ART OF TRANSIT:
Newsflash!: proving that jinxes don’t exist (see previous installments of HWR for our Dodgers playoff predictions long before it was certain) the Dodgers last night clinched the NL West, securing their place in the NL Division Series with a shutout win over the loathsome Gigantes de San Francisco.
Next up…the New York Mets.
That means we’ll have more Dodgers Stadium Express for you beginning either Friday, October 9 or Monday, October 12, depending on which team wins home-field advantage. The New York Post and CBS Sports have spotted the Twitter beanball contest and lobbed their own insults, aimed (not surprisingly) at the West/Best Coast. As Yoda might say, jealous they are. The L.A. Times has taken up the cause and responded.
A guest post at Streetsblog explores the reasons why Metro should partner with ride-share services like Uber and Lyft to supplement its transit service. A partnership could extend the reach of the transit network, by connecting residences to transit stations. The goal is to keep the ride share services convenient and affordable enough that it makes sense for people to forgo using their own vehicles for a majority of their trips.
Knowing that many ride-share trips already begin or end at public transit stations and also acknowledging the reality of the sprawling geography of Los Angeles and the limitations of Metro’s most ambitious plans, the author argues ride sharing offers Metro the best chance at reaching the most people. He presents a few ways a partnership could work to streamline the customer experience between ride sharing and public transit. Excerpt:
In terms of physical infrastructure, Metro and city agencies could work together to create “Uberports,” curb space near stations dedicated exclusively for ride-hail pick-ups and drop-offs. The length of such designated curb space would vary based on the station’s level of traffic and availability of parking space. Digitally, Metro (which will bring wireless service to its underground lines within the next two years) could encourage ride-hail company software designers to tailor their apps to detect when a passenger is on a particular rail line and to coordinate pick-ups with a train’s arrival time at a particular station.
My two cents: I can personally say a designated pick up or drop off area and additional signage at transit stations wouldn’t hurt, but would it be a game changer? Unlikely. It’s the ideas that look to utilize realtime technology and flexible promotions — both made Lyft and Uber stand out in the first place — that will have the most success in influencing commuter behavior. And maybe that isn’t too far off…
The stinking problem with L.A. Metro’s seats (Neon Tommy)
In this opinion piece, a USC student complains that the seats on Metro don’t smell too rosy. While the case for using plastic seats over cloth seats has been made elsewhere, aficionados of journalism may notice that the article includes no attempt to quantify the issue, no quotes from other riders and no response from Metro.
We certainly can’t say that Metro’s heavily used buses and trains are always 100 percent clean and odor free. We also don’t feel like this is a particular problem that we’ve noticed.
That said, Metro’s Rail Fleet Services cleans and inspects every rail car in preparation for service the next day. The seats are checked each night and any that are found with graffiti or that are soiled or damaged are changed. The reason they are changed: if cleaned right away, they wouldn’t dry before service the next day.
A few months after the unveiling of a similarly wired bus stop in downtown L.A., the L.A. Great Streets rolled out another new bus stop Monday. The WiFi enabled, cell phone charging bus stops was installed in Historic South Central. Eventually, bus stops along all 15 of the L.A. Great Streets (listed here) targeted for “people-first” makeovers will be getting bus stops with the same amenities.
Metrolink mulls fare policy changes (Progressive Railroading)
Metrolink will hold a public hearing next week to examine potential changes to its fare policies. The discussion comes after the first two months of a reduced fare pilot program showed a 10.2 percent increase in ridership, but a 17.8 percent loss in revenue. The six-month long pilot program on the commuter rail service’s Antelope Valley Line is testing the effect on a 25 percent reduction of regular fares. The other notable fare item up for public discussion is what amounts a $3 station-to-station fare.
Pope Francis lays hands on ailing infrastructure (The Onion)
Sadly, this didn’t actually happen. But it probably should have.
Some recent How We Rolls:
Sept 29: Richard Katz weighs in on the San Fernando Valley’s transit needs, bill signed for hit-and-run alerts on electronic freeway signs, Shell exits the arctic, the N.Y. Islanders new goal horn brought to you by the NYMTA
Sept. 28: Lunar eclipse over Metro, the San Fernando Valley wish list of transit projects, things to read on transit (profile of Grimes in the New Yorker) and an update on the five electric buses delivered to Metro earlier this year.
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. 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. 16: Joe predicts Dodgers win in four games against N.Y. Mets in NL Divisional Series.
Categories: Transportation Headlines