Transportation headlines, Friday, November 21

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Nice sunset on Thursday evening as seen from the Gold Line platform at Union Station. Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro.


And a little later as the colors in the sky began to fade.

And a little later as the colors in the sky began to fade.

Does anyone get ticketed for cheating on freeway toll lanes? (L.A. Times)

A reader asks columnist David Lazarus what happens to scofflaws who use the Metro ExpressLanes without a transponder or who try to escape paying the tolls? The answer: as of this staff report issued mid-October, 7,279 citations had been issued — with more CHP sweeps soon to begin. To learn more about the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways and how to get a transponder needed to use the lanes, please click here. Single motorists pay a toll while carpoolers can use the lanes for free (three or more occupants are required for free use on the 10 freeway during peak hours).

NYC takes on ‘manspread’ and other rude subway habits; L.A. should too (L.A. Times) 

The New York MTA is set to launch a PR campaign next year reminding riders of a few basic civilities they should follow when riding transit. LAT opinion page writer Kerry Cavanaugh says Metro should do the same. She offers a few peeves, among them people who don’t stand to the right on escalators, those who listen to profane music without headphones and those who block train doors. We agree — and are working on something.

More headlines after the jump!

Bus service may ease I-5 worries (Burbank Leader)

The article looks at a motion approved by the Metro Board last week to study a bus line that would connect the Orange Line’s North Hollywood Station, Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Glendale and the Gold Line’s Lake Avenue Station in Pasadena. The idea is that the bus line would serve as mitigation for continued work on the 5 freeway. Excerpt:

The mitigation package was approved, but did not include plans or funding for the bus service. [Metro Board Member and Glendale Councilman Ara] Najarian said his latest measure directs Metro CEO Arthur Leahy to review funding options for the bus service expansion, he said.

“The first, most important step is the funding,” he said, noting that the service could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate.

Najarian said the bus service would be “just a Band-Aid … an interim step to creating the connectivity” until something like the Orange Bus Rapid Transit Line can be established connecting the stations.

That’s a good explanation — in other words this is something that might happen. Metro is also doing some high-level analysis of a future BRT route between NoHo, Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena — and such a project is in the agency’s long-range plan as a tier 2 unfunded project needed further definition.

Both ends want a bullet train; it’s those in the middle that object (New York Times) 

I saw the headline and figured the story was about California’s high-speed rail efforts. Nope. The article is about a private firm that hopes to build a bullet train between Houston and Dallas. Officials in the cities see a big benefit. Those in rural areas only can foresee noisy trains whizzing past. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this project and see if something gets built — high-speed rail has been tough to implement in the U.S. although Americans seem to love it when they go overseas.

In a self-driving future, we may not even own cars (L.A. Times) 

The article speculates that after autonomous cars become common (no sure thing but certainly possible) it will be easier and cheaper for people to pay by the ride. And that more and more people will get around via a range of options, from autonomous car ride sharing to transit. Hmmm. Not so sure about that. I think, as we discussed here the other day, that some families will give up a second or third car — but car ownership and the convenience factor that goes with it will remain a big draw for folks who don’t mind spending the money.

4 replies

  1. “Single motorists pay a toll while carpoolers can use the lanes for free”

    It’s not “free” when there is a $1 monthly maintenance fee attached to it.

  2. Bus service to help relieve the crowded 5 freeway? Does it make any kind of sense to use a public automobile (the bus) to attempt to break the gridlock caused by the private automobile (a car)? Yeah, right! I’ll quit smoking cigarettes once I switch to cigars!!
    wouldn’t it be far more of an intelligent decision to just build rail and leave the rubber tires to themselves?

  3. It think it is an excellent idea to use mass transit to connect all the employment centers of north L.A. County. If Metro can cut the solo driving time in half from Chatsworth to Pasadena, I think a lot of drivers can ditch the 210, 134 and 118 freeways. The ideal travel time should more than 90 minutes during rush hour. Metro can achieve this goal by implementing express limited stop service in the current Orange Line and increase the speed limit of the line.

    • Actually, Ivan, Metro is achieving the 90-minute goal with rail construction and operation, and not by tweaking the bus services in any way, shape or form. Buses are victimized by the machines they are as well as the machines they compete with on the same rolling surfaces, such as a street or highway. The automobile is its own undoing, whether it’s known as a car, BUS, or TRUCK!
      Your two suggestions: inplementing express limited stop service–requires buses to play “leapfrog” (repeatedly passing one another), and increasing the line’s speed, will create distastrous collisions which would justify, in a heartbeat, its conversion to rail. We may not have to rebuild every centimeter of the original Pacific Electric or Los Angeles Railway tracks; just plan ahead, build the rail lines, and operate them 24/7/365.