How We Roll, April 14: a cringeworthy forecast for telecommuting, worshipers bemoan Westside traffic

Go Metro…to the NHL playoffs! The Kings play the Sharks at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday in a big first round matchup. Pico Station — shared by the Blue Line and Expo Line — is a very short stroll to Staples Center. We like the Kings and their superior defense in six games. We also predict that the Ducks will lose to Nashville in seven. More here about going Metro to sportsing events.

Go Metro to the L.A. Rams (beginning in August): As described by the NFL..

The terms are as follows: Tennessee gets: Rams‘ first-round pick (2016), two second-round picks (2016), a third-round pick (2016), a first-round pick (2017) and another third-round pick (2017).

Rams get: Titans‘ first-overall pick (2016), a fourth-round pick (2016) and a sixth-round pick (2016).

The NFL is all about smart drafting. If it works, the Rams will have an easier time selling expensive seats in Inglewood in 2019. If it doesn’t work (the more likely scenario, I think), this probably gives the Titans — who already have a QB — a shot at the Super Bowl within five years while guaranteeing that it may be a long while until the Rams have a team that can get past divisional rival Seattle in the standings and go deep in the playoffs.

Art of Transit 1: A steam engine owned and operated by the San Bernardino Rail Historical Society is parked at Union Station today (the California Passenger Rail Summit is being held in L.A. this week). You can best see the engine from platform 13 and check the Society’s Facebook page for departure info. A couple of pics I took yesterday:

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.


Art of Transit 2: Well, that went well 🙂


Leo Baeck Temple fosters passionate support for transit improvements in Sepulveda Pass (Jewish Journal)

At a temple overlooking the oft-congested 405, Metro CEO Phil Washington spoke to community members from synagogues and churches about Metro’s potential ballot measure and plans for Westside projects.

Attendees shared stories about 405-related congestion and its hindrance to crosstown visits to friends, cultural landmarks and places of worship.

“My friend couldn’t get to a funeral for someone he loved dearly because of traffic on the 405. He literally turned around and went home,” Jerry Goldstein, a Leo Baeck member, said.

Among the Westside and San Fernando Valley projects in the potential ballot measure: an acceleration of the Purple Line Extension subway to Westwood by 2024-26, a bus rapid transit project over the Sepulveda Pass and an eventual rail line across or under the pass.

More here about the potential ballot measure. And reminder: there’s a public meeting tonight in Carson. All dates and times of public meetings this month are here (scroll down).

Construction getting underway for protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street in DTLA (Streetsblog LA)

The lanes will run between Union Station and 1st Street, providing better access between LAUS and Little Tokyo and the Civic Center. As Joe Linton notes, the current bike lanes have a number of conflict points between bikes and vehicles. The city of L.A. says the work will be done by the time Metro’s bike share program opens in DTLA this summer.

City records show that Uber and Lyft have devastated L.A.’s taxi industry (LAT)

Total taxi trips are down by 33 percent over the past three years and trips planned in advance are down 42 percent, so says city of Los Angeles records. The number of taxi drivers has also dropped 14 percent. But no taxi companies have gone out of business as a result.

Obviously Uber and Lyft tend to be cheaper rides than taxis. The question to be seen: will ride hailing stay cheaper than taxis or will costs associated with putting a lot of miles on cars in urban settings catch up to them and consumers?

L.A. mayor answers backlash to mega-developments with plan of his own (KPCC)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will use his State of the City address to call for the hiring of new planners to help update the many community zoning plans that haven’t been updated for years. Older plans are often thought to be one reason that developers so often seek (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) exemptions from the current guidelines.

The big question: whether new community plans will promote density and larger buildings in places it makes sense (such as near transit) or whether they will clamp down on larger structures, which some activists and residents accuse of causing more traffic.

If work is digital why do we still go to the office? (HBR)

This odd and uncredited photo of a goat exiting a train station accompanies the article. I'm sure the goat would rather be telecommuting from his/her pasture.

This odd and uncredited photo of a goat exiting a train station accompanies the article. I’m sure the goat would rather be telecommuting from his/her pasture.


What early digital commentators missed is that even if we can work from anywhere, that does not mean we want to. We strive for places that allow us to share knowledge, to generate ideas, and to pool talents and perspectives. Human aggregation, friction, and the interaction of our minds are vital aspects of work, especially in the creative industries. And that is why the quality of the physical workplace is becoming more crucial than ever — bringing along watershed changes.

The authors must not have to sit in meetings where people talk just for the sake of talking whilst enjoying the sound of their own voices and alleged wisdom. The article also predicts more dynamic work places where we can work in even closer proximity to colleagues. #barf #pleaseclosemydoor #apeswillrule

Or to put it another way, these authors don’t seem to believe that telecommuting will be reducing traffic any time soon.

MetroCard design ideas sought by New York MTA (amNewYork)

Instead of the swipe-able cards, the MTA looks headed toward using a tappable card and/or smart phones to pay fares.


8 replies

  1. The problem with Taxi’s are that the drivers are unethical. I left a club in Hollywood at last call and missed the last ride to Koreatown on the subway. I had cash and thought “there are cabs everywhere, so why even summon a lytt if I wouldn’t even have to wait?”. I got in one taxi, told him i’d be going to Wilshire and Western from where we were; Hollywood and Highland. The fare? 20 bucks….!? WTF (WHATA TAXI FARE!)? I got out and thought, i’ll try another. So I did, and the experience was much the same so I appealed this time and said “i’m local, and Wilshire and Western is only five miles from here.” The cab driver looked back and said “You’re probably going to want to take a different ride. I called a lyft, went all the way to my apartment, and the cost was only about 4.50. The distance is only about 3.5 miles, so that was totally reasonable.

    Lyft and Uber have done nothing but taken an unregulated and poor service and improved on it. Had Taxi companies not been so complacent ripping off tourists, they would have found a way to market their service outside of putting business cards on pay phones. Who still uses pay phones anyway? They’ve rendered themselves obsolete and even in a pinch, are still not worth it.

    Los Angeles has never been known for being a yellow cab town, so it really isn’t much of a loss in my opinion.

  2. The Steam Engine is on track 15 isn’t it (And not 13)? At least it was yesterday when I went over to check it out… 🙂 MAN it’s big!

    • Yes, it’s on 15. You can see the train best from 13.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Time to bite the bullet; no BRT for the pass on the 405. Subway/rail from the north end of the Valley, tunnel under the pass, all the way to the future LAX transit/people mover hub. Stations co-located at every east/west line.

    If you insist on BRT, use Sepulveda.

    • I couldn’t agree more with Tigershaktoo more!! Absolutely NO BRT in the Sepulveda Pass!! This line doesn’t have to be totally subway, like the Red/Purple lines, but the Sepelveda Pass segment needs to be undergrounded so that it can make the grade properly. Additionally, I feel, that the segment, most likely along Van Nuys Blvd., should be “at grade” and NOT SUBWAY as by being “at grade, it will produce a better ridership. Van Nuys has the space to put light rail down the entire legnth from San Fernando Road all the way to either the Orange Line or Ventura Blvd. over to Sepulveda Blvd. where it could enter a subway somewhere near Ventura Blvd. and then continue on through the Sepulveda Pass stopping somewhere near UCLA, then continuing on with it’s journey and terminating somewhere near the proposed new LAX station.

      • BRT would be the initial project in first 15 years of ballot measure with rail to come in the second 15 years. It’s not one or the other.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

      • Steve I agree with 2 comments above. BRT on the 405 is both a waste of time and money; money better spent for a Sepulveda Pass LRT line. Forcing the 405 to become a toll / “Lexus Lanes” freeway is another disaster. The SFV valley should vote no based on those 2 reasons alone.

        • Hey Vic;

          Thanks for the comment! I always like hearing everyone’s opinions on the projects but I also urge everyone to comment on the draft spending plan. You can do so here:

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source