Transportation headlines, Monday, April 5

Here’s a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog. Don’t forget you can also follow the Metro Library on Facebook and Twitter.

Officials unhappy about high-speed rail project (Los Angeles Times)

Metro CEO Art Leahy is among transportation officials in the area who aren’t so sure that the high-speed rail project needs its own set of tracks between Los Angeles and Anaheim — a plan that could require the razing of many homes. Leahy and OCTA chief Will Kempton say $2 billion could be saved by having the high-speed rail line share existing tracks. But California High Speed Rail Authority officials say they need their own set of tracks both to satisfy ridership projections and give the line a speed boost. As we posted earlier this year, the L.A.-to-Anaheim segment is expected to cost north of $4 billion just for the tracks and some infrastructure. California was recently awarded $2.25 billion by the federal government to help build the line, in addition to the $9.95 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2008.

Google Transit gets a bold new look (Google)

As Google adds more transit agencies to its popular trip-planning tool, the company has given its transit maps a new look by emphasizing the transit lines and deemphasizing some of the other geographical clutter in the background. I also noticed Google Transit looks better on the iPhone although it can’t solve all issues: The Metro 267 bus still takes people in my neighborhood north in order to travel south on the Gold Line, a proposition that doesn’t bode well when there’s a car sitting in my driveway.

Ronald Reagan freeway to be widened in Simi Valley (Caltrans)

Caltrans is about to add one westbound lane to the 118 freeway between the Los Angeles County line and Tapo Canyon Road in Simi Valley, a distance of about five miles. It’s one of those projects that is receiving some federal stimulus money. Agency officials say the $19.1-million project will be done by next winter.