Transportation headlines, Friday, April 5

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.

There’s finally light at end of Expo Line Phase 2 legal battle (L.A. Streetsblog) 

The California Supreme Court has set a May 7 hearing date to consider the long-running lawsuit filed by Neighbors for Smart Rail against the Expo Line Construction Authority. The group alleges that environmental documents for the second phase of the project are flawed because they considered future traffic conditions when analyzing rail crossings instead of current conditions. There has been conflicting rulings on similar cases in other courts, thereby earning the interest of the state Supreme Court.

The bus lane en route to Dodger Stadium. Photo: Metro.

The bus lane en route to Dodger Stadium. Photo: Metro.

Trying to beat Dodger traffic blues (ZevWeb) 

A good look at the 1.5-mile bus lane on Sunset Boulevard being used by the Dodger Stadium Express this season. The lane comes courtesy of the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, which admits that traffic hasn’t been peachy in downtown on game days. LADOT also says it is considering allowing carpools of four or more to use the lane.

Critics sue over UCLA’s hotel plans (L.A. Times) 

The plan to build a 250 room hotel and conference on the site of an existing parking garage on campus results in a lawsuit from the group Save Westwood Village, a group that includes nearby homeowners. The suit alleges that UCLA should have to occupancy taxes — the school says it should be exempt — and financing for the structure is illegal due to the use of tax-exempt bonds. The suit is further proof that it’s difficult to build anything of any size in Los Angeles without it resulting in a lawsuit.

6 replies

  1. Bob Thomas,

    One con about credit and debit cards is that the networks takes a small percentage cut, usually around 3%, per each transaction made. That’s the price to pay for convenience of using a credit or debit card…

    However, there is nothing stopping Metro from reaching out a exclusive deal with one of them. Municipal utilities like the LADWP for example, have reached agreements with VISA and MC to allow LADWP customers to use their credit cards (which earns points, cash back, frequent flyer miles and such for the consumer) in a private-public partnership deal where VISA and MC agreed to forego their cut altogether from LADWP transactions.

    It’s a mutual benefit: VISA and MC gains more market acceptance over AMEX and Discover, consumers get to earn points and miles for stuff they have to pay anyway, and LADWP is able to collect 100% of the bill more efficiently (less stamps, less envelopes, less cost in processing checks, etc.) without giving anything to VISA and MC.

    Metro could do the same as the LADWP by striking an exclusive deal with VISA and MC. They can also work with banks to start using open payments using contactless bank cards instead of spending so much money on TAP.

  2. Union Station has a lot of parking and provides good connections to people towards the east. Quite frankly, after the ball game if you are coming from the west it is faster to walk down the hill and take a Sunset Boulevard bus.

    I haven’t been out there but do regular buses get to use the special bus lanes as well, or only Dodger buses? During the 6 o’clock hour there are about 15 regular buses an hour in addition to the Dodger buses (2, 4, 704).

  3. Wrong makes a suggestion I offered last year: having buses to and from the 7th/Metro Station. I thought the article’s comment that the “ambassadors” are accepting cash only is interesting. In this era of “Square” and other phone credit card adapters, I’m surprised that the “ambassadors” aren’t using those.

  4. The Dodgers bus goes to the wrong terminal for westsiders / southsiders. How about a bus to 7th and Fig? How about a bus to L A Live with its cavernous parking and restaurants?

    I know the existing bus means I can take the Red Line from Union Station to transfer to the Blue or Expo lines. Great. 11:30 transfers sound great.

    Buses should go where people need to go. Not where planners want them to transfer.

  5. Regarding the Neighbors for Smart Rail law suit, what does the future vs. current conditions distinction mean? Now, there are fewer cars than there will be in the future. But how could that be cause for objection? If the impacts are judged to be OK with more cars than there currently are, then what would change in the impact report just assuming fewer cars? Please tell me they have a more rational objection!
    Personally, I suspect home values, in the long run, are going to go up in the area around the Westwood Blvd. Station because of access to it; though a bridge over Overland would be nice (if we had the $$$$$s).

  6. Has Metro looked into a private-public partnership with a real estate company to concurrently build a shopping complex or a multifamily condominium above a proposed subway or have them blend in with a proposed light rail station so that it sets an example for the surroundings?

    A good example is like the Koreatown station in Wilshire/Western. There’s a huge condo and shopping center right above Metro’s subway entrance there.

    The more we build stations like this, a “hybrid station” so to speak which the station itself acts as the place to do business or place to live, the more people will understand what it means to efficiently use land.