Transportation headlines, Friday, November 8

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ART OF TRANSIT: An early customer for the new NB 405 flyover ramp from Wilshire Boulevard on Thursday. The ramp is part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: An early customer for the new NB 405 flyover ramp from Wilshire Boulevard on Thursday. The ramp is part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

The mysterious, invisible opera in L.A.’s Union Station (The Verge) 

Great coverage of the “Invisible Cities” operate at Union Station via wireless headphones. The operate has been extended through this weekend; check here for ticket availability.

Register parent, Freedom Communications, drops talk of hub-naming rights (Orange County Register) 

The ‘oy vey’ story of the day. The Register’s owner was going to help Anaheim find a corporate sponsor interested in naming rights for the the new transportation hub under construction adjacent to the Angels’ ballpark. The sorta Journalism 101 obvious problem: it’s probably best if newspapers aren’t involved in funding projects they’re supposed to be covering.

The station looks nice, btw. It would be even nicer if there was evening train service back to L.A. for those interested in watching the Ducks engage in the exciting sport of ice hockey at the nearby Pond.

Rendering: city of Anaheim and OCTA.

Rendering: city of Anaheim and OCTA.

A look at how the New York subway system is being prepped for wireless reception (NY1) 

Cell service has already arrived at some Manhattan subway stations and the New York MTA is planning on having it at 277 stations by 2017. Here’s a look at some of the behind-the-scenes work to make that possible. The Metro Board of Directors approved a contract earlier this year to provide cell reception at underground stations but it will likely take a couple of years to implement.

King County proposes ending 74 bus routes (

Unhappy news for the Seattle area. Metro Transit says it needs more funding to replace the $1.2 billion lost to the Great Recession that began in 2008.

Cities turn to streetcars to spur economic development (Stateline: Pew Charitable Trusts)

The focus of the story is the four-mile streetcar project in Tucson that is expected to cost about $196 million and — according to supporters — attract four times that much in economic development along the route. The city of Los Angeles is seeking to build a four-mile streetcar route through downtown L.A. with the latest estimate running $153 to $162 million, according to city officials. Federal funding will be needed.

6 replies

  1. I like how several commenters have been able to make the distinction between $150 – $160 million dollars for a streetcar and wasteful government spending. I haven’t been able to make this distinction.

  2. I’m sure with lots of digging through wasteful government spending from here and there, there’s surely a way to come up with $150 to $160 million dollars that’s needed for the streetcar project.

  3. Pay cuts,

    That won’t really work, because highly skilled employees require market compensation or they go to other jobs where they will get that compensation. You can’t pay a Controller a five figure salary. They’ll go somewhere else. These type of jobs require strong performance, work history, and education and very few people have that.

    On the other hand, manual labor that requires few to no skills has many people lining up to do those jobs at even low rates of pay. Just think of all the dropouts in LA schools.

    Just another reason to get a college education and separate skills from the masses.

  4. Pay cuts has a point.

    Gov. Jerry Brown salary is $165,288. It makes no sense that a government official, no matter how high their position are, should be paid more than the Governor of our State.

    Just look at the City of Bell government managers trial going on right now.

    Taxes keep going up, government keeps getting more corrupt as they give themselves pay raises from those taxes, while everyone else suffers.

  5. Why not find ways to cut your expenses to come up with the money for the Downtown streetcar project?

    If Metro needs $150 million to fund the steetcar project, Metro can look into slashing Metro bureaucrats and elites pay by $10 million each year for the next 15 years and they can get the funding they need for this project that way too.

    I’m sure everyone on this executive compensation pay list can live their lives just as fine with a $50,000-$100,000 pay cut, no?

    Are you saying Metro CEO Art Leahy can’t live a good six figure income life than the rest of us with “only a” $225,500 a year salary than a $325,500 one?

    • Hi Metropaycuts;

      There are two reason that your comment is utterly ridiculous:

      1. The downtown L.A. streetcar is a city of L.A. project. Funding would largely come from the city of L.A. and a federal grant the city is targeting.

      2. Trimming executive pay, as you propose, doesn’t make up for large shortfalls on this project or any other project for that matter.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source