Information on Measure J posted to Metro website

A web page for Measure J can now be found on the Metro website.

Measure J is a ballot measure that seeks to extend the half-cent Measure R sales tax for 30 years beyond its mid-2039 expiration date in order to accelerate some Measure R transit and road projects.

It will be on the Nov. 6 ballot in Los Angeles County if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a state bill, AB 1446, that would allow the issue to go to voters. The ballot measure will need two-thirds approval from voters to pass.

 

Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 13

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

BART turns 40: some history lessons (The Berkeley Blog)

Writer Ethan Elkind has three suggestions for the next 40 years: more development around the stations (meaning some cities need to lift zoning restrictions), more service in the urban core and less service in the ‘burbs.

Reducing vehicle miles traveled: a national perspective (NRDC)

A new survey commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council indicates — and I’m not sure this is shocking — that of those polled, many want to see more investment in transit and still feel somewhat beholden to driving. Support for transit reached across the political spectrum.

Profitable or not, China doubles down on investments in new Metro systems (The Transport Politic)

Ridership has been strong on many of the new Metro systems opened across China — but profits have been in short supply. Nonetheless, the nation has decided to forge ahead and keep building local rail projects in large cities because they’ve proven to be very popular (one reason is low fares). As Yonah Freemark points out, China obviously believes increased mobility profits the nation in other ways, even when the farebox doesn’t cover the entire cost.

Rep. Henry Waxman interview (pdf) (Beverly Hills Weekly)

The long-time Congressman is running for reelection. In this long interview (page 8), he is asked about his history with the Westside Subway Extension. He also indicates support for the project as long as safety mitigations are followed.

5,000th account opened for Metro ExpressLanes

Here is the news release from Metro:

Reaching a significant milestone in an innovative project to ease traffic congestion on two of Los Angeles County’s busiest freeways, Metro today celebrated the opening of the 5,000th FasTrak® account for traveling on the Metro ExpressLanes when they open on the I-110 Harbor Freeway in the Fall and on the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway in early 2013.

Metro ExpressLanes is a one-year demonstration project to expand the capacity along 11 miles of the 110 Harbor Freeway (between Adams Boulevard and the 91 freeway) and 14 miles of the 10 San Bernardino Freeway (between Alameda Street and the 605) by turning the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes into HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes that allow solo drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll.

Carpools, vanpools, motorcycles and buses will continue to travel for free in the lanes, and all drivers will need a transponder to use the Metro ExpressLanes. The project began offering the transponders to the general public on July 25. Since then, more than 5,000 FasTrak® accounts have been opened and FasTrak® transponders sent to the account holders so they can take advantage of the Metro ExpressLanes.

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Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Sept. 12

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

The cables on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park -- one of the more ways to get from Point A to Point B -- have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Photo: Frank Kehren, Flickr creative commons.

 

Santa Monica bike share program snags big grant (Santa Monica Patch)

The $500,000 from the South Coast Air Quality District will allow the program — set to launch in 2013 — to expand to 350 bikes available at 35 rental stations, including five outside Santa Monica. A $1.5-million grant from Metro is also part of the funding for the project, which will include rental stations at each of Santa Monica's three Expo Line stations.

A photo essay of bus stops that aren't really bus stops (New Yorker)

A haunting collection of five photos of bus stops on the grounds of nursing homes in Germany. Patients suffering from dementia are taken to the stops, where they spend time sitting and waiting for buses that never come.

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@metrolosangeles Twitter Tuesday, Sept. 11 edition

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, our roundup of the latest Metro related tweets. To get our attention, add the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

If having trouble reading this post on your browser, please see part one and part two on the Storify website.

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Metrolink expands connectivity with bus partnership to Palm Desert

Here's the news release from Metrolink and the timetable is after the jump:

SunLine Transit Agency to implement Commuter Link 220 on September 10

LOS ANGELES – In its continued effort to expand connectivity throughout Southern California, Metrolink is partnering with SunLine Transit Agency, which will operate a new express bus service between Palm Desert and downtown Riverside beginning Sept. 10.

Metrolink passengers who want to travel between the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station and Palm Desert will be able to do so via four total trips; two heading westbound during the morning commute and two heading eastbound during the afternoon.

The weekday service will run from Palm Desert's Westfield Shopping Center and Rancho Mirage to the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station, the Riverside Downtown bus-transit center and UC Riverside, with stops along the way at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, Beaumont, Banning and Moreno Valley.

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Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Sept. 11

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

The memorial plaza for United Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. Photo: National Park Service.

Boosting ridership by replacing buses with trains (The Atlantic Cities)

Here's a response of sorts to our post last week looking at ridership in corridors where Metro built rail. Writer Nate Berg has a couple thoughts — rail doesn't always mean geographic equity and population growth may be a factor in the ridership surge.

Amtrak in the crosshairs (Associated Press)

Even as the Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, take aim at privatizing Amtrak, the railroad continues to set ridership records. Democrats are more protective of the railroad and the federal subsidies it requires to operate.

Transit goes hybrid in San Francisco (HybridCars)

Looks like San Francisco Muni is going to purchase 45 of the diesel-electric hybrids that are manufactured in St. Cloud, Minn. Since buses are often stopped to pick up passengers or at traffic signals, this seems to me a particular good use of hybrid technology.

 


New program aims to cut down on citations to juveniles aboard Metro

 

Below is the news release from Metro, which held a media event this morning (see video above):

On Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10 a.m. the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles School Police held a press conference to launch the new Transit Juvenile Diversion Program.

This new program targets student behavior and student safety on public transit. The goal of the program is to keep juvenile students who ride the Metro buses and trains out of the criminal justice system in the event they are cited for minor infractions and keep them in school. “We want to keep students, who may commit minor infractions, out of the courtroom and in the classroom,” said Superintendent John Deasy. “This program allows us to better achieve that goal, while enhancing student safety at the same time.”

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Transportation headlines, Monday, Sept. 10

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

A very nice video from New York artist Sophie Blackall, partly about her love of transit in New York. Hat tip to our friends at the Buzzer Blog in Vancouver for the link plus another good story — this one about a New York city bus driver who provides live opera performances for his passengers. I'm not an opera fan, but I've heard worse music on buses for sure.

Four years later, survivors of Metrolink crash still hurting (L.A. Times)

This Wednesday is the fourth anniversary of the crash that killed 25 people and injured 135 when a Metrolink train slammed head-on into a freight train; the Metrolink engineer was later found to have missed a red signal because he was texting. Many victims say their lives and livelihoods have been forever altered due to their injuries and that money from a legal settlement with Metrolink may not be enough to cover their care and other expenses. A federal law caps legal awards at $200 million per rail accident, although a Los Angeles judge said that an award would likely have been $320 million to $350 million if the case had gone to trial.

What's on TAP? Confusion, for some (ZevWeb)

The ongoing conversion at Metro's ticket machines from paper tickets to TAP cards is leaving some tourists and seniors confused. The most common complaint, acknowledged by Metro, is that the machines can be daunting for first-time visitors, especially those who want a simple transaction and don't understand why they need a TAP card and why the system is changing.

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