Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 22

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.

Calif. license plates might go digital, show ads (Associated Press)

Most of the time, I’m glad I don’t drive a car. Sometimes, I’m really glad I don’t. This is one of those times. Your California legislature is considering a bill that would get the ball rolling on – wait for it – digital license plates that show advertisements while cars are stopped. Why would anyone want such a thing? The state hopes revenue from the ads will help fix its massive deficit. The “good news” is that in addition to display ads, the plates can also show personalized messages – taking the already annoying vanity plate to the next level.

Live Tube map shows the power of TfL’s data (Wired)

In slightly more practical transportation technology news, within days of releasing its transit data to the public, London already has an amazing web app that displays the real time location of every single train on the London Underground. London has so many trains running that I don’t know how useful the technology is for the day-to-day rider (it seems like most trains are no more than 5 minutes from their next stop), but seeing the living map in motion is definitely a sight to see – and a testament to London’s robust transit system.

Red Line 10 years old but still in its infancy (Daily News)

I love this headline because I really believe that although the Red Line to the Valley is now a decade old we still have yet to see its true impact on the region. The article notes that although the Red Line hasn’t met its original ridership expectations – officials hoped for 200,000 daily boardings, it currently sees 153,000 – those who do ride do so with pride. Some positive points about the Red Line: low crime, clean compared to other subways, colorful art and architecture and a catalyst for urban renewal around stations. I’m really excited to see what the next decade brings for the Red Line.

You Spend More Money On Driving Than Groceries (Wired)

The headline says it all – and I don’t think it’s something to be proud of. According to a statistical survey, the average American spent $5,477 on gasoline and other car expenses last year. So drivers: if you ever find yourself wishing for lobster instead of Easy Mac, blame your gas guzzler for raiding your pantry.

Scenes from the Lakers championship parade (MetroRiderLA)

Yesterday’s Lakers parade got people to ride Metro in droves and MetroRiderLA has some great pictures of Red and Blue Line stations stuffed to the gills with revelers.