Transportation headlines, Monday, March 2

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Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: Wild extravagant personalities, Washington Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard

ART OF TRANSIT: Looking toward a Metro bus on Spring Street from Our Lady Queen of Angels - La Placita. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: Looking toward a Metro bus on Spring Street from Our Lady Queen of Angels – La Placita. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Gas prices in California are going nuts (AP)

Problems are refineries and the annual shift to summer blend gasoline are blamed for the recent run-up in prices with prices around town in the $3.50 range per gallon. Coincidentally, a round-trip ride on Metro is $3.50 — something for discretionary riders to keep in mind if gas prices continue to rise (likely, IMHO).

Targeting inequality, this time on transit (New York Times) 

Sound Transit on Sunday began offering discounted fares to low-income riders on light rail. Those with households making no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, are eligible for fares costing $1.50. Normal fares are $2 to $2.75 for others (it depends on how far you travel).

As the Times points out, these type of programs aren’t completely novel as other cities have them. The article focuses on the Seattle area, where a tech boom has certainly made money for some, but has increasingly put the squeeze on lower-income residents, many who have to move further away from their jobs to find affordable housing.

Metro has a “rider relief” program that offers discounts up to $10 on weekly or monthly passes. Please click here for more info about eligibility. Metro also offers discounted fares for seniors, the disabled, Medicare recipients and students. More info here.

Getting lost in a literary adventure on wheels (KCET)

A new Open Books ride explored three independent bookstores in L.A. and a little rain and gloom didn’t stop the fun. Great idea.

Nice little video from Streetfilms that offers a glimpse of walking, biking and transit from 10 cities around the globe — I couldn’t tell if there was a snippet of L.A. in the CicLOvia section:


Interesting things to read while riding transit:

The shape of things to come (New Yorker)

A profile of Apple’s head designer, Jonathan Ive, as the release nears of the iWatch, which sounds like one of those devices many of us will both loath and want.

Letter of recommendation: Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk (New York Times Magazine)

Riders of a certain age will appreciate this look back at the band’s let’s-turn-over-the-furniture approach to followup to “Rumors.” The album’s title track featured two iconic things from L.A.: Dodger Stadium and the USC band, not to mention Stevie Nicks twirling a baton.

All 60 Oscar nominated films, ranked (Slate) 

The telecast last week was almost unwatchable — after 10 minutes I was puttering around the house looking for anything else to do. But this guide by Joe Reid is a good look at some of the many films that got little attention but are probably worth a look. I agree with Reid that “Wild” was overlooked (I didn’t like the book, but really liked the movie) but thought his No. 40 ranking of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was a total diss.


The Regent reopened as a concert venue last year. I saw Lucinda Williams there on Saturday night. Whoa — great small venue and pretty awesome to be 25 feet from one of the great songwriters of our time for a couple of hours. The Regent is located at 448 S. Main Street and is easy to reach via a variety of Metro Bus lines (including the 720 and 733 Rapid Bus lines, downtown bus map) and the Red/Purple Line subway (Pershing Square Station). Both Spring Street and Main Street have bike lanes that you can use to reach Union Station.




3 replies

  1. Alternatively, Metro can just implement distance based fares altogether and give a lower per-mile rate for qualified individuals like students, elderly, disabled, and low income persons. Like normally it would be 50 cents per mile up to a cap of $2.50, but qualified individuals only pay 25 cents per mile to a cap of $1.25.

    • Like the Taipei MRT. Except, over there it isn’t actually 50 cents per mile because they use the more logical metric system anyway, and it starts off as low as that and gradually increases by ten cents or so the farther you go up to maximum cap. Qualified individuals get a discounted rate.

  2. A low income fare would not be a bad idea on Metro, but it would require the base fare go up. This could be the tool needed to bring Metro fares in line with other major cities, especially in 2019 when the Crenshaw Line and Regional Connector have opened, and implement distance based fares on rail.