Click here for more on how to take the Dodger Stadium Express from Harbor Gateway and Union Station to the ballpark. Incentive: if you have a game ticket, the bus is free!
Things to read/watch while sitting/standing/stuck on transit:
Five bold predictions for the 2015 Dodgers in the Sporting News. Well, they got some right and they got some wrong. I’m sure Dodger fans will hope they missed badly on No. 5. Cardinals fans will find themselves nodding in agreement.
Los Angeles Dodgers payroll and team salaries. The Dodgers have the highest payroll in baseball. See what the players earn and decide for yourself if they were worth it from a baseball point of view. Interestingness: eight of the top 10 teams in terms of salary did not make the playoffs, including the Tigers, Red Sox, Giants, Nationals, Angels, Padres and Mariners. Hmm.
Finally, it’s fun to watch the following it in the context of the entire half-inning and Kirk Gibson’s entire and prolonged at-bat. Even a non-Dodger fan who watched this live while living in the Ohio hinterlands can appreciate this excellent display of baseball. Take it away, Vin Scully (and get better soon!):
Frequent Metro rider Carren Jao like some things about the new high-tech bus shelters that the city of Los Angeles is building at a few locations as part of its Great Streets program:
The streets of Los Angeles are often hot, unfriendly, concrete places. As a frequent bus rider, I’ve often had to linger uncomfortably under the blistering sun, wishing I put on more sunblock. [snip]
L.A.’s bus system handles around 1 million boardings on a given weekday. Instead of 15 tech-friendly stops peppered around the city, L.A. needs adequate shade solutions installed on all of the city’s stops. Making sure riders are shaded is crucial, especially when you take into account research by UCLA scientists that predicts that parts of Los Angeles County could quadruple their days of extreme heat by 2050.
As it happens, one of our regular readers commented about this issue on the blog today. Excerpt from Chewie’s comment:
It seems to me that even with the most ambitious rail-building plans, most people will still have to rely at least in part on our bus systems if they want to use transit. Currently, buses are still the workhorses of Metro’s transit system. Baking in the sun is a big deterrent to using transit and a social injustice, considering the preponderance of low-income and non-white riders on transit. I really hope Metro looks at this in a serious way as a part of any new ballot measure. I think this could go a long way towards combating anti-bus stigma as well.
Chewie also wanted to know if Metro has any kind of program to upgrade its stops.
Here’s the issue in a nutshell. Metro buses stop at nearly 16,000 locations around Los Angeles County. Metro is responsible for bus stops at off-street facilities (i.e. the Patsouras Transit Plaza, rail stations) and shelters must conform to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to ensure they are equitably distributed without regard to race, color or national origin. Specifically, at light rail stations Metro must have at least 80 linear feet of shelter per bay and at bus stations there must be at least six linear feet of shelter per bus bay.
As for bus stops along streets: the cities where stops are located are responsible for maintaining them or building any structure or shelter. Example: in the city of Los Angeles — the largest city in our county — the Bureau of Street Services has contracted with an outdoor advertiser to build shelters at a few locations.
This is a typical arrangement in other cities in our county and also a way for those cities to raise revenues.
But let’s face it: the vast majority of stops in our county are simply signs by the side of the road. That probably will not change until cities decide it’s worth the investment. To return to Chewie’s question: there is no ongoing program to build shelters at these type of bus stops. The best we can tell you — and I know I’ll be on the wrong end of a Bronx cheer for writing this — is to contact the transportation department and/or elected representative in cities where you want bus shelters.
Related: Here are a couple of posts about this very subject from 2013:
Los Angeles and the dignity of bus stop shelters at the Chicago Carless blog.
People get ready: winter is upon us and bus stop shelters won’t shelter you at Streetsblog LA.
Dorothea Lange photos of L.A. poverty in 1936 (LAObserved)
Photos by the famous Depression-era photographer of Mexican and Chinese communities in downtown L.A. on the site of the future Union Station.
A closer look at Metro station area grades (Ethan Elkind)
One of the authors of the study released earlier this week elaborates on why some stations received certain grades. I took umbrage with some of the grades, including the C- given to the South Pasadena station — a station that I think is a good one. Ethan responds:
The issue is not, as Steve suggests, about a lack of jobs or commercial development nearby. Instead, in looking at the data, the station area scored low because it was at the bottom for the percentage of people (workers and residents) within 1/2 mile who actually use transit. It also scored low for affordability in the area and for the percentage of people who don’t own a car. Otherwise, it scored well on transit quality, safety and walkability, among a few others.
A couple of key statistics that may be helpful to those pondering this: According to the latest Census numbers, 5.4 percent of commuters in South Pas take transit compared to 7.1 percent of commuters who take transit countywide (those numbers only reflect those commuting to work). In terms of Gold Line boardings, the South Pas station is in the middle of the pack.
As far as the overall study goes, I think the main takeaway is the study is yet another reminder that development continues to elude some transit stations across the state. I’m interested in why exactly that is and what can be done about it at particular locations. Perhaps a future study could address that.
The always fun Ask Umbra column tackles a thorny question for some people. Umbra points out that for every pro there seems to be a con. And yet, the pros are promising — potential savings on gas, safety and a solution perhaps for transit’s first-mile/last-mile problem.
L.A. vs San Francisco (KCRW Press Play)
If you have 13 minutes, here’s a good listen. Once upon a time, L.A. had high salaries and an emerging tech sector. Then things changed with San Francisco getting the leg up on the tech boom while L.A. hung on to its film and television industries and manufacturing.
This dovetails nicely with yesterday’s HWR item on the tech boom and its impact on West Coast cities, most notably San Francisco and Seattle. Sure, these are not transportation items per se. But local economies and transportation are not isolated issues.
Recent How We Rolls:
Oct. 8: more buzz on a potential ballot measure and potential transit projects, why guys lie about carburetors, a transit Armgeddon below the Hudson and Lex Luthor’s plans for the West Coast.
Oct. 7: ideas for Metro’s new Chief Innovation Officer, Paris sucker punches smog, Uber vs Lyft vs transit, an airplane seat arrangement scheme spawned by the Devil herself/himself.
Oct. 6: Gov. Brown signs bill allowing double-articulated buses, the ivory tower gives letter grades to Metro stations, thoughts on the non-war on driving, the cost of L.A.’s Olympic ambitions.
Oct. 5: reading about mobility while on transit, Long Beach gets a Flyaway bus, coal vs electric buses, traffic vs delivery trucks.
Oct. 1: all about cities — gentrification, TODs vs parking, the changing DTLA skyline, Show Me a Hero, cities and transit and diversity.
Categories: Transportation Headlines