How We Roll, Nov. 5: oil companies and climate change research, pricey parking

Art of Transit: 

A southbound Silver Line bus on the Harbor Transitway at Slauson Station. The Silver Line will begin running to San Pedro in December. More on that soon! Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

A southbound Silver Line bus on the Harbor Transitway at Slauson Station. The Silver Line will begin running to San Pedro in December. More on that soon! Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

From the Dept. of Twitter: 

Or ‘never?’ Well, that’s one way to motivate the uncertain voter, I suppose.

In fact, Prop A was approved with 54 percent of the vote (this was before a two-thirds requirement was in place) and raised the countywide sales tax by a half-penny. L.A. County voters approved another half-cent sales tax increase in 1990 — Prop C — and then another in 2008 (Measure R).

The three sales tax increases together raised much of the funds needed to begin and expand the Metro Rail system. Measure R is funding much of the current expansion, including the Expo Line to Santa Monica and the Gold Line to Azusa, both which are to open in 2016.

Metro is also working on an update to its long-range plan and considering another sales tax ballot measure on the county ballot next November. Please see this recent post for more information. It’s important for readers here — who are some of the most knowledgeable people on transpo and transit in our region — to stay on top of the process.

From the Dept. of Twitter 2: 

If I was the Dodger general manager, I’d give Zach a jovial butt pat and wish him well in his travels. I think the money would better be spent filling out the pitching rotation and the rest of the lineup. Then again, my baseball heart is 2,160 miles distant.



Exxon: the road not taken (Inside Climate News) 

The website — a former Pulitzer winner — has a series of stories alleging that oil giant Exxon has tried to undermine climate research by the U.S. and the United Nations even though the firm’s own research dating back to the 1970s showed climate change was real.

ExxonMobil has posted a response on their blog that seeks to draw a distinction between its own research and the company’s pursuit of a political response to climate change that it feels is appropriate in a world in which fossil fuels are still heavily relied upon.

Scientists warned the president about global warming 50 years ago today (The Guardian) 

A good reminder that research and thinking about climate change has been ongoing for decades. See page 111 and onward:

Speaking of weather, the scene at Mammoth Mountain today is below. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, California certainly needs the snow and the water. Hopefully a glimpse of things to come…

Credit: Mammoth Mountain.

Credit: Mammoth Mountain.


$650K to park? Boston space may break record (CNBC)

The space is in Beacon Hill. I like the word ‘may’ in the headline which suggests that either no one knows anything or someone already paid more to park.

How we got into this mess. A history of Bay Area transportation (TriplePundit)


With the sprawl that came with the post-World War II population boom, these suburbs sprung up and filled in the gaps between – and spread beyond — the three initial populations centers. Highways became a fixture in the region, and, besides BART and, to some extent, Caltrain, transit was left to the individual cities and counties that were reluctant to cede control to a regional authority.

That means, today, there are an astounding 27 different transit agencies operating across the nine counties that make up the Bay Area — which, according to Gerry Tierney, an urban mobility expert at Perkins + Will’s San Francisco office, is one of the chief reasons we lack a comprehensive regional transportation system today.

“When you have 27 separate transit agencies, it is impossible to get coherent transportation planning that will operate on a complete Bay Area basis,” Tierney told Triple Pundit.

Observation 1: It’s always interesting to hear people in our region heap praise on the transit options in the Bay Area, a view clearly not shared by all denizens of New York West.

Observation 2: There are 26 transit agencies in Los Angeles County alone that use TAP cards. That begs the same question hinted at above: can so many different agencies work together effectively to provide the best transit options? Or is that asking too much.

House transportation bill impacts life of just about every American (The Hill) 

This recent op-ed is by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Penn.), the chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Can’t argue with his premise that mobility has always been crucial to America. In fact, the House today passed a six-year bill that will have to be reconciled with the Senate’s bill — Politico calls it a victory for new House Speaker Paul Ryan. The last multiyear bill expired in 2014 and has been extended at regular intervals in the midst of a lot of politicking.

Related!: The House version of the bill won’t raise the federal gas tax, last increased in 1993.

Things to read whilst whilsting away the time on transit: Really interesting piece at Five Thirty Eight looking at the decision by New York Mets manager Terry Collins to let Matt Harvey pitch the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series.

At the start of the ninth, there was about a 10 percent chance that the Royals would score two runs off Harvey versus a nine percent chance they would get two runs from the Mets’ closer. Not a dramatic difference but as things progressed in the inning, the numbers indicate the Mets played it wrong.

Sports things to read 2: are these the best Bengals ever? We’ll know after they get done beating the Browns tonight.

Recent How We Rolls: 

Nov. 4: High-speed rail cost concerns, the new WeHo to Red Line shuttle and Madrid to provide free transit on bad smog days.

Nov. 3why Supergirl should save trains or buses next, train signage issues at 7th/Metro, L.A. weighs slashing parking fines, how officials estimate ridership on future projects

Oct. 30: is The Force with mass transit?, a transit advocate — consumed by guilt — nonetheless buys a car, a commentary on the draft framework for Metro’s potential ballot measure.

Oct. 29: McDonald’s and the driving habits of Americans, to convert or not convert the Orange Line to rail and a great podcast on what keeps bridges from not falling down.

Oct. 28: bullet train officials say the project is on budget and on time, why transit is a tough sell in smaller cities, a really smart new bike.


9 replies

  1. Having twenty something agencies isn’t a lot when you have an example like Tokyo which manages to run 40+ different private companies running mass transit.

    But then again, Tokyo also doesn’t have problems where one transit provider uses flat rate fares and other uses distance based fares, nor does have to deal with confusing set of passes or transfer rules that vary from one agency to another.

    They’re all standardized to use distance based fares so whether you’re on the JR Lines, the Tokyo Metro Subways, Keisei, Seibu, Odakyu lines, Tokyo Waterfront Rinkai Line, Yurikamome AGT, the Chiba, Tachikawa or Tokyo Monorails, or the Toei buses, they all follow the same tap-in/tap-out rule which is all inter-operable with the Suica/PASMO card system.

  2. Last time I was driving down to San Pedro, I half wondered why the Silver Line didn’t go all the way. Did they read my mind?

    I looked it up, and it would appear that they’re going through with a proposal to incorporate line 450 into the route. Makes sense.

  3. Exxon did lie about global warming. Their own internal research from decades ago proves that they were aware of the problem. They lied to protect their business model and profits and now they are lying about their past lies to try and save face. That’s tough but fair.

  4. As LA has finally managed to get all 26 municipal transit agencies to adopt the TAP card system. But the next step, is that Metro needs to figure out a way to manage their TAP card system to handle distance based fares which is what Metrolink, Amtrak (at least the Pacific Surfliner route), and Uber, Lyft, and local cab companies run on.

    The TAP system and regional fare system will continue to remain incomplete without Metrolink, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, and the growing popularity of rideshare companies these days that fills in the first mile/last mile void. And it’s not impossible to do as ClipperCard handles distance based fares on BART and Caltrain, while keeping MUNI and others still running on a flat rate system.

    • The one thing where Clipper is better at than TAP is the ability to calculate automatic transfers between agencies. For example, there are discounts given for people going from BART to Muni, or from VTA to AC Transit. That functionality is still months away with TAP.

  5. “Observation 2: There are 24 transit agencies in Los Angeles County alone that use TAP cards. That begs the same question hinted at above: can so many different agencies work together effectively to provide the best transit options? Or is that asking too much.”

    It also begs the question whether people working for Metro don’t even know how many agencies are on TAP today, despite having an article written about it less than 2 months ago that the number is up to 26 now. Then again, Metro’s own website still says 24 also.

    26 transit agencies now on TAP

    So how many transit agencies are on TAP, 24 or 26? If The Source article writers themselves can’t get their number right, then that pretty much says we have too many agencies.