Transportation headlines, Friday, Jan. 20

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.

Eric Garcetti discusses Wilshire Bus Lane project at Studio City Neighborhood Council (The City Maven)

Los Angeles City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti aired some concerns with the Wilshire BRT plan — a joint project of Metro and the city — at a community meeting in Studio City. The City Maven article doesn’t offer much context for the quote, but one can infer that Garcetti thinks the line won’t be as effective as it could be because some stretches of the line will not have bus-only lanes, namely in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and a stretch of Westwood.

L.A.’s Antonio Villaraigosa discusses transit funding with China (L.A. Times)

With the U.S. Congress slow to move on its next long-range transportation bill, L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa has been looking at other avenues for making the 30-10 plan a reality. The most recent iteration: Villaraigosa engaged a national Chinese investment group about financing 30-10 during a trade mission through the Pacific Rim. This move comes on the heals of a proposed law by California Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) that would allow L.A. County voters to extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax past its 30-year sunset — another move that could potentially speed up delivery of Measure R’s 12 transit projects.

What’s the best way to get users to embrace mass transit? (Slate)

Is there tension between empathy — that is, fun and amusement — and efficiency in public transit? That’s how author Tom Vanderbilt sets up his review of Jarrett Walker’s new book Human Transit. It’s an interesting conceit, given that the thrust of Walker’s book, after all, is that efficiency is key. In short: when you provide transit efficiently, you can provide it more abundantly, and abundant transit means more freedom to travel. Keep an eye on Walker’s blog for his response to the Slate review in the coming days.

3 replies

  1. Um, no. I do not trust Communists funding our public transit system. I’m not a fan of Fox News nor do I believe in their rhetoric, but the decisions LA Metro has been doing lately seriously makes me think twice that LA is becoming more socialist these days.

    One thing I want clarified is that if LA Metro is so short on cash, why aren’t they making tough decisions like the rest of us? Funny you don’t see or hear any stories about pay cuts or labor reductions being made at LA Metro while the rest of us suffers in this economy.

  2. Discussing transit with China is an interesting, gutsy idea. It would certainly get Congress’ attention.

    The biggest problem that I would see is with the Chinese government itself, which a lot of people do not trust. I have my concerns as well.

    However, I do not see a problem with international investment in general. Our light rail vehicles are German and Japanese; our subway trains are Italian.

    Japan has many private railways and 30-10 may require greater private investment as well. I believe in public transit, but private/ public partnerships could help.

  3. “Villaraigosa engaged a national Chinese investment group about financing 30-10 during a trade mission through the Pacific Rim”

    See, this is the problem with LA Metro these days. When you can’t rely on the US government (federal taxpayers), California (state taxpayers), Angelinos (local taxpayers), they end up going to China for cash because that’s so much easier to do than breaking a sweat to fix things on their own.

    Whatever happened to fixing LA Metro’s own funding problems with a little self responsibility? There are a lot of ways to fix all that’s wrong with our transit system. For starters they can stop wasting money on things like station name changes or artwork that don’t bring in any cent in revenue and end up just costing more money to maintain in the long run. Instead they should spend that same money on something that earns more revenue like converting free parking lots to paid lots or adding retail space to our stations to earn rental income.

    Or are these common sense measures too difficult to handle for LA Metro because it’s so much easier to ask others for money?