Transportation headlines, Friday, April 6

AEG proposed to fund an expansion of Pico Station to handle game-day football crowds. Photo by Carter Rubin/Metro.

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.

How UCLA aced its traffic test (Zev’s Blog)

Each morning I take the Big Blue Bus #8 to class at UCLA. And judging by the robust patronage, I’m not surprised to hear that UCLA is succeeding at encouraging campus commuters to take alternatives to the car. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s blog delves into the important question: How did UCLA manage to increase its enrollment and building square footage over 20 years without increasing the number of car trips onto campus?

U.S. PIRG report: Young Americans dump cars for bikes, buses (D.C. Streetsblog)

Perhaps the decline in driving among American youth has something to do with UCLA’s success? A new report from the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) finds some intriguing/exciting trends in youth travel. Here’s a particularly juicy quote from the report: “From 2001 to 2009, the annual number of vehicle miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita—a drop of 23 percent.” Meanwhile, transit use is up 100 percent over that same span for those with household incomes over $70,000. In the longer run, it’ll be good to keep an eye on how much the recession affected some of those travel trends, or if we’re seeing a more fundamental shift.

First look at Farmer’s Field traffic EIR: The good, the bad and the ugly (L.A. Streetsblog)

Now that the Farmer’s Field EIR is out and we’ve all had a little time to digest it, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton lays out what he considers to be promising and troubling about the proposal. While he’s heartened to see AEG willing to contribute some serious money to expand the Blue and Expo Line station at Pico, he’s concerned about the 101 Freeway expansion proposal — namely that it will just encourage more driving. For more analysis of AEG transportation plans, give a listen to Warren Olney’s discussion of it on the KCRW program “Which Way L.A.?”

10 replies

  1. If I am taking transit to Staples I generally walk to the Red Line for the reason of high traffic at the Pico station. And four times more people is quite a bit more traffic impact than Staples Center, where if I don’t mind missing the national anthem I can still find free parking within a 15 minute walk on Olive, Hill, or on the east-west streets. Even for a Laker game.

    The AEG people should have adopted the Sierra Club suggestion of the elevated ticket counter and platform, with turnstiles on the bridge. Right now there is no way to carry fare enforcement on the crowded Pico platform. When I went to the Holiday Bowl last year San Diego MTS had fare enforcement on the spacious exit plaza checking tickets, which I thought was really clever. With a crowded platform and crowded trains it is impossible to check fare, and now with the Red Line with locked gates fare evaders just passed through all of your underground stations with no one checking.

  2. @Matt

    Obviously you’ve never been to the Staples Center using the Blue Line during the LA Kings game. It’s a mess. The Pico platform is too small and too narrow. Long lines just to buy a ticket. People push and shove to get onto the cramped light rail. One of these days, a disaster is going to happen where a person will inadvertently be shoved off the platform into oncoming trains. And then the trains fill up quickly so people end up spending a long time for their turn to get on. I feel bad for the people trying to get on the Blue Line at any of the stations south of Pico because the train keeps coming and coming, but it’s so packed that there’s no room for the other passengers. The whole ordeal doesn’t make getting to Staples Center any better than driving yourself there.

  3. I would also point out that the Gold line currently serves the Rose Bowl for regular season UCLA games in addition to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.

  4. Lot of mis-information on here. Staples Center today holds more than 1/4 of the total capacity of Farmer’s Field and it isn’t chaos today. Never mind that Metro also heavily serves our downtown where hundreds of thousands of people work. For those taking the subway, 7th Street MetroCenter is only a little farther walking distance. Yes, that Pico platform needs to be rebuilt, but Y Fukuzawa’s gloom and doom tirade isn’t based in reality.

    A bigger question is how will Expo handle the over 90k crowds at the Coliseum for SC games, which is a far larger facility vs. 72k for Farmer’s Field (or even 76k for Farmer’s for the Super Bowl).

  5. Farmers Field is expected to accommodate 76,000 people. Does LA Metro even have experience in trying to move 76,000 people in and out of that area on light rail? And their suggestion is to run shuttle buses? Really? How long are people are going to wait for that?

    Shuttle bus full, wait 15 minutes for the next shuttle bus. Next shuttle bus also full, wait another 15 minutes for the next shuttle bus. And so on and so forth. Train station is max capacity. Please stand in line for about three hours. Train full, wait another 15 minutes for the next train. Next train is also full, wait another 15 minutes for the next train. And so and and so forth.

    LA doesn’t have the experience to move so many people efficiently. Unless drastic changes are made such as rebuilding the Pico Station, adding more frequencies and rail cars, and redesigning the interior of the rail cars’ seats to face the aisle with fold-able seats to maximize standing room space, it’ll be a total chaotic mess.

  6. Richard,

    Even if you are other riders deem the Blue Line “Unsafe”, what about lines that are being used like the Goldline, Redline, and the New Expoline? Also, easy transfers for Metrolink and Amtrak (Hope AEG/MTA sets up shuttles to and from Union Station like Dodger Stadium).

  7. Many people are under estimating the number of fans that will drive to Farmer’s Field when there is a NFL team. Many people deem the Blue Line as being unsafe given the areas of South LA that the line passes through between Long Beach and Downtown LA. Some people take advantage of the Blue Line doing things that do not occur on other Metro Rail lines, and I never see the Sheriff’s Dept stopping the individuals violating the laws even though there are cameras in the stations and on the trains. Fans will continue to drive and there will not be enough parking for Farmer’s Field, Staples Center, Convention Center and LA Live. People planning Farmer’s Field feel most people will use the Blue or Expo Line; you better think again because it will not happen.

    • J.

      It’s almost as though I’m a grad student at UCLA…


      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

  8. If you REALLY want to encourage transit use to UCLA, then make sure the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project is a RAIL project, with the initial operating segment having 7 stops: Van Nuys Metrolink Station, Van Nuys Orange Line Station, Ventura Blvd., UCLA, Purple Line Station (Wilshire), Santa Monica Blvd., and Expo Line Station (Pico).

    Here is my blog post which points out my recommendation to combine the Sepulveda and Van Nuys corridor projects into one necessary rail project between Sylmar and LAX: