Epic bus commercial leaves all other bus commercials in the dust

Danish transportation agency Midttrafik‘s newest bus commercial takes public transportation to the next level of cool. English subtitles are available, but certainly not necessary.

El Monte Station nearing completion

The new two-level El Monte station is set to open in October. Here are three photos taken earlier this week of work on the project:

A new set of escalators at the station.

Cleaning being done on the new transit building.

The new tactile dome panels on the ground-level bus bays.


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.

Expo Line Phase 2 construction notice: work to begin Monday on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica

Work continues to chug along on the Measure R-funded second phase of the Expo Line between Culver City and Santa Monica. Here's a notice for utility work to begin Monday, the 17th, on the street-running portion of the line in Santa Monica on Colorado Avenue from 4th to 17th:



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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