Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 6

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.

Expo Line a sluggish disappointment for commuters (Neon Tommy)

The media finally picked up on some of the issues the Expo Line is having when it comes to being delayed by numerous red lights, particularly between 7th/Metro Center and USC. Here’s the statement the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation provided Neon Tommy:

“Upon hearing complaints after the Expo Line opened, the Mayor’s Office, Metro and DOT began working on a path forward to better signal timing,” the statement said. “The agencies are piloting new signal phasing on the Expo Line and the Gold Line Eastside to develop a fully implementable plan that will provide faster and more reliable train service. This testing is happening outside of regular service hours so as to not inconvenience riders.”

Metro officials couldn’t say when speeds along the line would improve but did say that safety is the first priority.

Extending Metrolink to downtown San Bernardino (Press-Enterprise)

San Bernardino officials approved environmental studies for a plan to extend Metrolink tracks for one mile to reach a planned transit center in downtown San Bernardino. Trains currently stop at the old Santa Fe depot that is west of the 215 freeway — downtown is on the east side. Two other big projects are in the planning stages in the San Bernardino Valley — a bus rapid transit route between Loma Linda and Cal State S.B. that will stop at the downtown transit center and a possible rail extension to Redlands.

The LYNX in Charlotte. Photo by Atlantiquon, via Flickr creative commons.

Light rail helps Charlotte avoid Tampa’s traffic woes (Tampa Bay Times)

The popular LYNX light rail line in Charlotte is getting a workout this week with the Democratic National Convention in town. In Tampa last week, buses were used to ferry delegates and visitors around the region. One Republican from Florida says that buses are more appropriate for conventions and, besides, sighting a rail line in Tampa would be too difficult.

5 replies

  1. From the article discussing the expo line’s speed, “Signal preemption guarantees the train will not have to stop but it is limited to intersections with crossing gates.” This statement is simply false. Preemption is completely possible in street-running mode. It does not take a traffic engineer to understand that, as there are numerous examples of this in place already in other cities. Why is it then that police and emergency vehicles have signal transponders that can override traffic signals in some places. Why is it that many LRT systems such as the MAX in Portland have operator-activated traffic light preemption along suburban street running sections? Why is it that traffic lights can change to red when in the vicinity of a RR crossing? This misinformation is rather frustrating and seems like an excuse for traffic officials to ignore the importance of giving metro rail absolute priority over cross traffic. They say they don’t want to delay or back up cross traffic… somehow a small train that takes 20 seconds to cross “disrupts” traffic but the inverse is not seen as “disrupting” the train service carrying 100s of people.

    This selective mentality goes to show that no matter how many technical explanations the traffic engineers try to make us believe, it really comes down to choice and ideology and not physical or technical limitations.

    I’m glad though the the traffic light delays for LRT are finally being brought to light by many riders. This major operational issue that plagues LA metro should no longer be pushed to the wayside.

  2. Actually the sbX Bus Rapid Transit between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda is under construction and due to open in early 2014

    Southern California Transit Advocates will have a presentation on this project Saturday starting at 2:15 p.m. — 255 S. Hill Street in downtown L.A. (1 block north of the 4th Street Pershing Square Red & Purple Line station)–event is free and open to the public…

  3. The problem is going east toward 7th/Metro in the afternoon. It takes 14-22 minutes in the afternoon to go from Expo Park to 7th. Before Pico the train has to wait for the Blue Line to clear, in addition to lights, traffic, ect. For 900 million dollars we should have a more consistent schedule. I have been on the train almost everyday since opening and most mornings are fine. This week the train has taken between 10-12 minutes to go from 7th to Expo Park.

  4. Dear Transit Rider,
    Yes for crossing gates. It’s the next best thing to grade separation. I don’t get to ride ir very often, but I believe that the Orange Line could use more gates.

  5. Expo needs gates that go down. Traffic can stop every ten minutes for a small train. Its not a mile long frieght train. I dont feel bad for someone waiting at a crossing gate for my train to pass as I am on my way to work, and they are on their way to buy a pack of cigarettes. Excuse my bias, but motorist can make pretty poor decisions on their destinations before they decide to take the road. I’ve know people that circle their block because their favortie song come on their Ipod.