Art of Transit:
Things to listen to whilst transiting — Judge John Hodgman live at SF Sketchfest
All the cases heard before a live audience are funny. But the capper is the final case involving a 15-year-old teen who wants the Judge to stop his dad from taping weird and scary photos to his bunk bed. Judge Hodgman has a way of flushing out the monsters who live among us and this case is both laugh out loud and in its own weird way touching. View all the evidence here; listen below.
Such races are oldies but goodies. In this one, Take Two dispatched its competitors from Union Station at 8:30 a.m. on a weekday morning. Asked ahead of time who would win, listeners selected the bike. You can listen to the segment by clicking the link above.
And who won?
Jacob Margolis biked there in 65 minutes, while Sue Carpenter drove and parked in the span of 70 minutes. Leo Duran spent 94 minutes using public transportation.
The car took the 10 freeway, the bike went Union Station to Venice Boulevard and took that all the way west before cutting north to the pier and the transit rider took the Big Blue Bus’ R10 route all the way from Union Station to 2nd and Broadway in SaMo — just steps from the Pier.
By now, attentive Source readers are surely jumping from their transit seats and screaming “we want a replay.” The problem is that Take Two is holding its contest before the Expo Line opens from DTLA to DTSM this spring.
How long would the ride take from Union Station to the Pier using Expo? Let’s go to the timetables. From Union Station there is an 8:30 a.m. Red/Purple Line train that arrives at 7th/Metro at 8:35 a.m. At 8:40 a.m., an Expo Line train departs for Culver City and is scheduled to arrive there at 9:09 a.m.
Obviously the segment between Culver City and SaMo hasn’t opened yet, but let’s suppose that takes about 15 to 20 minutes (we don’t have a timetable yet) to travel those 6.6 miles. Let’s be conservative and say it takes 20 minutes. That gets an Expo Line rider into the station at 4th and Colorado at 9:29 a.m. and then it’s a very short walk to the Pier at the end of Colorado.
So an Expo Line rider may have won. ‘May’ is the key word there. It would depend on the transfer going well at 7th/Metro. There also could be faster cycling routes and, of course, faster cyclists. Only a pointyheaded geek would mention that biking from DTLA to DTSM is also downhill, although against the wind on some days.
If Take Two is true to the name of its program, it should do a second take on this race after Expo opens! 🙂
UPDATE, 5:13 p.m.: KPCC’s Jacob Margolis just emailed me to say that they want a rematch after the Expo Line opens. Perhaps Jacob’s feeling a little like Appollo Creed after the first fight against Rocky Balboa — “I won but I didn’t beat him”:
Also from Take Two: in this program dedicated to transpo, Take Two reports that Verizon cell service and wifi will begin in the Red/Purple Line subway between Union Station and 7th/Metro at the end of May.
In this op-ed, the former candidate for the Assembly writes that the drop in ridership at Metro and other transit agencies is the reason that voters should reject a potential Metro ballot measure to raise sales taxes by one-half cent and continue the Measure R half-cent sales tax.
Her arguments: the ability of Metro to sell bonds and pay them back with sales tax revenue is sticking future generations with the bill. And, she writes, future taxpayers may not be taking transit given advances in self-driving cars and such. Excerpt:
By then, Metro’s trains may be in the Smithsonian’s collection of 20th century transportation oddities, and people may be commuting in driverless cars that sync up to their calendar apps. But today’s kindergarteners will still be paying those higher sales taxes.
It’s really not fair to stick them with the bill for this era’s politically favored projects. Maybe if we could go back 30 years, we wouldn’t choose to spend $9 billion adding shiny rail lines to a transit system that now serves fewer passengers than it did when it was just a boring bus system.
•I would recommend waiting to see the potential ballot measure’s spending plan before deciding if it’s something you want to support or not at the polls (if it makes it to the ballot). There may be projects or programs that you support. The spending plan, btw, is scheduled to be released in March. A public comment period will follow. The Metro Board of Directors will ultimately decide what’s in the spending plan and whether or not to take any sales tax increase to the voters.
•I think that making a decision on a potential ballot measure solely because of the ’85-’15 comparison is making a decision based on limited info. I personally don’t have a problem with the LAT comparing ridership in 1985 to 2015. I also agree with others who have pointed out that there are other years in which ridership could be compared that would tell a different story.
•With limited amounts of state and federal funds available, the three sales tax increases approved by voters in 1980, 1990 and 2008 helped Los Angeles County begin its rail transit program. Unlike other metro areas around the United States, we had to start from scratch (the last of the streetcars stopped running in 1963) and we had to start from zero in the most populous county in the U.S. The system isn’t finished and there are changes and improvements underway to the Metro Bus network. I think that’s worth considering.
City and residents debate the fate of a lot at 1st and Boyle (Streetsblog LA)
Really interesting story about the empty lot across 1st Street from Mariachi Plaza and the Gold Line station. The lot was the property of the now defunct-Community Redevelopment Agency. Now the city of Los Angeles has a limited amount of time to start a project there due to
But what do residents and businesses want? As Sahra Sulaiman reports from a recent community meeting, there doesn’t seem to be much consensus although most folks say the neighborhood really needs parking. What the what? Isn’t there a Gold Line station right across the street? Well, yes, but boardings at the station haven’t exactly been sky-high and people are driving to the neighborhood from areas without rail transit.
On the plus side, it’s good to hear that Boyle Heights is a regional destination. I’m curious if the Regional Connector will have an effect on Mariachi Plaza ridership. The Connector project will allow for a one-seat ride for people traveling light rail from downtown L.A. instead of having to transfer from the Red/Purple Line to the Gold Line at Union Station.
Read the post. It’s also a sign that even in a big city there remain some pretty good development opportunities in and around downtown. Now it’s just a matter of deciding what to build.
Categories: Transportation Headlines