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. Have a transportation-related article you want included in headlines? Drop me an email!
Art of Transit: Buses circling the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Los Angeles Union Station.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to send a letter to the United States Olympic Committee affirming the area’s interest in possibly hosting the 2024 summer games. The city of Los Angeles earlier this year has told USOC much the same thing. Earlier this year, USOC asked 35 cities in the U.S. who may be interested; among those responding were Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
From a recent USA Today story on the D.C. effort:
The bid would pick up elements of its failed 2012 attempt, but is now in a better position to host with a convention center, a new baseball park and an improved Metro system, Sweeney said. Also the bid is exploring the idea of an Olympic Village in downtown D.C. The 2012 proposal focused on a village in College Park, Md., at the University of Maryland.
While Los Angeles has history on its side — two successful Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984 — I think the D.C. effort may be problematic for our area. No matter how much politicians say they despise the nation’s capitol, it is their second home and I could see a coalition of influential officials building to bring the games there. Of course, summer in D.C. or Dallas can be a miserable thing but that didn’t stop the Games from being held in recent years in Atlanta or Athens.
At this point, it appears that USOC will pick a U.S. city to bid for the games by 2015, giving that city two years to compete with other international cities before the International Olympic Committee in 2017 selects a 2024 host city. If this subject interests you, more on an L.A. Olympics bid, Measure R and possible project acceleration in my notes column last week.
California Air Resources Board cracks down on big rigs (Sacramento Bee)
Wow. Pollution officials on the 99 freeway in the San Joaquin Valley are actually pulling over trucks and checking to see if they meet state law. That includes a test to see if a big black cloud of exhaust is burped from the truck or not. Bravo! If my car has to pass a smog inspection, so should your big truck!
Muni’s next train fleet: Breda disqualified from another contract (S.F. Streetsblog)
Light rail vehicle maker AnsaldoBreda has been disqualified from bidding on a contract to replace aging train cars in San Francisco. The problem: the current fleet of AnsaldoBreda cars have too many mechanical problems, according to Muni. Among the lobbyists that have apparently taken Breda’s side — they’re protest the decision — is former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Interesting. Of course, this is relevant news here as Breda ran into similar issues when Metro had to choose a contractor to build new rail cars. Unhappy with Breda’s performance, Metro staff recommended against them while some Board members fought for them. Ultimately, Kinkisharyo won the Metro contract.
Adelaide creates world’s first solar powered transport system (RE new economy)
Congrats to Adelaide, which uses a solar powered charging station to refresh batteries on its electric buses. There are certainly electric buses already in use, but most apparently still must be plugged into the electric grid for a recharge and most electricity in the developed world is still generated by burning at least some fossil fuels.