Diane DuBois becomes new chair of Metro Board of Directors

New Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois

Diane DuBois

As many of you know, the position of Chair of the Metro Board rotates between directors each year to enhance representation of all L.A. County geographic areas. Today Diane DuBois, from Lakewood in the Gateway Cities, becomes chair for fiscal year 2013-14. Here’s the release:

City of Lakewood Councilmember Diane DuBois has taken over as chair of Metro’s Board of Directors, effective July 1. She replaces outgoing Board Chairman Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

“I look forward to a successful year as Chair of the MTA,” DuBois said. “We will concentrate on continuing to design and implement Measure R projects and grow the transportation opportunities in Los Angeles County for accessibility to all corners of the region.”

A Councilmember for the City of Lakewood, DuBois was elected to the Metro Board of Directors in 2009, where she represents the 28 cities of southeast Los Angeles County collectively known as the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.  She also serves on Metro’s Executive Management and Audit Committee, as well as the Planning and Programming Committee.

DuBois became involved in local government through her appointment to the City of Lakewood Planning and Environment Commission, where she served for 28 years before being elected to the Lakewood City Council in 2005. She served as Mayor in 2008 and 2012.

In addition to her city responsibilities, DuBois has a long history of civic service. She has been a board member and volunteer of Lakewood Meals On Wheels, a board member of Lakewood Regional Medical Center, a member and past president of Soroptimist International of Lakewood/Long Beach and Board Chair of Pathways Volunteer Hospice. She was appointed Community Outreach chair by the Board of Trustees for the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House and served on the founding Board of Directors.

Metro is the third largest public transportation agency in the United States. It has a $5 billion annual budget and more than 9,000 employees. It operates approximately 191 bus routes serving 1,433 square miles of service area and six subway and light-rail lines.

Transportation headlines, Monday, July 1

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access viaemail subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

BART photo by Peter Ehrlich/Flickr

BART strike: Commuters find creative ways to get to work (Los Angeles Times)

In Oakland, news helicopters began rumbling overhead by 4 a.m. today, assessing the mounting congestion on the tangle of freeways that feed the Bay Bridge because of the BART strike … the first of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in 16 years.

Here’s an amazing redesign of the L.A. freeway map (Curbed L.A.)

Admittedly, we’re more into bus and rail maps than highways but we have to admit that this is pretty cool. Boston-based designer Peter Dunn decided to try his hand at creating a new map of LA’s highway system to include 31 freeways, 75 interchanges and more than 850 exits. (Who knew we had that many?)

Big Blue Bus to operate Sunday schedule July 4 (Santa Monica Mirror)

Heads up, beach lovers. Our good friend the Big Blue Bus will still be available for transport to the ocean on the Fourth (along with a variety of Metro buses, including 720 Rapid down Wilshire Blvd.) but make sure you check the schedule before leaving home. In fact, check all transit schedules, since some others may be running on holiday/Sunday times … as Metro is.

Don’t text and walk: Pedestrians step in front of trains (USA Today)

It’s happening with increasing frequency around the nation: Someone distracted by his or her cellphone. “What we are seeing in subway environments are people preoccupied, distracted with their electronic devices, coming too close and in some cases falling off subway platforms,” says Greg Hull, vice president for public safety, operations and technical services at the American Public Transportation Association. In addition, he says, “people are putting themselves at risk as pedestrians when they cross at grade crossings, be it light rail or commuter rail.” Please don’t.

A quick note from Source editor

First, thank you to everyone for reading the blog — we appreciate your eyeball time and your interest in local government and transportation.

Second, I’ll be away from the blog until mid-July. My colleagues will put some posts up while I’m gone and then I’ll jump back into the blog in time for the July round of Board meetings, featuring four new Board members, including Los Angeles Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti.

Have a great and safe Fourth of July week and catch everyone soon,

Steve


Transportation headlines, Thursday, June 27

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

Casden agrees to downsize West L.A. development (L.A. Times)

The number of residential units at the Expo Line-adjacent (Expo Phase 2, that is) at Pico and Sepulveda drops from 638 to 595 and the Target store and supermarket are eliminated from the project. Neighbors are relieved because the number of car trips in and out of the development will decrease without the stores. One transportation advocate, however, says it's too bad that the transit-oriented development won't have amenities that residents of the new buildings will need. Hmm. I think there's a Vons over at Santa Monica Boulevard and Sawtelle and a supermarket at Pico and Beverwil, which is conveniently located on the other side of Century City from the new Casden development. Super easy drive!!!

L.A. bike sharing program hits a snag (L.A. Times)

Bike Nation's plans to install the rental bikes has a problem: it can't sell advertising on its bike kiosks because of city contracts with two other firms that sell outdoor advertising. So Bike Nation has to reconfigure its business model, meaning that bike sharing won't start until 2014 at the earliest in L.A. My three cents: maybe it's better, giving the city more time to install more bike lanes that will attract bike renters.

Three-foot passing bill moves to State Senate floor (LADOT Bike Blog)

Similar bills haven't made into the law before but the latest iteration — requiring motorists to give cyclists at least three feet when passing — has had a rather smooth sail.

 


Transportation headlines, Thursday, June 27

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

Conductor, please drop me off a mile from the airport (Zocalo Public Square)

Writer Joe Mathews asks why so few airpots in the Golden State are connected to transit, San Francisco being the exception. And he takes aim at the Airport Metro Connector, which proposes to connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line to the airport terminals by people mover, light rail or bus rapid transit — or some combination thereof. Excerpt:

Today, Los Angeles has a chance for redemption. But L.A. may blow it. Another Metro rail line is being extended to the LAX area, but, of the options being considered by transportation and airport authorities, two would end the rail line at the corner of Aviation and Century Boulevards, more than a mile away from the airport. Given the billions being spent on airport modernization and Metro rail expansion, that’s mind-blowing.

The stated reason for stopping, again, at the airport doorstep? Costs of course. Taking the train into the airport would cost more than $1 billion, and there are only $200 million or so in existing tax dollars for a connection. If the rail line stops short of the airport, riders could switch from the train to a people mover of some sort (that is scheduled to be built in 2028).

Or they could walk.

One recent night, I parked my car at a gas station at the corner of Aviation and Century and walked to Terminal 1. I passed by fortress-like airport hotels, parking lots, and a Carl’s Jr. The sidewalk was barely lit, and I tasted the exhaust as motorists on Century sped past me at 50 mph. The walk took me 25 minutes, and I wasn’t carrying any luggage other than a notebook and a cellphone.

This is life in the Great California Train Tease. We’re spending hundreds of billions on rail and airports. And we still keep missing our connections.

Casden agrees to downsize West L.A. development (L.A. Times)

The number of residential units at the Expo Line-adjacent (Expo Phase 2, that is) at Pico and Sepulveda drops from 638 to 595 and the Target store and supermarket are eliminated from the project. Neighbors are relieved because the number of car trips in and out of the development will decrease without the stores. One transportation advocate, however, says it's too bad that the transit-oriented development won't have amenities that residents of the new buildings will need. Hmm. I think there's a Vons over at Santa Monica Boulevard and Sawtelle and a supermarket at Pico and Beverwil, which is conveniently located on the other side of Century City from the new Casden development. Super easy drive!!!

L.A. bike sharing program hits a snag (L.A. Times)

Bike Nation's plans to install the rental bikes has a problem: it can't sell advertising on its bike kiosks because of city contracts with two other firms that sell outdoor advertising. So Bike Nation has to reconfigure its business model, meaning that bike sharing won't start until 2014 at the earliest in L.A. My three cents: maybe it's better, giving the city more time to install more bike lanes that will attract bike renters.

Three-foot passing bill moves to State Senate floor (LADOT Bike Blog)

Similar bills haven't made into the law before but the latest iteration — requiring motorists to give cyclists at least three feet when passing — has had a rather smooth sail.

 


Metro to Detour Bus Lines Due to Pasadena Marathon on Sunday June 30

Photo: Pasadena Marathon Facebook page

Photo: Pasadena Marathon Facebook page

Several bus lines will be detoured between the hours of 5 a.m. until 1 p.m. or while barricades are in place due to the Pasadena Marathon race event on Sunday June 30.

Metro Bus lines impacted by the street closures include: 180, 181, 256, 686, and 687. To avoid any delays, Metro advises bus patrons to use the Metro Gold Line.

The Pasadena Marathon is a half-marathon and 5K race event hosted by Pasadena Forward. From 5:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., the races will start and finish their route on East Colorado Boulevard, near the Pasadena City College.

If you would like to race at the event, Metro offers a 10% discount on registration and on running shoes. Just show your valid TAP card, Metro employee ID, or LA County employee ID at Run With Us Footwear for the discount. Find your best route with the Trip Planner.

For more information about the bus detours, visit Metro’s Service Advisories page.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 25

ART OF TRANSIT: Guess the intersection! And after you incorrectly guess, click above to check out the Metro Library's awesome Flickr stream with tons of similar photos of Los Angeles Transit Lines' streetcars. Photo: Alan Weeks.

ART OF TRANSIT: Guess the intersection! And after you incorrectly guess, click above to check out the Metro Library’s awesome Flickr stream with tons of similar photos of Los Angeles Transit Lines’ streetcars. Answer is after the jump. Photo: Alan Weeks.

Obama outlines ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gases (New York Times) 

President Obama, trying to fulfill a campaign promise, explains executive orders he will issue to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that are blamed for climate change. It’s a relevant issue here, as greenhouse gases are created by the burning of fossil fuels by the transportation sector. Another big culprit is the power industry, which relies on burning coal to generate electricity. The President said he intends to cut emissions from both existing and new power plants while further limiting emissions from heavy trucks.

Of course, we can do our part. Walking, cycling and taking transit — which burns fossil fuels but transports a lot of people in the process — are all good ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

To toll or not: could the feds lift a ban on interstate tolling? (Governing) 

Proponents – including the tolling industry (shocker!) – say that lifting the ban would help pay for highway maintenance and make up for the shrinking revenue generated by the federal gas tax. With Congressional elections always on the cusp of happening, lawmakers have — another shocker! — shown no interest in raising the tax.

Party train to Vegas still looking for a station (L.A. Times) 

The X Train that is supposed to travel between Fullerton and Las Vegas has been delayed while the private venture tries to find a depot on the Vegas end of things. One likely candidate is in North Las Vegas, which is 11 miles from the Strip. Hmm. This train is not to be confused with the proposed XpressWest bullet train that would run between Victorville and Las Vegas. That project is still seeking federal financing.

Continue reading