Transportation headlines, Thursday, Nov. 4

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 blog.

Apple invests in public transit – with impressive, stylish results (Switchboard)

Well it’s happened – Apple has brought its considerable skills at creating great user experiences to the world of transit with a $4-million refurbishment of a Chicago subway station. Why the generous makeover? Apple is building a new retail store adjacent to the station. The redesigned station (which was considered “dungeon-like” before) fully lives up to Apple’s high design standards. Of course, Apple has requested the station be called the Apple Red Line Stop – and for saving the transit agency $4 million and improving a station for riders, I for one don’t mind. What do you think? Could something like this be a good idea for L.A.? Or is it too corporate?

The Fiscal Argument for Transportation Reform (Streetsblog Network)

A lot of alternative transportation advocates are freaking out about the results of Tuesday’s election and its effects on the future of their cause. Streetsblog would like to remind fiscal conservatives that automobile ownership and infrastructure are among the most costly (and publicly subsidized) aspects of American life. I’d also like to add that automobile accidents take the lives of over 30,000 of America’s most productive citizens each and every year.

Coercing People Out of Their Cars: The road to hell is paved with bike paths (The Weekly Standard)

Conservative commentator Fred Barnes writes a scathing diatribe against transportation reform – specifically the idea that alternatives to the private car should be invested in. Barnes says the problem is congestion and the solution is to build more highways. I respectfully disagree.

Transit-Friendly Neighbors, Removed from Transit-Friendly Neighborhoods? (Next American City)

It’s well known and promoted that bringing fixed-rail to a neighborhood can dramatically revitalize the surrounding area – but is that all good? Next American City looks at some new data that reveals that although Transit Oriented Development (TOD) often brings new economic vitality to neighborhoods, it also has a tendency to price those who are more likely to ride transit out of those very neighborhoods. I think this means we should look more closely at how we are designing TOD and ensure that it is indeed transit oriented instead of developer oriented.

1 reply

  1. Good for Chicago! With everyone scrambling to find money for maintenance and operations kudos to the CTA on landing support from Apple. I argued last December that LA should do the same in looking for money from corporate donors for stations and the like:

    Take the (A) Train — Your Name Here on Metro—-your_b_369462.html

    Supervisor Yaroslavsky replied that the stations are too expensive and no one’s interested in paying for them. Nonsense! As if securing a few million from a company like Apple is chump change, too little for Metro’s trouble.

    This is of course a strategy worth exploring. For those who get all bent out of shape about corporate names on the stations, get over it. It’s paid for!

    $120 million plus for the naming rights to Staples. How much does Metro want for the naming rights in perpetuity for the Purple Line station serving 60,000 plus daily commuters in Century City or for its terminus in Santa Monica? It never hurt to ask!