Transportation headlines for Friday, August 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.

Company begins removing bus benches in Los Angeles (L.A. Times)

This is first I’ve heard of this: a firm that has about 6,000 benches at bus stops in L.A. has begun removing them because its contract was not renewed with the city. The firm, Norman Bench Advertising, made money through advertising. But city officials are’t happy that the company wouldn’t disclose how many benches it has or how much money it was making from the ads on them. The company did not return calls to the Times. It’s worth noting that bus stops are the responsibility of the city in which they’re located.

The yellow thing is a fare card. Photo by Yanko Design.

No more fumbling in the wallet: a fare card you can wear — in London (The City Fix) Check out these two conceptual versions of “fare cards” for the London transit system — one is a ring that can be worn, the other can be slipped onto a watch wristband. An art student came up with the idea, which I think is a good one.

Editorial: train speed racing up at high-speed (Orange County Register) Although the state bullet train project has a planned stop in Anaheim, the Register’s editorial board is skeptical the train will ever arrive. They point to increased cost of building the first segment in the San Joaquin Valley and wonder where — or if — the tens of billions of extra dollars will come from to get the train to San Francisco or Anaheim.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is urging California not to abandon the project because of elevated cost. But there’s no word if the feds will kick in more money to help finish the project.

Bike sharing can save lives (KCET So Cal Focus) Fascinating post about a study in Barcelona that found participants in a bike sharing program there had a lower mortality than those who drove. Bottom line: The increased exercise and lower air pollution compensated for the cycling accidents that resulted from having more bikes on the road.

Obama: tell Congress to send me a transportation bill (The Hill)

In a speech at a car battery plant in Michigan, the President said that a new multi-year federal transportation spending bill would create jobs. The House and Senate have both produced outlines — drastically different, of course — of a bill. Metro is watching closely because both the House and Senate have included some of what’s needed to make America Fast Forward into law. It’s also worth remembering that the last federal transportation bill was passed in 2005 and was supposed to be renewed in 2009. Congress has just been extending that bill for the past two years due to politics.


2 replies

  1. I got comments for some of these articles.
    I’m glad that company of the bench is removing them and City of LA was smart for not renewing the contract with that company, those bus benches are terrible, never well maintained and never cleaned. They should replace those bus benches with a bus shelter (yes includes a seat as well) to have shade while the people are waiting for the bus.

    The high-speed rail project in California in my opinion is pointless project and waste of money. No need for it but yet it’s still in talks, there is really mis-management at the government.

    As for the bike sharing can save lives, that article is an opinion not facts. Bikes can’t “simply save lives”.

    Well that’s all comments I have.

  2. I remember reading in the text of the proposition that permitted the high speed rail project that ONLY the LA to San Fran line or points are mandated. All other lines or extensions, including Anaheim, can be built if enough money remains to do so, and I believe in a prescribed order by mandate. I would say that we are, at best, looking at the LA to SF line being the ONLY high speed line every being built for a long time.