Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Feb. 15

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

DOT head Ray LaHood takes another whack at the House transportation bill and it isn’t pretty (Transportation Nation)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has called the House transportation bill “the most partisan ever” and the “worst bill in decades,” continued to pile it on this week. He called the bill “lousy” and said “it takes us back to the dark ages.” Further, “The House bill takes us back to the horse and buggy era. That’s why over 300 amendments have been offered — many of them by Republicans, to a Republican bill.”

House transportation bill stumbles so Republicans split it in three (Reuters)

Sectretary LaHood isn’t the only one critical of the transpo bill. Even Republicans don’t much like it. With that in mind Republican leaders approved procedural steps on Tuesday to prevent the $260-billion bill from disintegrating. House Speaker John Boehner and his lieutenants, concluding they did not have enough support to ram the bill through the chamber, decided to break the proposal into three pieces and vote on each separately. Roughly, one part would deal with transportation reauthorization, one with energy production and one with federal pension reform. (Yes, all of that was included in what’s called a transportation bill.)

House transportation bill also promotes a new roadside attraction. Bet you can’t guess what it is (Huffington Post)

And furthermore … the Huffington Post reports that a little-noticed provision in the transportation bill would allow states to privatize interstate rest areas, open them up to advertisers and let them sell a variety of goods “serving the traveling public,” which under the bill’s definition could include lottery machines.

Blue Line opens to downtown L.A. (Metro Transportation Library Primary Resources Blog)

A short post on the Metro Library blog reminds us of an anniversary today: The Blue Line opened to the public from Long Beach to downtown L.A. and what is now 7th St/Metro Center in 1991. The Blue Line was the first 22 miles in what has grown to be 79 miles of rail service … with a few more Expo miles coming up soon.