Writer and long-time transit rider D.J. Waldie ruminates on a possible policy change at Metro that would shift bus service hours from low-ridership lines to busier routes in order to offer more frequent service in those corridors. D.J. is concerned, however, that this amounts to offering better service to discretionary riders on higher-income corridors while leaving the truly transit dependent — the folks he meets on buses late at night — behind.
Jarrett Walker at Human Transit also wrote about this recently — and offers a different perspective. I’ve met with Metro staff and will also be writing about this soon. One point of emphasis: this is certainly important and is something that is underway but requires approval of the Metro Board of Directors. I do want to emphasize that the intent is not to reduce overall bus service hours but rather to redistribute some of them — and to make some other improvements to help boost bus ridership and make it more financially viable.
So much for the days of short headlines when the number of adjectives were somewhat limited! The article looks at the proposed project to provide better lighting, signage, access to buses and more at the Rosa Parks Station, which serves as a transfer point between the Blue and Green Lines and is the fourth busiest Metro Rail station behind Union Station, 7th/Metro and North Hollywood.
The project would cost $65 million — funding that Metro is trying to patch together from a variety of sources. Excerpt: “The station has a long way to go to make it nice,” said Tim Lindholm, Metro’s executive officer for capital projects. “We want to flip it on its head, make it a bright, safe and secure place where you’d want to be.”
The NYT editorial page is not crazy about aspects of the Senate’s version of the multiyear transportation funding bill. In particular, the Times criticizes a provision that would delay implementation of anti-collision technology for our nation’s railroads and other provisions that would allow 18-year-olds to drive freight trucks on the interstates. Excerpt: “Even by the low standards of the current Congress, these bills are egregious examples of faithfully saying yes to everything industry wants, in this case the transportation companies.”
One note: Metrolink, which is funded in part by Metro and runs commuter rail in our region, has already started to install the anti-collision technology, putting it well ahead of many other railroads.
The art of the interchange (Politico)
Aerial photographs of freeway interchanges. Surprise, surprise: Our region is well represented 🙂
Quasi-related: Utah is doing some interesting things with its basic freeway entrances and exits, flipping the direction of travel on bridges above to eliminate left turn signals needed for motorists to enter and exit the freeway. Here is an example of what they’re doing in Utah, although I’m not entirely sure this pic is from Utah:
A new climate change danger zone? (New Yorker)
When it comes to climate change, I consider anything written by Elizabeth Kolbert to be a must read. In this article, she looks at one of the thornier points of climate change: no one really knows exactly how much the average global temperatures need to rise to provoke all types of havoc from rising sea levels. A new study suggests that two degrees Celsius is the trigger, which is lower than political agreements.
As we’ve mentioned before, switching from driving — especially driving alone in a vehicle with average fuel efficiency — to taking transit, biking or walking is a good way to lower your carbon footprint.
Categories: Transportation Headlines