Transportation headlines, Wednesday, April 21

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.

Stranded at the Station: Mapping the Transit Funding Crisis (Transportation For America)

Transportation For America has created a cool interactive map of all the transit agencies across the nation facing service cutbacks and fare increases – and boy, there are a lot of them. The map really hammers home the point that L.A. is not alone in this funding crisis. The accompanying article notes that archaic federal funding rules are partly to blame – for one, agencies can only spend federal money on capital needs, not day-to-day operations.

L.A. bus, rail fares may increase (Los Angeles Times)

The previous headline segues nicely into this L.A. Times story about Metro’s fare increase scheduled to take effect July 1. Single trip fares are scheduled to go from $1.25 to $1.50, day passes from $5 to $6 and monthly passes will go from $62 to $75. The fare increase will help offset the $204 million gap in its operations budget by $24 million. The agency plans to close the rest of the gap with layoffs and reorganization of staff. Critics worry that the fare increase will put undue financial strain on low-income riders – but Metro notes that the agency currently has some of the lowest fares in the region and nation.

Will the Metro Board Overload “30 in 10″ with Highway Projects (Streetsblog Los Angeles)

The alternative transportation advocates over at Streetsblog are worried that the Metro Board may weigh down the “30 in 10” plan with highway projects if it decides to formally support the plan at Thursday’s board meeting. Local officials from areas that might not be directly served by the planned transit projects are all clamoring for the money to be spent on speeding up highway projects – and using data from a recent report from the Economic Development Corp. that shows that Measure R highway projects will create more jobs and economic output than the transit projects. Streetsblog notes that the report doesn’t take into account the “pollution, worse air quality, higher asthma rates” that the highway projects will bring.