Transportation headlines, Friday, May 27

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.

Westside drivers prevail over buses while Liemert Park (sorta) gets a rail station (KCRW)

On KCRW’s flagship local news program, Which Way L.A.?,  host Warren Olney dug into two of the Metro Board’s decisions from its meeting yesterday. Guests Damien Newton (L.A. Streetsblog) and Eddie Hager (LeimertParkBeat) discussed the Board’s decision to approve a Crenshaw/LAX Line station at Leimert Park — if it can be done within the existing budget — and to select the 7.7-mile alternative for the Wilshire bus lanes project.

LADOT orders 84 MCI commuter coaches powered by compressed natural gas (MCI Media Center)

This press release from Illinois bus manufacturer MCT announces the purchase of 84 CNG buses by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation for its Commuter Express service. The purchase — supported by a large grant from the Federal Transit Administration — will help LADOT replace almost all of its 94 aging diesel buses with cleaner-burning natural gas ones. As the release notes, one fully occupied Commuter Express bus represents on average 49 cars not on L.A.’s streets.

Panasonic reaps benefits of mass transit tax credit (Marketplace)

American tech stalwart Panasonic has relocated its corporate headquarters to Newark, N.J., just a block from Newark Penn Station. The incentive? Well a $100 million tax credit doesn’t hurt, but a major component was the company’s interest in shoring up its “green” bona fides. As CEO Joe Taylor put it, “we couldn’t possibly demonstrate our commitment and our credibility to being a green company, and ask 1,000 people to drive to work every day.”

Development lacking along L.A.’s light-rail Expo Line (L.A. Times)

Speaking of TOD, Times writer Roger Vincent examines current real estate development along Expo Phase One — or the slow pace thereof, in his view. A recent arrival, the Blackwelder development, houses a variety of businesses in the media and arts fields near the future La Cienega station. And Culver City envisions mixed-use developments at its Venice and Robertson station, although nothing is eminent. The takeaway: Mass transit in-and-of-itself can’t spawn new developments. Cities that want to foster transit-oriented development might consider taking concerted action, for instance, by reducing parking requirements and allowing for somewhat greater density around transit hubs.