Cyclist killed in incident involving Metro bus

A female cyclist was killed Saturday afternoon shortly before 2 p.m. when she and a Metro bus on Line 534 made contact on southbound Pacific Coast Highway and Civic Center Drive in Malibu. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation with Metro participation.


Metro officials speak at Rail-Volution conference

Both Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke this morning in Hollywood to Rail-Volution, the national conference of that draws hundreds of transit planners and activists.

A few highlights of what both men said:

Antonovich argued against Measure J, the proposal to extend the Measure R sales tax to accelerate transit projects. He said a regional transportation plan must include clear benefits for the county's 88 cities and he believes Measure R and J both clearly favor the city of Los Angeles over other cities.

Villaraigosa argued for Measure J, saying that Los Angeles was the pre-eminent example of a city re-thinking itself and that Measure R was the first leap forward. He said accelerating projects such as the Westside Subway Extension, Regional Connector, the Eastside Gold Line Extension and the Metro Airport Connector would have regional mobility benefits and lead to thousands of jobs being created.

•Antonovich also stressed the need to better integrate transit schedules across different agencies in Southern California and to use money from the high-speed rail project to create a seamless rail connection between Palmdale and San Diego.

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Space shuttle Endeavour move in time-lapse


Great time-lapse video from the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Transportation headlines, Monday, Oct. 15

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 Space Shuttle Endeavour on Crenshaw Boulevard, just north of 54th Street on Saturday afternoon. I wish the shuttle parade would never end — it was that cool. Great day on Crenshaw on Saturday! Photo by Steve Hymon.

Yes on Measure J (L.A. Times)

The Times’ editorial board endorses the proposal by Metro to extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax for 30 years until 2069 in order to accelerate transit and road projects. The Times notes that not every project may be sped up — it depends on the amount of federally-backed loans that Metro could secure. But the newspaper lists a number of benefits that Measure J could allow: cheaper borrowing, lesser construction costs, the availability of transit projects to the riding public years or decades earlier and more jobs. The editorial board also argues that most parts of Los Angeles County will benefit because traffic is a burden to the regional economy and prevents people from getting to their jobs.

Yes on Measure J: it’s traffic relief in L.A. cheaper, faster (Daily News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

This editorial argues that congested freeways throughout Los Angeles County are one reason to support Measure J, which could speed up transit and highway projects. As for critics of the measure, the editorial board says there are sufficient protections in place to protect funds for a variety of projects.

Editorial: taxing the future for transit today (Orange County Register)

The editorial agrees with a public official from Beverly Hills that Measure J is a cautionary tale for Orange County, where voters in 2006 agreed to extend the Measure M sales tax for transportation projects until 2041. The Register also argues that “Asking now to extend the tax until 2069 is unsupportable given that officials cannot anticipate the technologies and population patterns nearly six decades into the future. The city and school district in Beverly Hills have sued Metro, alleging that the environmental studies for the Westside Subway Extension — which proposes to tunnel under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus — were inadequate.

Auckland: how a network redesign can transform a city’s possibilities (Human Transit)

Transit planner Jarrett Walker’s latest post is fascinating — and highly relevant to any big metro area. He was asked to help overhaul Auckland’s transit system. The result: a new system that includes more frequent service on more routes at more times. The catch? Excerpt:

Only the geometrically inevitable one: more people will have to make connections from one service to another, and the fare system will need to encourage rather than penalise that.Whenever someone tells you that it’s too expensive or hard to encourage people to make connections, ask them how expensive it is to run the only the first network above while spending enough money to run the second. Networks that are designed to prevent transferring must run massive volumes of half-empty and quarter-empty buses and still have trouble delivering frequencies that make the service worth waiting for. The waste involved can be colossal, as you can see from the amount of service we were able to redeploy in more useful ways with this redesign.

As you know, Metro doesn’t include transfers in the cost of its base fares. And as our friends in the media like to say, that raises the question: is that lack of transfer really paying off in terms of revenue and ridership? If you have wise-ness to share, comment please.


It's opening day for new El Monte Station

The lower level at the new station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Patrons waiting for buses at the new station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

I was over at the new El Monte Station earlier this morning and a steady trickle of patrons are arriving at the new facility. The ribbon cutting on the station occurred earlier this week but it’s great to see VITs — Very Important Taxpayers — using the new station.

So far, the few folks I talked to seem to like the facility. And it has to be said: patrons definitely seemed interested in checking out the new restroom facilities!

If headed to El Monte Station today or tomorrow and have questions, please see one of the many Metro greeters who are staffing the station — they’re the ones wearing the yellow vests. They’re glad to help you find your bus on either the lower or upper level.

Also, there are plenty of signs around the station showing where to find different buses — the signage and the maps are good. The Silver Line — one of the more popular buses that stops at the station — uses Bay 22 on the Upper Level. Here’s the map of the new facility:

Click above to see larger image.

Art of Transit, Mission 26 edition

The Endeavour crossing a Carmageddon-like empty 405 freeway late Friday night. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Go Metro to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour being moved to the California Science Center today! Please see this earlier post and remember the Expo Line delivers you next door to the California Science Center, the Endeavour’s new home.

And remember that many bus detours remain in effect for much of the day. The full list is after the jump.

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Destination Discounts for this weekend

Recent Spanish Cinema XVIII Oct. 11-14, 2012

Show your valid TAP card at the Egyptian Theatre box office and receive $1 off admission.

For details on the Destination Discount, click here

ArtNight in Pasadena, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

Show your valid TAP card to receive special discounts on store merchandise and memberships at the Pasadena Museum of History, the Pacific Asia Museum and many other venues.

For details on the Destination Discount, click here

San Fernando Valley Tennis Day, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012

Show your valid TAP card at the registration table to receive a Metro Welcome Package that includes an insulated tote, sunglasses, a children’s book, and a promotional tennis ball. You must pre-register to receive package, while supplies last.

For details on the Destination Discount, click here.