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.
Google maps versus Apple maps (Gizmodo)
A side-by-side comparison of Google maps as seen presently on iPhones versus a beta version of Apple maps that will take Google’s place on iPhones. And the winner? Apple maps tend to look cleaner but Gizmodo finds that in most cases they lack all the fine grain information that makes Google maps useful — and Gizmodo says that transit directions are an absolute must before Apple launches. Users will still be able to get at Google maps on their iPhones, but they’ll have to go through their browsers first.
Failing U.S. transportation infrastructure: a graphic (Time)
Nice graphic on the state of the country’s infrastructure. The best item: 66 percent of American voters say they want improved infrastructure but the majority oppose a variety of ways to pay for it — higher gas taxes, tolls or a mileage tax. Hmm.
Separated bike lanes on Figueroa? Maybe (L.A. Streetsblog)
The project to make Figueroa Street more multi-modal between 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is still underway and it appears that a separated bike lane buffered from traffic is still a possibility on parts of the three-mile route. That would be awesomeness.
Zipcar comes to downtown L.A. (Brigham Yen)
The car-sharing firm has put three cars in downtown in the PacMutual building at 6th & Grand. That’s handy for downtown residents who don’t have a car or visitors to L.A. who don’t want to rent a car for their entire time trip here.
Categories: Transportation Headlines
I think all the transit agencies in the LA area need to get together and come to an agreement on becoming more self sufficient to increase their farebox recovery ratio and reduce taxpayer burden. Payment methods, fare collection and fare model needs to be standardized across the board if we’re ever going to get them financially stable.
1. Standardize all fares in LA to a distance based model. It seems to be the only logical fare structure that works.
2. Standardize the fare cost per passenger per mile traveled. No more of this $1 to get any where you want on the Culver City bus, $1.50 for Metro, but $1.40 when transfering from CC to Metro, and $5.00+ for a short ride on the Metrolink. Everyone needs to come in agreement to set a standard price per mile.
3. If you need help in getting distance based fares moving along, hire the expertise of mass transit consultants from Asia. They seem to have figured this out decades ago.
4. Start moving away from a government funded bureaucracy and more towards private enterprise. If that means selling off government assets and start selling shares on the stock market, it has to be done.
5. Politics should not get in the way of mass transit development. People running the Metro Board should be those with advanced degrees in running mass transit and those with MBAs that can run it like a business, not politicians who hold law degrees whose main goals are winning the ticket to re-election.
6. Competition, competition, competition. Nothing advances under a monopoly. Legalize private mass transit to compete directly with public transit under fair terms. Let private transit agencies from Asia start their own private mass transit businesses here in LA, compete directly with Metro and the rest of the municipal transit agencies under fair terms (ability to pick up and drop off passengers at bus stops) and let the driving hand of competition do the rest.
We should just copy the methods in Asia. The American solution to public transit just doesn’t seem to be working.
So much dead space in and near our Red Line Stations and on our other properties that could easily be turned over to private business and Metro could reap large revenues. Diners, clubs, stores. Establish Station Mngrs from current positions w/o adding to employment roles and have real eyes on our Stations in a uniformed existence. Also Metro Security, not wandering Sheriffs, situated throughout our Red Line System. In the private world, if you need cash, you get creative. You don’t walk around hat in hand asking for help. A high profile property investment firm could probably make much of Metro at least much more profitable, if not in the black.
“but the majority oppose a variety of ways to pay for it — higher gas taxes, tolls or a mileage tax.”
Find a better, fairer fare structure that works better in earning revenue? Start utilizing real estate income rather than just having sit there acting only as a transit center and nothing else?
I mean really, is it so hard to learn from Asia how they actually make profit on mass transit? Or maybe the problem lies within the agencies being run with politicians? Or maybe the agencies are just fine with stealing away more from our paychecks.
No change is going to happen unless everything that we think about mass transit changes. Unless that doesn’t happen, the solution is always going to be “higher fares, higher taxes, and/or massive service cuts.”