Transportation headlines, Thursday, Jan. 20

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.

State announces it’s setting aside $30 million to purchase Union Station (L.A. Times)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority said it plans to use the money to partner with Metro to purchase the historic train station and some surrounding land in downtown Los Angeles. Metro is expected to provide the bulk of the funds to buy the property from TPG Capital, which is in the process of obtaining Union Station from another firm. The Authority and Metro believe owning the property will better allow them to handle the surge of passengers from high-speed rail and the expansion of Los Angeles’ transit system.

Los Angeles are still has a lot of traffic (Texas Transportation Institute)

The L.A. area still ranks first (i.e. worst) in the country in a couple of key statistics that measure congestion. The Institute’s annual rankings also show that traffic can be pretty stinky in Washington D.C., New York and Chicago. It’s also worth mentioning the average commute time, as reported by the Census Bureau, for Los Angeles County is now 29 minutes — a number that is pretty typical for large metro areas. San Francisco’s average commute time is 29.1 minutes and Cook County (which includes Chicago) is 31.9 minutes.

Graphic shows influence of gas prices on miles driven (Treehugger)

It’s not exactly news that people tend to drive less when the price of gas soars, but this neat chart vividly shows the connection. Although the number of miles driven per motorist has dropped in the past five years, the writer concludes that it takes an awful lot to get Americans drive less.