Purple Line Extension progress:
— Purple Line Ext (@PurpleLineExt) May 15, 2017
Good news about the street and another sign of progress for the subway extension’s first phase to Wilshire/La Cienega. I’m pondering the wisdom of mixing dialogue from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Kung Fu’ in a single tweet. I feel like Yoda can stand on his own.
Dept. of Bike Month:
— Metro (@metrolosangeles) May 18, 2017
Reminder: Bike Night is Friday night at Union Station from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. More here.
And Wired has a good article on thief-proofing your bike.
Things to listen to whilst transiting: Good Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast on season two of ‘Master of None.’ I’m two episodes in and feel like Aziz Ansari has upped its game. Not all my colleagues agree.
Things to read whilst transiting: Why Roger Moore was the best James Bond, according to NYT film critic A.O. Scott. This will be lost on Source readers who are Young Sprouts.
Dept. of Go Metro to U2:
Thanks everyone who took the Gold Line to the desert/Rose Bowl to see the U2 ‘Joshua Tree’ shows this weekend. How was your ride? I saw some complaints about long shuttle lines after the show — which seems to be an endemic thing at the RB.
I went to the Sunday night show. I Ubered from my home in eastern Pas to Green & Orange Grove and walked 10 minutes to a nice picnic site in
Brookside Park before climbing to my seat in the bleachers. After the show, I walked back to Old Pas and at 11:55 p.m. caught a nice, crowded three-car Gold Line train back to the 91106.
So how was the show? I thought the highlight was side two of the “The Joshua Tree,” which includes a bunch of songs that U2 rarely tackles live. The band proved that those songs are as strong as the war horses on side one.
One nit: I thought they should have played “The Hands that Built America” as the song leading into “Where the Streets Have No Name.” That said, “Miss Sarajevo” was a pleasant surprise and I got another fave during the encores, “Ultraviolet.” Looking forward to the “Songs of Experience” tour next year. The new song that ended the show sounded great.
Don’t be hating on U2 in the comments, please 🙂
A pull-no-punches look at the news that burped forth last week that Metro is beginning a three-year process to ‘reimagine and restructure’ its vast bus network. Metro is not the only large bus agency to face ridership challenges although the declines in bus ridership here have certainly been significant with an estimated loss of 20 percent of boardings between April 2014 and April 2017.
Key graphs in the LAT:
But no region is poised to invest more aggressively in transit construction than Los Angeles County, where voters recently approved a sales tax increase worth an estimated $120 billion over four decades for rail construction, bus improvements and system repairs.
High ridership on new rail lines, including a planned route through the Sepulveda Pass, will require a well-organized bus network, experts say. Buses will also continue to play an important role along busy corridors, and in neighborhoods where rail won’t be built.
Buses are still the backbone of the Metro system, accounting for about 72% of trips taken last year.
As expected, there are a lot of comments on the LAT story (as well as with our post last week). The most frequent complaint is that too many buses run too infrequently to be of much use — and they tend to be slow.
Some tweets on LAT transpo reporter Laura Nelson’s always informative stream:
— Jon Schleuss (@gaufre) May 23, 2017
@laura_nelson LA Metro's evening service has always been an issue. Buses that run every 15 during the day running hourly after 8 pm don't help.
— Henry Fung (@calwatch) May 23, 2017
I quit taking the bus because the 728 made me late for work. It was as simple as that https://t.co/Hu428zYewK
— James Hightower (@jameshightower) May 23, 2017
Good take here on county wide bus ridership decline. IMHO it's also a safety and communication issue. Many not lit at night and maps confuse https://t.co/MhxhQaaBAq
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarciaLB) May 23, 2017
Robert Garcia is the mayor of Long Beach and a member of the Metro Board of Directors.
Fasana Metro Motion Could Kill 710 North Freeway Tunnel (Streetsblog LA)
Should be a loooooong Metro Board meeting on Thursday, owing to the Board’s scheduled consideration of a motion to support one of the five alternatives being studied as part of the 710 North project — to improve local roads.
The alternative’s formal name is “Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management” (TSM/TDM) and includes traffic signal upgrades and synchronization, local street and intersection improvements, better connections to existing bus service and the promotion of rideshare in the area around the gap in the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena.
A recent status update on the project’s environmental studies said that a freeway tunnel would provide more mobility improvements.
The LAT editorial takes a pragmatic view, pointing to the lack of necessary funding and political support to get the tunnel built. I’m sure there will be considerable discussion of these points and more from public speakers and the Board on Thursday.
Your thoughts on this one, readers? Be kind.
The Eastside’s six billion dollar question (Urbanize LA)
The Metro Board will also consider a new ‘project definition’ for the Eastside Gold Line Extension project on Thursday.
In English that means they’ll approve of the three routes to be further studied: to South El Monte along the 60 freeway, to Whittier along (actually under) Atlantic Boulevard and Whittier Boulevard and both those routes plus a C-shaped route running between South El Monte, Atlantic and Whittier stations.
Urbanize’s Scott Frazier takes a deeper dive and is less than convinced (by which I mean he’s very skeptical) the C route would provide much benefit. For now, more study is in the works and there is a way to go before the finish line on this one with one segment to be built in the 2030s and the other in the 2050s under Measure M.
More tomorrow when I post about the Board agenda. A Metro staff report helps explain the whole thing.
The Trump Administration had initially held up funding for the project as part of its plans to withhold federal funding for projects that weren’t already being funded as part of the ‘New Starts’ program.
The Merc calls the reversal “stunning” and the project will allow Caltrain to replace diesel locomotives with electric ones. Electrifying the corridor is also necessary for future high-speed rail service planned along the line between San Jose and downtown San Francisco.
This story should resonate in our neck of the woods. Metro’s Purple Line Extension has already secured New Starts commitments for section one (to Wilshire/La Cienega) and section two (to Century City) but is in the process of trying to get the feds to commit money for section three to Westwood. The initial Trump budget outline released in March didn’t include those funds, prompting this statement from Metro.
Metro is hoping to get the subway to Westwood in time for a potential 2024 Summer Olympics. UCLA is the location of the proposed athletes village as well as some competition venues.
And another thing: LAist is reporting the Purple Line Extension could be finished a decade ahead of schedule thanks to Measure M. Yes, that’s the plan approved by the Metro Board last summer and approved by voters in November. That’s very old news, people.
Nonetheless, LAist reports: “On Friday, Metro announced that Section 3 of the extension (Century City/Constellation to Westwood/VA Hospital) will begin construction in 2018, with a planned completion of 2024.”
Actually, there was no announcement. LAist seems to be getting this news from the Daily Bruin, which seems to think something was announced Friday. Again, nothing was announced. Metro gave its contractor the ‘notice to proceed‘ on section two back in April. There is some preliminary work on section three beginning but the plan, as noted above, has always been to get to Westwood in the mid 2020s instead of the 2030s, as was the plan under Measure R.
Categories: Transportation Headlines