Transportation headlines, Friday, October 25

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ART OF TRANSIT: A Metro light rail car gets a tuneup. From our Instagram feed.

Garcetti to lobby for people mover other transit improvements at LAX (Patch) 

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told listeners on KNX yesterday that he will be meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Monday about his transportation plans, including a people mover at LAX. The mayor didn’t get into a lot of specifics about the plan, but Metro and Los Angeles World Airports have been studying the issue of the best way to connect Metro Rail to LAX with a people mover among the alternatives. Please see this recent post for more about the issue.

Whittier Council hires lobbyist for light rail extension (Whittier Daily News) 

The Council in Whittier votes 5 to 0 to spend $90,000 on a lobbyist to push for Metro to build the Eastside Gold Line extension down Whittier Boulevard. Among the light rail alternatives under study for the project are two: a line to South El Monte along the 60 freeway or a line that would instead run down Whittier Boulevard. The draft environmental study for the project is in the works and is expected to be released in 2014.

Gold Line officials look to ballot measure to fund Azusa to Montclair project (San Bernardino Sun) 

The CEO of the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, an independent agency planning and building the project, says that he thinks another Metro ballot measure is in the works that could fund phase 2B of the project from Azusa to Montclair. There has been some talk at the Metro Board level — but very preliminary. In June, the Board talked about strategies for accelerating projects, including the potential for a future ballot measure.

If there is one, here’s the big question: will it just fund existing Measure R projects as they are currently defined or would it be rejiggered in such a way to add or expand projects in order to gain political support? Several of the original Measure R projects are not fully funded and there are other projects in which just segments will be built — i.e. the reason that the Purple Line Extension doesn’t go west of the VA Hospital and the Crenshaw/LAX Line won’t go north of Exposition Boulevard, for example. Stay tuned.

Ranking neighborhoods by their potential for affordable, transit-friendly housing (Curbed LA) 

A new study by UCLA and the Los Angeles Business Council finds a wide variety of transit-accessible neighborhoods could support mixed-use, mixed-income workforce housing. The first three on the list are along the Blue Line — no surprise, given the lack of TOD investment along Metro’s longest and most popular light rail route.

Bikes get permanent spot on BART trains (San Francisco Chronicle) 

Sort of. After a trial period, “The two-wheelers will still be prohibited from the first train car at all times, the first three cars during the most crowded hours of the morning and evening commutes, and from cars that are already crowded,” reports the Chronicle. Bikes have been permitted on all Metro trains in L.A. County at all times since spring 2011.

4 replies

  1. I find it really amazing that now Whittier wants the Gold Line down Whittier Blvd now ! I remember going t meetings where everyone was against it or even using parts of the old UP line. And now they are paying to push this project. This is why MTA came up with the 60 route to the north and Washington route to the south both basically to avoid Whittier. Truly amazing, but this should have been the choice from the beginning. Just build a few below ground grade separations at some of the biggest/busiest intersections that can double as stations. The other problem you are going to have is while Pico Rivera will support, i don’t think Montebello will, short of a total subway. Will be very interesting how this plays out.

  2. Whittier shouldn’t have to hire a lobbyist. They’re right: the Washington Boulevard route makes more sense. According to Metro’s own documents the Washington route has higher projected ridership. Although the overall capital cost would be higher for the Washington route than the 60 route, the cost per mile would be LOWER even under the worst case cost estimate [1].

    The Washington route’s major flaw is that it comes so close to Uptown Whittier without actually getting there.


  3. If Whittier gets there wish, then the Gold line Eastside Extension Phase 2 or 3 should bring the end of the line down to the East end of the Green line. This will help connect the area. Then, maybe consider sending the Green line further east (tunnel if needed some of the way.

  4. I would be totally for the idea of re-energizing the blighted communities with TOD. But it’s just not happening fast to bring affordable condo pricing down to levels that the middle class can afford.

    I think Metro should lead the way in developing TOD on their own just like how Asian transit agencies owns and manages the real estate properties within and nearby their stations.

    But just like Asian transit agencies, I also think Metro needs to discuss privatization seriously because no one wants government buying and bulldozing existing homes and land for the sake of development at the expense of everyone’s tax dollars.