Metro's new Division 13 facility will be located adjacent to Metro headquarters near Union Station and is planned to accommodate and provide service for up to 200 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and will include up to a 16,300 square- foot bus operations administration building and up to a 500,000 square-foot bus maintenance building. Renderings courtesy of Maintenance Design Group and RNL Design
Here are the renderings of the Metro project that was awarded funding by the FTA’s “State of Good Repair” bus initiative yesterday. (See previous post)
Metro plans to use the funding to construct a new three-story bus operations and maintenance facility in downtown Los Angeles to meet the agency’s demand for bus service.
A work-in-progress until killed by budget constraints, the funding opportunity resurrected the maintenance facility.
Design and entitlement work for the project have already been completed and the project is expected to go out to bid for contractors in January. Construction could start as soon as June and the project is scheduled to be complete in spring 2013.
The downtown facility has been designed to achieve Gold certification in accordance with the USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines and will provide a platform to perform modernization and upgrades to other aging bus maintenance facilities across Los Angeles County. Rendering courtesy of Maintenance Design Group and RNL Design
From the Department of Self-Promotion: I was on AirTalk with Larry Mantle on KPCC (89.3 FM) last Thursday, talking about the Regional Connector and touching on a few other subjects — such as the impact of transit on traffic.
If you want to give it a listen, here’s the link.
The Metrolink Board of Directors approved a contract on Friday for a positive train control system to prevent future collisions. The press release from Metrolink is below; Metro is one of the five local transportation agencies that funds Metrolink.
Positive Train Control Moves Ahead at Metrolink
Board of Directors Authorizes Contract for Positive Train Control System
Los Angeles – Today, at a special board meeting, the Metrolink Board of Directors authorized its CEO, John E. Fenton, to complete the final terms and conditions to award a $120 million contract to Parsons Transportation Group to manage and integrate Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on Metrolink’s 512-mile system.
“Today’s action puts us one step closer to our goal of being the first railroad to implement PTC and the safest rail operator in the nation,” said Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse. “Metrolink has outlined an aggressive implementation schedule that will allow our passengers to be among the first in the nation to benefit from this safety innovation.”
Metrolink was the nation’s first rail operator to get approval from the Federal Railroad Administration on its PTC implementation plan. Continue reading
County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website is reporting there will likely be a change of plans when it comes to tearing down the Mulholland Bridge as part of the project to add a northbound carpool lane to the 405 freeway over the Sepulveda Pass. Instead of first tearing down the bridge and then rebuilding it, the current bridge will remain standing while the new one is built.
“Only after the new span was completed would the old one come down, thus reducing traffic-related inconvenience during construction,” reports Yaroslavsky’s website. Yarsoslavsky also serves on the Board of Directors of Metro.
The Board of Directors of Metrolink are scheduled Friday to vote on a contract worth up to $120 million for the installation of a positive train control system. The contract would be with Parsons Transportation Group.
The technology was created to prevent trains from colliding. Metrolink has been pursuing such a system in the wake of the deadly crash in Chatsworth in Sept. 2008 between one of its trains and a Union Pacific freight train. Twenty five people on the Metrolink train were killed, including the engineer, who was found to be text messaging in the seconds leading up to the crash.
Here’s the agenda. Metro is one of the five county transportation agencies in Southern California that provides funding to Metrolink.
A screen grab of the Westside Subway Extension's Facebook page.
With Metro’s Westside Subway Extension Project team just wrapping up a series of five public hearings on the project’s Draft EIS/R, it has a new feather to place in its cap.
The project’s public outreach program was this week officially recognized as an example of government innovation from Harvard University. Read the press release here.
Metro was one of 173 government programs nationwide selected for the new “Bright Ideas” program designed to recognize and share creative government initiatives around the country. More than 600 applications were received.
Harvard recognized the subway project for its use of new communication tools integrated with long-standing outreach strategies, to bring greater numbers of people into the planning process during the Draft EIS/R currently underway and the earlier Alternatives Analysis Study. Continue reading
Regional Connector Fully Underground Alternative
Last night Metro held its first public hearing for the Regional Connector project at the Japanese American National Museum in the Little Tokyo/Arts District, and more than 100 community members, including residents, civic and business interests, came out to weigh in on the draft environmental impact statement/report before the project goes before the Metro Board in late October.
By and large, there was widespread support for the 1.9-mile project designed to connect Metro Rail lines through Downtown, which would create faster travel times and a one-seat ride throughout the county. The majority of comments stated a preference for the fully underground light rail transit alternative that passes underneath the intersection of First and Alameda rather than travel across the intersection at street-level. Many people said this was the best way to build the project without creating a barrier at street level in the Little Tokyo/Arts District community.
Here’s a summary of some of the other issues and concerns expressed at the hearing:
- There were concerns about construction impacts on small businesses in the project area. People asked what mitigations Metro will implement.
- Business interests said they were interested in compensation for potential impacts during construction.
- A request that the stations be named by downtown districts rather than streets.
- Requests that the 5th/Flower Station not be removed from project plans. The 5th/Flower Station was identified in the Draft EIS/R as a possible station to be eliminated to keep the project within budget.
The function of the public hearing was only to record public comments, not to respond to specific questions. The project team will address community concerns within the final environmental document itself.
Watch the recording of the public hearing on Metro’s web site here.
The next and final public hearing on the Regional Connector will be held at the LAPD’s Deaton Auditorium next Monday, October 4.
Here’s some crucial project dates to watch: the public comment period officially ends October 18. The project will go to the Measure R Delivery Committee Oct. 21. The Metro Board will consider the Draft EIS/R and recommended route October 28.
The map shows the three alignments between Beverly Hills and Century City that were studied in the DEIS/R. Click above for a larger image.
I attended the public hearing Monday night in Beverly Hills for the Westside Subway Extension’s draft environmental impact statetment/report.
It was pretty clear that among the more than 200 people who attended, the vast majority opposed a subway station from being built at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars in Century City. Rather, they were very vocal in support of a station at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars in Century City — something backed by 38 of the first 40 speakers by my count.
A station at Constellation would mean that the subway alignment would swing south from Wilshire Boulevard and then go under some homes, Beverly Hills High School and possibly Good Shepherd Catholic school (depending which alignment is used) before reaching Century City.
Conversely, a station at Santa Monica Boulevard would mean that the subway alignment would stay along Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards through Beverly Hills. Here’s a recent presentation by Metro staff that explains.
Metro staff have been studying both options. The Constellation station has been of interest because it’s a little closer to the center of Century City and it’s slightly south of an earthquake fault that runs roughly parallel to Santa Monica Boulevard. Metro staff have also said that the current subway in L.A. goes under both residential and commercial properties, tunneling can be done safely under such properties and that there have been no known noise or vibration complaints along the line.
Among concerns raised by those who testified:
•By my count, nearly everyone said they were for the subway – their issue was the station location.
•Many said that in their view the city had already agreed to a Santa Monica Boulevard alignment. Continue reading
The projects that would be accelerated under the 30/10 Initiative. Click for a larger image.
There was some encouraging news on the 30/10 Initiative from Washington D.C. today. In testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, a key U.S. Department of Transportation official made it clear that in the view of the federal government, one key benefit of 30/10 is that it builds a network of transit — thus making each project stronger.
Attentive readers can probably say it in their sleep: the 30/10 plan proposes to build 12 Measure R transit projects in the next decade instead of the next 30 by using federal loans and other financing — and taking advantage of lower costs involved in not waiting decades to do the construction work. It’s a policy that received the unanimous endorsement of the Board of Directors of the agency.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who serves on the Board of Directors, also testified to the committee. I’ll post a press release from his office in a few minutes.
Here’s the excerpt from the testimony of Roy Kienitz, the Under Secretary for Policy for the USDOT:
Over the last decade the federal government has made substantial progress advancing transportation projects using project financing programs like the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (TIFIA), but these programs cannot meet all of the national transportation goals I have described.I testified before this Committee in March (at a hearing with Mayor Villaraigosa from Los Angeles) about the substantial benefits of programs like Los Angeles’ “30/10” program, an ambitious multi-billion dollar initiative to accelerate 12 major transit projects so they can be built in ten years instead of 30. As stated then, I continue to believe that the Federal government needs more – and better – tools to support these types of programs. Continue reading
The most recent map of HOV projects in Los Angeles County. Click above for a larger image.
Nothing like triple digit temperatures to bust some sod, but that’s exactly what public officials did this morning in the San Fernando Valley on a project that will add 3.4 miles of HOV lane to both directions of the Golden State Freeway between the 170 and 118 freeways.
The $140.2-million project will also widen four under-crossings for the 5 freeway, perform some pavement repair and construct HOV-to-HOV exits and entrances between the HOV lanes on the 5 and 170.
Among the funding sources are Metro, the state of California and the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Officials who braved the heat included Metro Director and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, State Senator Alex Padilla, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, Caltrans Deputy District Director Roy Fisher and Metro CEO Art Leahy.