Streetsblog LA is officially back, and one of their first posts is a look at a letter posted by the Bus Rider’s Union (BRU) and ally Transit Riders for Public Transit (TRPT) imploring congress to “Say no to the 30/10 plan!” Why? The groups contend that the rail expansion will come at the expense of bus operations. Transit Coalition Chair Ken Alpern noted that despite high capital costs, rail operations is actually cheaper to operate. Another thing to keep in mind is that in the Measure R expenditure plan (which you can find here) 20% of funds are allocated to bus operations and the first major capital project of Measure R (currently under construction) is the extension of the Orange Line busway.
A new study from UC Irvine reveals that the proposed California high-speed rail system could create more that 127,000 permanent jobs in the L.A.-Orange County area by 2035. Also in the report: by 2035 high-speed rail would prevent half a billion pounds of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.
MTA and its beleaguered Transit Access Pass system (L.A. Times)
The L.A. Times gets on the TAP bandwagon with this opinion piece about the system that has currently come under scrutiny by the media. The Times calls the issues with TAP a result of poor planning and communication, but admits that what Metro is attempting – a unified fare system – is a challenge in the currently Balkanized countywide transit system that includes 16 individual municipal operators. The piece is also critical of some of the agency’s interim solutions to TAP issues.
Today’s musical interlude. Here’s a reader recommendation, “First Train Home” by Imogen Heap.
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This week in the Northeast Corridor Amtrak had a major power failure that left commuters stranded for hours. But the story here is about the changing nature of communications – Amtrak chose the communicate the service failure via traditional media and ignored directly reporting the issue to customers via its new social media account on Twitter. An Amtrak spokesperson admitted that traditional media outlets get priority because “they reach the greatest number of passengers.” Hat tip to The Transit Wire for this headline.