Money for highway and rail projects from the federal government will continue to flow — at least until December — after Congress passed another short-term funding extension. The hope is that a long-term spending bill would be passed, enabling transportation agencies to better anticipate funding scenarios for long-term projects. But with little prospect of a long-term bill being written (let alone passed) before the previous funding extension expired at the end of the month, it appears Congress extended funding in the short-term to buy more time.
Chapter 128 (or thereabouts, anyway) in the Uber vs. regulation saga. This time it’s a ruling that requires the embattled ride-share company to pay a fine and suspend their operations in its home state. Surprising no one, they plan to appeal. The issue:
In her decision, chief administrative law judge Karen V. Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission [CPUC] contended that Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers, regardless of where they live or who they are. She said Uber’s months-long refusal to provide such data is in violation of the 2013 law that legalized ride-hailing firms.
The article says that ridership data provided to the CPUC was not specific enough and in cases involving ride requests requiring special accommodations, no hard numbers were provided at all. Though a $7.3 million fine is a drop in the bucket for a company worth billions, experts say that Uber is forced to take this ruling much more seriously because it occurred in their home market.
Two local historians have started a petition to reopen the troubled Angels Flight funicular in downtown L.A. The 315-foot century-old railway that carried passengers up and down Bunker Hill in downtown was closed two years ago after one of its two cars derailed. In another incident a decade prior, one person was killed and seven injured.
“It’s a unique part of our heritage, it is functional…it’s one of the city’s great assets and it should be running again.”
According to the article, the safety issues that closed Angels Flight in 2013 have been addressed, though a walkway still needs to be installed adjacent to the railway. The petition currently has 400 signatures but other challenges facing the historic attraction are funding and no clear leadership.
Long Beach sues Caltrans, OCTA over 405 freeway widening project (Press-Telegram)
The city of Long Beach is suing the Orange County Transportation Authority over the environmental documents on the transit agency’s $1.7 billion widening project because it fails to mitigate impacts for the residents of Long Beach. The project, slated to begin construction next year, will add four lanes on I-405 in Orange County to just past the city limits of Long Beach. The city’s issue with the environmental report is that the five intersection improvements related to the widening work in Long Beach would require the city to foot the majority of the bill.
10 reasons why now is the best time to live in Los Angeles (Huffington Post)
You know it, I know it, but sometimes you gotta read about it. Numbers two and three are particularly relevant here.
Only quasi-transit related, but an interesting read. One reason the above article didn’t have in its top 10: affordable housing. Because let’s face it, living in L.A. is expensive.
In this article, Gizmodo’s Alissa Walker cites Bloomberg’s “Millennial Housing Affordability Index” that listed L.A. among thirteen of the least affordable cities in the U.S.
Because of this and other lifestyle preferences as they get older, some investors are betting that millennials are not completely eschewing the suburbs, but only delaying their move to it. And when they do, they’re “bringing the urban experience with them.” Walker explores some of the ways developers are catering to millennials by building “urban burbs” and she talks to millennials choosing to live in smaller, affordable cities where newcomers have more opportunity to create the culture, not just be a part of it.
L.A. is very interesting, surprising and beautiful (Zocalo Public Square)
The latest installment of Zocalo’s Metro rider series.
Joe can be found on Twitter @joseph_lem.
Categories: Transportation Headlines