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.
ART OF TRANSIT: It’s a full moon on Sunday night, meaning it’s time for another Metro Full Moon Photo Challenge. Get the full moon in a photo with a Metro bus or train and we’ll feature it in this space, earning you great amounts of fame on the World Wide Web. Booya! Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro, taken in February from the Lake Avenue bridge over the Gold Line and the 210 freeway.
Ten minutes with tunnel boring machines that tweet (Engineering News-Record)
There are several projects (including subway projects) around the U.S. using tunnel boring machines at the moment and many of the TBMs have their own Twitter streams. Excerpt:
@MackenzieTBM: I don’t get too wrapped up in follower counts. All I know is I have rock in front of me, concrete behind me, and I’ll be followed by 60 million gallons of stormwater and sewage when my job’s done. You don’t text and drive, do you? Neither can I.
@BerthaDigsSR99: I’m a huge fan of the Mars Curiosity Rover, but I recognize she has more important things to do than follow me. I can only imagine what Martian soil tastes like.
@BigAlmatheTBM: I have about 300 followers, and Mom Chung has 350. I’d be absolutely thrilled to tweet with Mike Rowe, the star of my favorite TV show, “Dirty Jobs.” I’m a huge fan and really respect his work. Plus I think he’d really “get” me.
Metro will hopefully have some TBMs joining the fray soon as tunneling will be needed on the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Regional Conector and Purple Line Extension.
Here’s a cool video from the Central Subway project team in San Francisco that shows the assembly of the Mom Chung TBM:
Ontario air traffic declines for sixth straight year (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)
The main airport serving the Inland Empire is operating at about 25 percent capacity and is on track to handle fewer than four million passengers in 2013. There have been declines at Bob Hope Airport and Long Beach, too, while passenger loads have increased at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and LAX. An aviation consultant blames Ontario’s woes on Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates the Ontario facility and says LAWA hasn’t redistributed air traffic as promised.
Sweeping protests in Brazil over array of grievances — among them, fare hikes (New York Times)
Protests in Divinopolis, Brazil, on Wednesday. Photo by Fernando H. C. Oliveira, via Flickr creative commons.
Protests that started over a proposed increase in transit fares have escalated to much larger protests across Brazil over a long list of citizen complaints – costly stadiums, corrupt politicians, high taxes and shoddy schools. Officials have made concessions on the fare hikes, but protestors have not been placated.
Editorial: Metro should seek Gold Line funds (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
The editorial says that Metro should fulfill the promise of Measure R by seeking more than $900 million in federal funds needed to extend the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont. Although the editorial doesn’t explain it, this is part of an effort by cities in the San Gabriel Valley to have a Measure R project acceleration plan amended to show the entire cost of extending the Gold Line from Pasadena to Claremont. Excerpt:
Construction is proceeding in a timely manner from Pasadena to Azusa. But the Gold Line Construction Authority also has, unlike virtually any other project in Los Angeles or on the Westside being promoted by Metro, ownership of the right of way and an approved Environmental Impact Report all the way to Claremont. After that, it would be just a short and logical hop to Montclair and then the proposed Ontario Airport Extension that makes all the transit sense in the world.
A couple of notes here.
•Metro has completed the environmental studies for the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector and the Purple Line Extension. All three are scheduled to be under construction within two years. In the mean time, they’re proceeding with securing contractors, relocating utilities and other activities to get ready for construction.
•Measure R is funding the extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border and an extension of the Eastside Gold Line to either South El Monte or Whittier in the San Gabriel Valley. Whether or not the full Metro Board amends the acceleration plan to show the cost of going to Claremont, the fact remains that not every Measure R project is fully funded by Measure R, the reason the subway isn’t making it to the sea, the Connector isn’t stopping at 5th/Flower and the Crenshaw/LAX Line isn’t going north of Exposition Boulevard. As for the bit about the Ontario Airport, perhaps the Los Angeles Newspaper Group’s editorial board should read the story it just published in one of its newspapers about declining use of the facility. See the above story.