With electric vehicles for mass transit, LA can step into the forefront (Los Angeles Daily News)
L.A. deputy mayor Austin Beutner thinks the future of L.A. can be found in electric buses. Green advantages aside, Beutner sees potential in capturing the electric bus manufacturing market and bringing the much sought after green manufacturing jobs to Los Angeles. At this Thursday’s Metro board meeting Beutner is proposing a pilot program that would bring 30 electric buses to the system for a trial of the technology and costs involved.
Designing the High-Speed Future (Next American City)
How will transit oriented development (TOD) around America’s high-speed rail system look and function? Next American City thinks it’s going to be taller and denser than traditional TOD and this article looks to foreign examples for inspiration.
KCET blogger Matthew Fleisher takes a look at plans to connect Metro Rail to LAX via the Crenshaw light project but concludes that “it’s just a vanity project.” Fleisher thinks the FlyAway serves LAX just fine and should be expanded to the new locations rather than investing in an airport connection for Crenshaw.
The news article looks at the proposed bus service changes that will be voted on Thursday by the Metro Board of Directors. Metro officials say the 1996 Consent Decree to increase service resulted in an inefficient level of service; the Decree was lifted by a judge in 2006. Here’s a short excerpt quoting Metro CEO Art Leahy:
Leahy, who began his career as a bus operator, said the decree forced Metro to add buses “without regard to whether it was better service or properly managed.” Along with the cuts, his plans also call for enhanced service on more than a dozen lines.
“I like buses; I grew up in the bus system,” he added. “But I also grew up in a system that was very efficient, a system where people worked very hard to make sure there was an efficient realization of taxpayer dollars. That’s the point here.”
A few facts omitted from the article but perhaps worth considering:
•Metro Rail is being expanded because 68 percent of L.A. County voters in 2008 voted for the Measure R sales tax increase to fund the program.
•The average number of people per hour on Metro buses overall should still be below that of other major transit agencies. If the changes go into effect, the average number of people on Metro buses will rise from 51 to 53. That number is 55 for many other transit agencies, according to Metro’s estimates.
•Metro CEO Art Leahy has said repeatedly he wants to have more resources to improve bus maintenance and on-time service, which in recent years has risen from 60 percent to 77 percent — a number that could obviously be better.
Categories: Transportation Headlines