Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 18

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.

Metrolink passes bike friendly test (Streetsblog Los Angeles)

Long time safe streets and bicycle advocate Stephen Box shares a detailed review of bringing bikes onto Metrolink’s commuter trains – especially now that the agency has implemented special bike cars. His opinion: Metrolink excels at accommodating cyclists and making them feel like valued guests. The experience isn’t without flaws – the new bike cars are a little difficult to locate and board – but overall, especially when combined with a $10 weekend pass, Metrolink is a win for bike/train adventures.

Transit access and zero-vehicle households (Brookings)

A new report from Brookings reveals some very interesting data about zero-vehicle households in the United States. American’s might be surprised to learn that “car-crazy” L.A. is actually third after New York and Chicago when it comes to zero-vehicle households – 8.3% of households in the L.A. metropolitan area don’t have a car. Another shocker: L.A. comes in #2 after New York when it comes to transit coverage for zero-vehicle households – 99.1% of those without a car live near transit service. Where L.A. slips is job access for zero-vehicle households – we rank 52nd, with only 36% of zero-vehicle households able to get to work within 90 minutes. What does this tell me? L.A. transit agencies are doing the best they can to provide service to those who need it, but the realities of sprawl make getting people to work in reasonable time a difficult proposition. It all comes down to land use, folks.

The end of the road for motormania (New Scientist)

You’ve probably heard about peak oil, but what about peak car? According to New Scientist, the majority of western culture hit peak car in about 2004 – Japan peaked in the 90s. In the U.S. and Europe miles driven per person has been steadily declining, as well as sales of new cars and ownership of cars. And like we’ve discussed many times, the reason for this decline seems to be demographic – especially in the U.S. where the largest reduction in car use has been among those under 35. It seems kids just want their iPads, earbuds and a city to walk around and enjoy them in.