (@metrolosangeles) on

San Fernando Valley prioritizes highways then bemoans lack of transit (Streetsblog L.A.)

A rebuttal by Joe Linton of the recent Daily News story on officials saying that Measure R is shortchanging the Valley. Joe argues that Measure R didn’t overlook the Valley — citing several examples, including I-5 widening — and that perhaps it’s wiser to invest available and finite dollars in sorely needed transit.

Metro to people charging cell phones: don’t steal our electricity (KPCC)

Three people who were arrested at Metro facilities for other offenses were also charged last year for theft of public utilities. The prospect that people could be cited or arrested led L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti to release this announcement today:

UPDATE ON METRO CELL CHARGING ENFORCEMENT 

LOS ANGELES — Following media reports that three people had been arrested this year for charging their cell phones using outlets at Metro stations, L.A. Mayor and Metro Chair Eric Garcetti contacted Metro staff to end this practice. Moving forward, Metro customers will be permitted to charge their phones unless it causes interference with Metro operations.

“This is simply common sense. I want our law enforcement resources directed toward serious crime, not cell phone charging,” Mayor Garcetti said.

Transit a key in Boston’s Olympic bid (Boston Globe) 

In an attempt to squash fears of a traffic meltdown, Boston-area officials say that no potential 2024 Summer Olympics venue would be more than 10-minute walk from a rail stop. That’s dandy but the article goes on to note that Boston would have to build a main stadium to host the Games, an endeavor expected to cost at least $500 million. In fact, so would San Francisco. Boston and San Francisco are competing against Los Angeles for the right to be the American bid city for the Games. Los Angeles, of course, already has a perfectly nice Olympic stadium, not to mention an expanding transit network.

Washington D.C. is competing, too, but I’m betting that international Olympics officials would rather spend their summer in L.A., S.F. or Beantown.

An upside to high-speed rail: it’s more travel friendly than flying (L.A. Times)

Not exactly a news flash, but I certainly can’t argue with columnist George Skelton who lists all the awful things people must endure while flying — and contrasts those to trains, which are generally more humane on many different levels. Obviously there are still funding issues that must be resolved for the bullet train to get from L.A. to S.F., but a groundbreaking for the first segment is planned for Jan. 6 in the Fresno area. I’m sure there will be a lot more news on that project in the year ahead.

***

This is the last Transportation Headlines of 2015. We’ll back Jan. 5, 2015, and I’m guessing another very busy year is ahead. Thank you to everyone very much everyone for reading, riding, writing and commenting — we really appreciate everyone’s input. We’ll finish off the year on a musical note with a song that came out this year about rivers, subways and all the things that make a city tick.

Happy Holidays,

Steve

 

 

5 replies

  1. […] Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison!  ART OF TRANSIT: San Fernando Valley prioritizes highways then bemoans lack of transit (Streetsblog L.A.) A rebuttal by Joe Linton of the recent Daily News [continue reading] […]

  2. The law being cited regarding the cell phone charging is 498 (B) PC.
    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/498.html
    This is a misapplication of the law by LASD. 498 (B) PC is for theft from a utility of their service. If you bypass your water meter, tap into the gas main, or steal your neighbors cable, this code applies. This does not apply to charging your cell phone at a business at an unsecured outlet, even at DWP headquarters. If the outlet was marked as “Maintance only” MTA and LASD could have a case, but not under this code.

    The Mayor did the right thing.
    But note deeper in the story: http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/12/23/48863/mayor-orders-metro-cops-to-back-down-on-cell-phone/
    “The riders arrested were also charged with other crimes, such as possession of drugs and counterfeit bills, Metro officials said.”

  3. Seriously people, wake up and join the 21st century. There’s a solution for all of life’s simplest needs. If you find yourself finding an electrical outlet all the time, just buy a portable battery charger. You can buy it for less than $20 on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=portable+battery+charger

    http://www.allthosethingsilove.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Fullscreen-capture-1272012-10037-PM.bmp.jpg

    Why are people so stupid when the answers are right there on the internet with less than five seconds on Google search? Are they like bohemians or something?

  4. Re: An upside to high-speed rail: it’s more travel friendly than flying

    Letter to the editor on this article appeared in the L.A. Times of December 26, 2014. One of the letters is from someone who’s name should be recognizable as a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times on the subject of rail transportation for passengers. He is usually completely opposed to it.. .Why high-speed rail might be a target for terrorists I don’t know how long the Los Angeles Times will keep this page up so I don’t know how long the link will be good.

  5. About charging your device at a Metro station … Actually, setting up some charging stations at a few selected Metro locations (ahem, Union Station) would be a very positive thing for Metro to do because:

    1. It will improve customer satisfaction by mitigating the frustration of having to wait a long time for a transfer — the longer you wait, the more you benefit. It also ensures that customers will be entertained (and therefore less likely to get into trouble), and that customers won’t deplete the charges in their devices whilst checking the Go Metro app for real-time arrival updates …
    2. It’s environmentally friendly, even if the power isn’t “green”. After a long day at work, I often charge my device during the evening, when electricity usage tends to peak. Now that solar is becoming a significant part of California’s electricity mix, energy is more abundant at mid-day, which is when the waits for transfers tend to be longest and people are more likely to be charging devices. Admittedly, it’s a very small amount of power, but it is being shifted from peak to non-peak usage times.
    3. If Metro does it, maybe Metrolink will consider it for their stations and their trains. A 4-hour round trip commute on Metrolink can really drain your device of charge. It would be nice not to have to carry around an extra battery just to be able to get some work done on the way home.

    I have nothing against the beautiful artwork in Metro stations (thanks, Metro, for making our trips a little more pleasant), but if Metro can install nice artwork, then it can also install a charging station or two …