Transportation headlines, Tuesday, July 12

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.

Beverly Hills Merchants Launch Class War Over Westside Subway (Curbed LA)

Curbed picks up a story from the Los Angeles Business Journal that exposes a small group of Beverly Hills merchants who oppose a Westside Subway stop at Wilshire/Beverly Drive due to fears of lower income subway riders tarnishing the gloss of Rodeo Drive. Another worry is something many businesses – regardless of clientele income – have when it comes to the subway: will construction drive business away? Although one merchant has a class warfare twist on this issue too, fearing that ritzy business may be replaced by lower end business that cater to subway riders. Reverse gentrification, anyone?

Reorganizing the Bus System within the Network Hierarchy (The Transport Politic)

I’ve been waiting to hear what Yonah Freemark, prolific transportation writer for The Transport Politic blog, had to say about last week’s N.Y. Times story about L.A.’s bus service changes. Well his response is here and like his blogging brethren Jarret Walker (Human Transit), he feels the Times fails to understand that creating a cohesive transit network is more important than trying to provide a small group of people with direct service. But he does feel Metro has failed in properly publicizing and explaining this fact. He then uses the rebranding of the bus system in Lyon, France as an example of how to do it right.

Subway Crush No Longer Gets Weekends Off (N.Y. Times)

The subway system in New York City is no longer just a service functioning mainly to get city commuters too and from work. This Times article reveals that weekend service on the subway is more popular (and crowded) than ever, with ridership numbers that rival the weekday rush hour. One reason? A generational shift. As car-averse, transit-hungry Millennials move into the city and surrounding burroughs weekend trains tend to fill with young revelers, shoppers and service workers.

Spaniards Trade Cars For Lifetime Trolley Pass (Shareable: Cities)

Now here’s an interesting idea that we’ll probably never see in the States. The city of Murcia, Spain offered car owners a lifetime trolley pass in exchange for giving up their cars… permanently. The cars that were traded in were then put on display around the city, parked in impossible places to drive home the point of how much space the vehicles take up. I only wonder what sort of contract folks had to sign to ensure that they never ever buy a car again.

3 replies

  1. The construction issue I can somewhat understand although it still fails to see the benefit after its done. But the “lower class people tarnishing rodeo drive” concern being shown here should immediately invalidate their say in this project. Besides the fact that those concerns have never really proven to play out in any city anyways, it should notify metro of their true reasons for opposition. This small but vocal group just did themselves in. Now please, metro, can we move on from this and just go ahead with this project the right way, you know, a station on constellation and on rodeo drive?! No need to give these folks attention anymore since they just showed that they have nothing valuable to add to the issue.

    @Y Fukuzawa
    They inadvertently bring that issue to the table but in no way intend to or even care. These people couldn’t care less about mass transit or how mobility in LA is improved. They fail to see how improved access to their area will only help them. And btw I actually agree with your points about distance based fares especially in a city that covers such a large land area.

  2. The thing that got me in the BH merchant story was the assumption that businesses would change to reflect some perceived shift in shopper demographic. The person making this assumption was the owner of a business.

    Seems simple enough to me: If you’re concerned about businesses changing, don’t change your business, buddy.

  3. While I do perceive the BH business owners to be arrogant, but they do bring an excellent point about the schism on what mass transit should be between the poor and the rich.

    IMO, and I’ve brought this up before, is that this schism could be resolved with a compromise solution to move towards a distance based model and at the same time, instituting a daily cap system similar to London’s Oyster Card. It just not make any sense that a transit rider taking the Purple Line all the way from Union Sta. to the current terminus in Koreatown would only pay the same $1.50 to ride it from Union Sta. to the Westside extension.

    Besides, Congress is still in deadlock over raising the debt ceiling; doesn’t seem like any public transit funding would be coming anytime soon (or if there were, there would be drastic cuts). We need to stop this flat-fare nonsense and start looking elsewhere to make up lost revenue. Distance based model is a good step towards ending this taxpayer subsidized flat-fee no-matter how far you ride it scam.