Transportation headlines, Wednesday, April 25

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.

Workers in Mao suits at the Summer Palace, Beijing, 2008. Photo by Joel Epstein/Metro

Carmakers In China rev up as industry shifts east (NPR)

NPR visits the Beijing auto show, which is now the world’s largest car market and a crucial one for Detroit. Ford has just announced plans to open its fourth Chinese assembly plant and General Motors is planning to open 600 more dealerships in China. Ford now sells more cars in China than it does in the U.S. “Shanghai is the new Detroit. They make a lot more cars here than in Detroit,” notes a Port Huron, Michigan, native who runs a parts plant in China.

In years since the riots, a changed complexion in South Central (New York Times)

With the Expo line set to bring rail transit to South Los Angeles for the first time in nearly 60 years, the New York Times takes a look at how South Central has changed since the riots. Perhaps the biggest shift in the area during the past two decades is demographic. In the 1990s, African American residents made up nearly half the population in South Central. Today, Latinos account for about two-thirds of the residents in what is now called South Los Angeles. As the article notes, “Central” was officially scrubbed from the neighborhood’s name by the City Council in 2003.

An experiment in free public transportation worth watching (Daily News)

The Daily News thinks Metro should consider a plan by the San Francisco MTA to let low-income youths ride buses and trains for free. The plan was announced in response to reductions in school-bus service amid education budget cuts in the Bay Area city. The Daily News links to a San Francisco Chronicle article that explains what San Francisco is doing.

Nonprofit Sues to Stop Downtown NFL Stadium Fast-Track (Curbed LA)

Last year,  the Legislature approved AB900, a bill designed to fast-track major construction projects such as AEG’s Farmers Field. The bill accelerates review of legal challenges based on CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, by sending them to the appeals court and mandating a ruling within 175 days. Now, the Planning and Conservation League has filed suit saying AB900 “violated the separation of powers between the Legislature and the courts.”