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.
Newsflash!: Metro names Joshua L. Schank as its first Chief Innovation Officer. Here’s the news release.
Art of Transit/Art of Supermoon Eclipse:
One of these days I’m going to learn how to use a compass! Between the clouds last night and the moon not rising exactly where I expected (or wanted) it to, I got some half-okay pics. The first three were taken on Hill Street on the bridge over the 101 freeway and the last one was taken after I had given up and returned home to the 91106. How did the pros do? Check out the pic from D.C. below? If you have an eclipse pic that somehow includes a Metro bus, train or facility, please share it on our Instagram or Twitter streams.
The headline is a bit misleading as Metro and its Board of Directors has not yet released a breakdown of how money from a potential ballot measure would be spent. Nor has the agency’s Board decided on which projects would be included in an update to the agency’s long-range transportation plan or a potential ballot measure to help fund that plan.
To further explain and/or clarify a few other points:
•As the story notes, a new half-cent sales tax for 40 years and a continuation of the Measure R half-cent sales tax beyond its mid-2039 expiration date would result in about $120 billion of tax revenues.
•In early discussions, Metro has looked at spending half the revenues for multi-modal capital improvements and Metro has been asking the various subregions in Los Angeles County and other stakeholders on their priorities for transportation improvements in their areas.
•Also in early discussions, Metro has looked at spending half the tax revenues on local return to the 88 cities and unincorporated areas of L.A. County, transit operations, state-of-good repair and needs for regional transportation facilities.
•The type of transit has not yet been selected for the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project, although in very early studies Metro has looked at a rail tunnel.
As the Daily News notes, there has certainly been discussion in the San Fernando Valley about what projects it should seek and the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments has shown interest in a Sepulveda Pass rail project, a rail project on Van Nuys Boulevard between the Sylmar Metrolink Station and the Orange Line and converting the Orange Line from a busway to a rail line. But it’s far too early to say which projects may end up in a ballot measure — and how many transit projects in our county a potential ballot measure could accommodate.
Stay tuned please. The local COGs, stakeholders, Metro staff and the Board will be looking at all these issues in the coming months — with no final decision on a potential ballot measure until late next spring or early summer. As information comes in, I’ll post it on the Source so that voters and taxpayers know exactly what is being proposed.
Richard Conniff purchased a diesel-powered Jetta in 2009, thinking he was doing some good for Mother Earth. Now he’s feeling a lil’ betrayed:
For the rest of us, we need to acknowledge that some of our favorite phrases — “clean diesel,” “green car” and apparently also “corporate responsibility” — are just a contradiction in terms. But that shouldn’t let us off the hook either. Every time we complacently accept some company’s green-scamming promises, we allow ourselves to become the gullible partners in crimes against one another, and the Earth. And that makes us all just a nation of willing fools.
Quasi-related: I sometimes hear people refer to the CNG on transit buses as “clean natural gas.” CNG actually means compressed natural gas. Yes, it’s certainly cleaner than diesel fuel that used to power transit buses. But it’s still a fossil fuel that results in greenhouse gases. That’s why folks are excited about the prospect of electric buses — the cleaner the electricity, the cleaner the buses.
A quick update on Metro’s quintet of electric buses: Testing of the buses ran from June 15 until mid-August, with about 6,700 miles driven on the buses. In mid-August, the buses were sent to the BYD factory in Lancaster for upgrades, modifications and retrofits based on the testing and the buses are expected to be returned to Metro in the next few days for more testing. One of the buses is being retrofitted with a safety barrier for the operator and closed circuit television — with the other four buses to get those upgrades.
The state agency building the bullet train is studying potential routes between Burbank and Palmdale. Area residents have already said they don’t like a surface route that would have more-or-less followed the 14 freeway through the San Gabriel Mountains so the Rail Authority is looking at three routes that would be mostly or fully underground.
The advantage of a tunnel: a more direct route. The disadvantage of a tunnel: it could be more costly. The U.S. Forest Service is asking the public whether it should grant permission to the Authority to conduct the drilling tests on existing forest service roads. Assuming that happens, a draft environmental study for this segment of the line is scheduled for release in mid-2016.
Guest editorial: a fair road tax (Streetsblog LA)
Richard Risemberg responds to LAT columnist George Skelton’s recent proposal that cyclists start paying their fair share for road repairs; Skelton was upset a road closure for a bike race prevented him enjoying a weekend getaway to Tahoe. Risemberg’s response: cyclists are already paying for road repairs with other taxes and, besides, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure is a tiny fraction of what we spend on roads. Good article.
Dodger Stadium Express and the post-season: there are no pitch limits for the bus and the DSE will be rolling in the playoffs from Harbor Gateway and Union Station.
Good luck to the Dodgers, who can clinch the NL West tonight at San Francisco. Assuming they win the division, the Dodgers will play the Mets in the divisional series beginning Friday, Oct. 9. The team with the best record will be the host for Games 1, 2 and 5. The Mets have a 1.5 game lead over the Dodgers at this point.
Things to read while sitting/standing/stuck on transit: the New Yorker published a long profile last week of Claire Boucher, who performs as Grimes and has her follow-up to 2012’s “Visions” coming out soon. Boucher lives in L.A. these days and doesn’t much like driving. I thought some of the anecdotes felt a little thin, but a good piece for Riders of a Certain Age who may not know much about Grimes but had heard and liked “Oblivion.”
Boucher’s perhaps-response on Twitter:
The great video for “Oblivion” is below. Is it just me, or does the synth line in U2’s “Invisible” — released last year — sound kind of like this one from 2012? 🙂
Some recent How We Rolls:
Sept. 25: Regional Connector 1st/Central Station update, Gold Line beyond Azusa, mega-rents in L.A. and mega-drought impacting our native chaparral in the mountains.
Sept. 24: Metro considers bus stop ‘thinning,’ personal pod transit nonsense, things to read on transit, baseball stats and the Dodger Stadium Express.
Sept. 22: New York subway’s ‘pizza rat,’ more on China’s bid to build high-speed rail to Vegas, a motion that seeks to make college/vocational TAP cards easier and cheaper to obtain and books versus tablets on transit.
Sept. 21: L.A.’s mobility plan, things to listen to on transit, sins of two carmakers, bike riding along the L.A. River.
Sept. 18: My so long to long-time Metro flack Marc Littman, will it take China’s dollars to finally build a train between L.A. and Vegas and a horse rides light rail in Ireland.
Sept. 15: Trying to find a route for a light rail line between Union Station and Artesia, parking at Bakersfield’s bullet train station to-be and a rider revolt against the Washington Metro.
Sept. 2: the Summer Olympics 2024 and transit edition.
Categories: Transportation Headlines