Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 17

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.

Study finds access to real-time mobile information could raise the status of public transit (Next American City)

The results of a study from November of last year reveal that mobile technology has the potential to get drivers out of their cars and onto public transit. Eighteen regular car drivers were asked to go car-free for a week in San Francisco and Boston – two cities that have invested heavily in transit tech – and the results reveal that real-time personalized transit data made the transition surprisingly easy. Why? These apps provide a sense of autonomy that is similar to what the private automobile offers – the feeling of being able to pick up and go when you please – something that is typically absent in pubic transit mobility. Other results of the study reveal findings similar to our  “Why You Ride” series – namely that transit riders felt that they were saving money, helping the environment and leading a healthier lifestyle.

Build train shelters on freeway platforms to protect riders from noise and noxious rumes (Pasadena Real Estate Blog)

Pasadena blogger Brigham Yen shares a video of the noise Gold Line commuters must endure at freeway median stations and proposes that Metro come up with a solution to the deafening problem. One idea is an enclosed tube like those used in Curitiba, Brazil.

Metro Gold Line extension crucial to creation of jobs (Pasadena Star-News)

Construction jobs are down 38 percent and building a new light rail extension is a great way to bring these high-wage jobs back – so opines Cynthia Kurtz, CEO of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. Data from a study from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. shows that the Gold Line extension in the San Gabriel Valley will bring 2,630 construction jobs and an additional 4,270 job in other industries. Kurtz worries that the elimination of redevelopment agencies will take funds from a planned (and essential) rail maintenance yard in Monrovia and delay the line and the jobs that come with it.

Deadline extension sought for system to avoid train crashes (L.A. Times)

The American Public Transit Association (APTA) is asking Congress for a three-year extension on a deadline for implementing positive train control (PTC) on the nation’s passenger railroads. Metrolink, which has been investing heavily in such as system after the 2008 crash, is disappointed with the request. Metrolink board chairman Richard Katz says APTA’s request is an example of “business as usual” for American passenger rail – which is currently behind foreign nations in implementing PTC. The Times has a nice animated infographic explaining exactly how PTC works to prevent collisions.