How We Roll, March 9: Expo ridership, EPA vs CO2, young Blue Line pics

ICYMI: VICE News, which airs on HBO, had an excellent segment on Measure M and the future of federal transpo funding on Wednesday.

ICYMI2: Metro’s Innovation office received an unsolicited proposal for accelerating the conversion of the Orange Line to light rail through a public-private partnership. These kind of deals require a ton of scrutiny and are hard to do, but it’s better to have the interest than not.

Ridership news: The Expo Line had its best month ever, according to Metro’s ridership estimates. Keep in mind that monthly estimates for Metro Rail are generated using data collected over the prior six months.

The way we talk about autonomy is a lie — and that’s dangerous (Fortune)

Want to sit back, read a book or take a snooze or FaceTime with your lovey-dovey while driving? Keep dreaming because that’s probably decades away, writes Jonathon Ramsey, noting that media have used the term ‘self-driving’ liberally and applied it to things such as adaptive cruise control and lane assist technology.

My Subaru has both and they are great features — and they are definitely not self-driving. If anything, both make you pay extra attention to the road unless you have an absolutely unmitigated faith in technology. Which I do not.

Related: three self-driving trucks (with humans still perched behind the wheel) were tested on the 110 freeway on Wednesday, reports the SGV Trib.

Art of Transit:

Some pics of the Blue Line during construction in 1988 from the Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s Flickr page:

SCRTD - Long Beach Light Rail Construction RTD_3021_29

MTA_604

026 LACTC  Blue Line New Cars At The Dock 19890319 AKW

The entire album is here.

EPA chief doubts consensus view on climate change (NYT)

Scott Pruitt said that he doesn’t agree that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change. The US EPA website says “Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere.”

As we’ve noted in the past, generally speaking taking transit instead of driving alone is a way to reduce greenhouse gases that you’re responsible for.

It’s not your imagination: bike share programs are popping up all over the place (Vox)

In 2016, there were about 28 million bike share rides and about 42,000 bikes available in different programs, reports Vox. And the number of bike share programs has grown from four in 2010 to 55.

Those aren’t numbers to sneeze at…but if my math is correct, that works out to about two rides per bike per day across the U.S. I absolutely love the idea of bike share, but I think a lot of cities — including the one in which I’m currently sitting — could seriously boost ridership if there were more bike paths and protected bike lanes near the bike share stations.

Related: Metro Bike Share is coming to Pasadena, San Pedro and Venice later this year.

Metro putting cell service on entire Red Line by end of 2017 (Curbed LA)

Actually, we’re trying to get the work done by year’s end. In the meantime, heads up about buses replacing subway service this Saturday and Sunday between Vermont/Santa Monica and Hollywood/Vine (more here). That’s so work can take place to install cell phone infrastructure.

Pregnant woman gives man ‘decent dude’ award for giving up seat (NBC4)

The best part: she lugged a ‘decent dude’ trophy around for months until finding someone worthy. Men. Ugh.

 

Categories: Transportation News

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7 replies

  1. Steve,

    Any update on the 2017 Long Range Transportation Plan and its timing?

    Expo’s growth continues to impress while some of the other lines are struggling a bit. More credence to those wishing for a Purple Line extension all the way to Santa Monica. In Phil Washington’s latest interview he said that they would continue to study the extension to Santa Monica, but he didn’t seem like it was a high priority for him, which is disappointing. Let’s make sure it’s included in the 2017 Long Range Transportation Plan even if there is no funding as of today.

    • Hey Andrew–

      I think the LRTP is supposed to be coming to the Board in the next few months–I know they want to adopt a new one in 2017. As for PLE, I think what Phil said on KPCC the other day was that there is money in Measure M that could potentially be used for studying a SaMo extension. But I don’t think a decision has been made yet on whether to launch such a study and, quite frankly, I haven’t sensed much interest in it in political circles. I know there has been some talk over the years that it would be wise to get the subway to at least Bundy or Barrington to be closer to a lot more residences and Brentwood proper. But, again, it’s just talk at this point. If you or anyone else thinks a project belongs in the LRPT, I certainly encourage you to get in touch with your elected reps on the Metro Board and pay close attention when the plan comes forth.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. It’s pretty amazing to see how the Expo ridership surged as soon as Metro was able to provide six-minute service in the peak periods. According to my records this schedule change took place on October 23, and weekday ridership demand quickly jumped by 30 percent, and it still appears to be climbing (though it’s impossible to tell for sure because of the six-month averaging). All in all, it seems that the initial opening of Expo Phase 2 resulted in a ridership bump of 15,000 weekday riders (from 30,000 to 45,000), but this was quickly followed by a decline of 3,000 daily riders as a result of the service issues, especially the over-crowding problems. Now that Metro is providing six-minute peak headways I very rarely see a full train (granted I don’t ride during the peak of the peak) and most passengers are virtually guaranteed to find an open seat.

  3. Re: self-driving, I have noticed that some automakers are starting to engineer the next step towards self-driving vehicles: a sense of self-preservation, and a desire to avoid doing harm.