Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 14

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.

Texas lawmakers vote to raise speed limit (NPR)

Fuel mileage at different speeds for a typical mid-size car. Graphic:

NPR correspondent Wade Goodwyn files this story on an attempt by the Texas legislature to raise the state’s speed limit from 80 mph to 85 (the state House of Reps. has approved it; the Senate has yet to vote on the proposal). Goodwyn notes that while it is tempting to travel at high speeds across the plains of West Texas, there are serious safety issues associated with traveling that fast. Among them: reaction times diminish, tire stress increases and accident severity is exacerbated. On top of all that, a car’s fuel efficiency falls considerably when driven over 55 miles per hour.

Bullet train officials hold forum for potential contractors and subcontractors (L.A. Times)

The news that the federal government has cut some high-speed rail funding may have put a damper on enthusiasm about California’s project. That didn’t stop more than 1,000 private sector companies from meeting Wednesday at the Los Angeles Convention Center to express their interest in working on the state’s multi-billion dollar bullet train project. State high-speed officials also asked prospective contractors to support the line politically, with future funding at risk in Washington.

Culver City Council approves funding for a Expo-to-downtown shuttle (Culver City Patch)

At last night’s City Council meeting, Culver City officials approved establishing a shuttle connecting the future station at Venice and Robertson to the city’s revitalized downtown and other local destinations. The shuttle will be paid for through the creation of a business improvement district, which would levy fees on local businesses or property owners that would benefit from the shuttle. This is a similar funding mechanism to one being considered for the proposed downtown L.A. streetcar.