Transportation headlines, Friday, October 12

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.

The Endeavour resting this morning near LAX in preparation for its two-day journey to the California Science Center. Photo by David Islas via Flickr creative commons; click above for a larger view. The Expo Line is your best bet transit-wise to see the shuttle on Saturday as it approaches Exposition Park.

Good morning, folks. Headlines is back after a short break. I’ll probably need a couple of days to catch up on the latest news from transpo-world that I think is worthy of your attention. In the meantime, let’s begin with everyone’s favorite topic…TAP cards!

The latest Metrolink TAP solution (L.A. Streetsblog)

Writer Dana Gabbard, who has long covered the TAP saga, looks at the latest proposal from Metrolink on how to deal with locked gates at Metro Rail stations. The problem, of course, is that Metrolink customers have paper tickets that won’t get them through Metro’s locked gates.

And the solution to be considered by the Metrolink Board of Directors? Provide paper TAP cards to those who buy Metrolink one-way, round-trip, weekly and weekend tickets and provide temporary 30-day TAP cards to Metrolink customers with a monthly pass. To say the least, Dana is unimpressed that after years of implementing TAP, the paper TAP cards will initially be distributed by hand to Metrolink passengers.

How to see Endeavour ride into the sunset (ZevWeb)

The space shuttle’s journey is scheduled to resume at about 1:30 p.m. this afternoon as it heads toward the California Science Center. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website offers tips on where to see the shuttle enroute — it’s a little tricky — along with other interesting facts about the big move.

Measure J hopes to extend half-cent sales tax (KPCC)

The radio station talks to very few proponents and opponents of the proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot to continue the Measure R sales tax until the year 2069 in order to accelerate transit and road projects. The story doesn’t dig very deep into the proposal.

Beverly Hills school board opposes Measure J (L.A. Times)

The Times donates 352 words of real estate on its website to the less-than-shocking news that the Board of the Beverly Hills Unified School District opposes Measure J. The BHUSD has sued Metro to try to stop tunneling for the Westside Subway Extension under the Beverly Hills High campus and Measure J proposes to accelerate subway construction. I wonder if the Times will publish stories about every city council or school board that resolves one way or the other on Measure J.

Transit tax may hurt Gov. Brown’s Prop 30, Ridley-Thomas warns (L.A. Times)

News that’s actually interesting: Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, also a member, of the Metro Board of Directors, tells a community forum that having Measure J on the same ballot as Prop 30 will lead voters to believe they’re being over-taxed and that if Brown’s tax measure fails, counties already struggling financially will have to contend with more budget cuts. Metro Board Member Richard Katz provides the counter-view, saying that Prop 30 appears of Measure J on the ballot and that Prop 30 is facing serious opposition from both the left and right.

Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board votes to support Measure J (Foothill Extension Construction Authority news release)

From the news release:

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) Board of Directors voted last night to endorse Measure J, the proposed 30-year extension of LA County’s 1⁄2-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. After a discussion of the pros and cons of taking a position on the measure, which does not provide additional funding to complete the Construction Authority’s projects, the board unanimously voted to support the measure in November.

Neighborhoods critical of NFL at Rose Bowl (Glendale News-Press)

Traffic, noise and losing access to parks along the Arroyo Seco were among the concerns voiced by Pasadena residents on the issue of whether the NFL should be allowed to play at the Rose Bowl while a downtown Los Angeles stadium is built. This, of course, is highly conditional on L.A. securing a team. I think it would be refreshing to see a Rose Bowl proposal that greatly limits parking at the stadium and focuses instead on getting people to games via transit and buses. Could transit and buses handle those kind of crowds? I don’t know. Show me the numbers, someone!!

51 years of trying to beat traffic at Dodger Stadium (L.A. Observed)

Great post by Bob Timmerman on the origin of the stereotype — one perhaps less than accurate, he asserts — that Dodger fans leave games early to beat traffic. As part of his research, Bob dug through the L.A. Times archives and finds some fun nuggets from the stadium’s debut in 1962, when columnist Bob Murray made the drive from Malibu to the ballpark in an hour and LAPD Chief William Parker warned of two-hour traffic jams that never materialized. The game didn’t sell out — which the Dodgers blamed on the dire gridlock warnings.

Yes, this ad is offensive, but free speech rides public transit, too (The Atlantic Cities)

An ad on transit in San Francisco is undoubtedly offensive to many — it demeans Muslims, to say the least — but it’s also likely protected by the First Amendment that makes it difficult for the government to regulate what types of ads can and can’t appear on transit. Warning: the post includes an ad that is hard to stomach and mild adult language.


10 replies

  1. “I wonder if the Times will publish stories about every city council or school board that resolves one way or the other on Measure J.”

    My first thought was: No, only the rich ones.

    The hysterical nonsense being spewed by BHUSD and the BH City government is, well, hysterical nonsense — none of it has held up under examination. But it’s hysterical nonsense from RICH people, so it’s news!

    But now that I think of it, hysterical nonsense from the Bus Riders Union also made the news. So I guess it’s not just rich people, it’s anyone with a megaphone and a penchant for self-promotion.

  2. Rose Bowl and Dodger Stadium articles point out the issues with crowds at major sporting events. Now that Expo is done, NFL could play at Coliseum, as so far, Expo is managing to handle the USC games ok. Better bus service also. Dodger Stadium is getting old, so why not build new downtown as close to Union station, subways and light rail as possible. A win win for the ever improving downtown scene, transit, the environment, traffic and the fans.

  3. What’s so hard about using contactless cards for distance based fares? A lot of countries under the distance base fare model uses them. Tap-in and tap-out. I certainly don’t see what the difficulty is.

  4. BH probably would be receptive to that. In fact, it would not affect any of them, really. Complaining about LA Times giving time for alternative ideas is what America is, or was, all about.

  5. Yesterday 10/11, there was an assault at the 7th/metro center station. It was a confluence of events where a union station bound train and a north hollywood train arrived at the same time as well as a blue line arriving and detraining on platform 2. That meant everyone was going up and down the same stairway by platform two of the blue/expo tracks. There are always folks trying to catch trains and this time was no different. A man was punched and another fell down the steps. It took the sheriffs a few minutes to arrive and by then the crowds dispersed, though the two involved in the altercation were detained for questioning.

    Maybe its time for more etiquette at the stations, like those walking up or down escalators on the left and those standing on the right. Those two folks were a beat away from falling over the rail and down to the lower platform because of the pushing and shoving.

  6. With regards to BH, maybe Metro should just build the subway to Wilshire/La Cienega, skip over a blank spot in Beverly Hills, and build the subway from Century City to Santa Monica. The Beverly Hills section will be done over a bus.

    If people complain why they have to transfer from a subway to a bus overland back to a subway again, put up a big sign at the Wilshire/La Cienega and Century City stations that says “Due to the City of Beverly Hills opposing any direct subway to the sea through their elite neighborhoods, we have no other choice but to make transit riders transfer to a bus for the Beverly Hills section.” Dedicate an entire wall of the subway entrances with the Metro/BH dispute headlines, newspaper clips, and news reports. If its a fight they want, Metro needs to fight back with strategies like these to shame them into capitulation.

    This would be a great way let everyone know that BH is the problem. Once BH gives in due to outside pressure, then link Century City and Wilshire/La Cienega. There’s no need to build each station one at a time westwards just because BH doesn’t want the subway underneath their grounds or how they don’t want the regular folk “who are too poor to afford Ferraris” coming to their exclusive stores on Rodeo Drive. We can just build in phases, use outside pressure, then link it up when the opponents give in; something like the Regional Connector strategy.

  7. BHUSD has every right to their opinions and worries. The LA Times has the duty to report it. One-sided news is for backward societies.

  8. BART and Caltrain uses distance based fares while MUNI doesn’t. Yet they figured out how to incorporate everything into the ClipperCard.

    It’s all the same technology, what’s so difficult to do? Everyone should just get together into a room and agree to standardize. Otherwise, TAP will never succeed to what it can do. We don’t want a system where it’s so confusing to get from one place to another. One TAP card, gets me anywhere. If it can be done in San Francisco, it can be done in LA.

  9. Metrolink is a multi-agency system run by 5 different counties, and they all likely have their own reason why they don’t want tap. The 2 biggest reasons I have heard are, #1, Metrolink TVMs are not compatible with TAP and a rebuild would be expensive, and #2, Distance based fares (which Metrolink uses) are not used anywhere else in the TAP system, and they aren’t sure how to “do that” yet. It’s untested and ML doesn’t want to be the test pilot.

  10. Why can’t Metrolink just move to TAP too? Things would go so much smoother if everyone was on the same page. This is why it’s important to have standardization.