Transportation headlines, Friday, March 1: high-speed rail wins a lawsuit, more evidence millennials ♥ their cell phones more than cars

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.

High-speed rail wins lawsuit over Peninsula route (San Jose Mercury News)

After five years of legal wrangling — five years! — a judge dismissed a lawsuit trying to block the California High-Speed Rail Authority from building the line along existing tracks between San Jose and San Francisco. Opponents wanted the train to reach San Francisco via a route in the East Bay that was far from their cities.

Amtrak ridership up, but Amtrak facing cuts (Sacramento Bee) 

The number of riders has increased 55 percent since 1997 with a record 31 million last year. “The increases were especially pronounced in states that subsidize short-distance trains between major cities,” reported the Bee. But sequestration cuts could squeeze the railroad. The article is based on a new study of Amtrak by the Brookings Institution.

Millennial and cars: an evolving relationship (Zipcar) 

The car sharing firm’s third annual survey shows that for a lot of reasons those aged 18 to 34 are driving less and having a computer and cell phone is seen by many as more critical than having a car. If anyone out there is working on an “American Graffiti” remake, please take note. If anyone out there has no idea what “American Graffiti” is, don’t sweat it.

TOD for Expo Line Sepulveda station approved by L.A. Planning Commission (Curbed LA)

The complex with 638 apartments will include more bike parking, public restrooms for transit users and some parking for those riding the Expo Line. I think the new residences will give businesses along the Pico Boulevard corridor a lift, not to mention it being an easy ride on the Expo Line to either Santa Monica, Culver City or downtown Los Angeles.

Council candidate proposes new rail lines for Hollywood (Curbed LA)

With a few days to go before the primary election, Matt Szabo sent out an email blast proposing a subway connection between Hollywood and Century City, a rail line along Sunset Boulevard between downtown L.A. and Hollywood and a streetcar connecting Atwater Village and downtown L.A. with a route along the L.A. River corridor. It’s always refreshing to see candidates talking about public transit, but it’s also my job as government mouthpiece to remind voters that none of these projects are presently funded in Metro’s long-range plan, meaning there’s an enormous amount of work to get them studied, paid for and built anytime soon.

6 replies

  1. Instead of a Sunset line to Hollywood, how about a streetcar line from Echo Park to the Arts District via 2nd Street and Glendale? Echo Park is really the most difficult place to get to from Downtown anyway.

  2. Hooray for Szabo, he’s not running in my district but he has my support. Are any of these projects funded? No. But I’m glad he’s on board, and thinking about transit. Once upon a time, Villaraigosa had big transit dreams too and he moved heaven and Earth to remove the obstacles to the westside subway and championed our Measure R projects. Szabo is just a little ahead of his time.

    I love all of the projects he’s proposed, although rather than the Downtown to Atwater streetcar, how about a branch of the Red Line going from Vermont/Sunset up to downtown Glendale? Seems like a more worthy project.

  3. I too have envisioned a subway route that ran down Sunset It makes perfect sense and seems like it would gain a lot of ridership due to sheer density. But, with all the other projects in the pipe, I’d probably not live to ride it the way L.A. operates.

  4. LA needs:

    a) everything in the Metro long term plan (Westside subway, Expo 2, Crenshaw, Green Line extension, etc)

    b) Pink line (WeHo is a perfect environment for a rail line)

    c) Crenshaw extension to Red Line

    d) North/South pacific coast LRT/HRT line from Malibu to Palos Verdes, connected to Expo 2 and Green line.

  5. Accelerating the Crenshaw Line up to the Red Line is better than Szabo’s Pink Line (at the moment). It can accomplish the tie-ins while building on an existing line.

    The Hollywood Central Park is a good thing. Where reasonable broad walkways over the streets to connect the various segments of the park would be great. Also, removing a couple of the smaller streets over the freeway (while widening a couple of the overpasses for the larger streets) would provide some great spaces for summer concerts, etc.

    The LA River vision is part of the long term planning already (parts of the rehab of the River have already been happening.) This is a long term piecemeal project at the moment. That said, most of the area listed for the project already has a ‘natural’ bottom. The ground water in the area is too high for the use of a completely hard bottom. The sides of the River are concrete right now. There are managable alternatives.

    The street car idea is good.

    I think that the HSR item and the Amtrak item are both good things for the future of HSR.