Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 22

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.

Make way for the Expo Line (Blogging Los Angeles)

Here’s a video of the Expo Line test train as photographed from a bike (!) We’re sure it was a bicycle built for two because shooting from a bike would be dangerous. Or maybe the rider’s helmet contained a camera. In any case, it’s fun to see the train skating down the street and the video is pretty cool. Take a look. 

Bay area plan promotes trains that not quite high speed but quicker, at least (Silicon Valley Mercury News)

Under the heading “Maybe creativity can save high-speed rail” this news: Hoping to bring the bonanza of California high-speed rail funds to the Bay Area more quickly, local and state leaders on Wednesday unveiled a strategy to split the $1.5 billion cost to electrify the Caltrain line. The plan would pave the way for quicker commuter trains to zip between San Francisco and San Jose as early as 2018 and for statewide bullet trains to run sooner than expected.

Can travel training services save public transit agencies money? (Transportation Research Board)

In a word, yes. And why, besides money, should those of us not in need of paratransit services care? Because training for the service substitutes — in this case, mass transit — may actually promote independence and quality of life for the folks who can use them. And, need we remind everyone, it could be us one day. Here are some of the services offered by Metro. Metro also is the primary funding source for Access Services Incorporated, the federally-required ADA paratransit service that offers 24-hour-a-day curb-to-curb service to individuals with disabilities. For more information on Access Services call 800-827-0829.

Today in transit history (Primary Resources)

March 22 is an interesting day in L.A. transit history, according to Primary Resources, the Metro Library blog. In 1913 the Pacific Electric Railway extended the San Fernando Valley Line to San Fernando. In 1938 construction began on the Arroyo Parkway connecting Los Angeles to Pasadena. And, last but certainly not least, in 1984 the California Transportation Commission approved $361.2 million in state matching funds in what was an important first step in building the Metro Red Line. The subway project broke ground just two years later. (Hooray!)

3 replies

  1. Glad to see that the test trains are triples. Hopefully the will be running triples once it opens.

  2. People have been talking about Caltrain electrification for decades … well before the California High-Speed Rail Authority existed. The major obstacle has always been who’s going to pay for it: Caltrain’s governing board has been pleading poverty ever since they took over the reigns in 1992. (How this perennially cash-strapped agency managed to justify giving their executive director over $450,000 a year in annual compensation defies explanation.) So, it looks like they’ve finally found a sucker to foot the bill, or at least a substantial chunk of it. Yes, it’s badly needed, and long overdue, but the one thing it won’t do is bring high-speed rail service to the peninsula. Sure, you might see CHSRA rolling stock in the corridor eventually, but operating no faster than Caltrain’s commuter rail. Let’s just be honest here, and stop pretending that true high-speed rail is ever coming to San Francisco. If I could have a one-seat ride from San Jose Diridon to Union Station, that really is good enough. If the line “can’t” end in San Jose, fine: Sacramento to Anaheim it is — problem solved.