Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Jan. 19

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.

Bussing it to the airport: the life and death(?) of Line #439 (More Than Red Cars)

This post offers a detailed history of Metro’s Line 439 – a line that recently went through some significant service changes in last December’s bi-annual shakeup. The birth of the line, which provides local bus service to LAX, began in 1940 when Pacific Electric discontinued some streetcar service and replaced it with buses. Variations of Line 439 have been around since then, but the introduction of LAX FlyAway service from Union Station to LAX put a major dent in the line’s ridership numbers.

How London leads the way in techno wizardry (London Evening Standard)

Transport for London – the city’s transit agency which I reviewed last month – has helped London emerge as a leader in transportation apps. The Evening Standard notes that TfL’s liberal policy of providing open data to developers has led to a wealth of useful apps that make getting around London a breeze. It doesn’t hurt that a full third of Londoner’s now have smartphones. It’s also worth mentioning that Metro provides open data feeds to developers at

LaHood: Transport funding bill to be signed by August recess (DC Velocity)

Good news from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for those hoping that a new transportation funding bill finally becomes a reality. The most recent bill expired in 2009 but LaHood is confident that a new bill will be signed into law by August despite a politcally-split Congress. There’s probably no need to worry about a federal gas tax increase – LaHood, as part of the Obama Administration, believes such a tax hike would not be prudent in our shaky economy.