Reminder: there’s a community meeting at 6 p.m. tonight in Palmdale about Metro’s potential ballot measure. More info here.
Things to read whilst transiting:
•If you need proof that apes will one day surely rule, look no further than Buzzfeed, which actually has a post about what’s trending on Amazon. If apes do come to power, btw, it should be noted that I have been a consistent sympathizer and am well qualified to oversee their blog, The Banana.
•For riders who would like to engage their brain, here’s the list of 2016 Pulitzer Prizes, with links to the various pieces of journalism that took home prizes. The Los Angeles Times’ Steve Lopez was a finalist for an outstanding series of columns on locals here struggling to find a path in our economy.
•Provocative article with some provocative ideas (ban the lottery!) in the Atlantic about why Americans have become so bad at saving money.
•No justice for Mr. Spaghetti, the fake dog who won a real contest. Warning: adult language. It involves transit. Sort of.
Art of Transit:
Okay, ‘forever’ is a bit of a strong word. But good article that starts with the information that most people care about: “Twenty-three miles. Thirty-seven minutes. Nine dollars. That’s the distance, the duration and the price of a one-way trip between Union Station and Denver International Airport.”
Then later, this:
Denver joins fewer than 20 cities in the United States — among them Seattle, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis — with a train to the airport. But Denver’s line has advantages over most of the others, Goetz said. The high-speed electrified commuter rail (the A-Line can reach a top speed of 79 mph), has only six stops between Union Station and DIA to slow it down, and it pulls right up to the airport without the need for a people-mover, shuttle bus or lengthy hike to get from baggage claim or check-in to the train platform.
For those not familiar with Denver, the airport was built in the prairie far to the east of downtown. The train is basically commuter rail — similar to Metrolink, thus the greater speeds. It will be interesting to see what kind of ridership it generates. My hunch is the line will do well although it sounds like the walk between the airport train and light rail at Denver’s main hub — Union Station — is a long one.
Related: We have a project in the works to connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Green Line to a people mover that LAX is building. Sure, the one seat ride in Denver is great but let’s remember that LAX is closer to DTLA and other job and population centers than Denver International. When our system is built out, I think a lot of people will be able to get to LAX via Metro Rail in a manageable amount of time and a good price.
The numbers were included in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s State of the City address. Excerpt:
This past week, Garcetti included a study commissioned by the MTA in his annual State of the City address that projected how much the current voter-approved Measure R would benefit the five-county Southern California region. The study was conducted by the L.A. County Economic Development Corp.
Over the 30-year life of the tax measure, the MTA said Friday in a news release, its projects will contribute 426,980 jobs and $80.7 billion in economic output, while total spending on proposed highway and transit projects would be at least $51.1 billion.
A lot of the money is generated by revenue spent by construction firms and taxes paid for materials and by those with jobs, according to the LACEDC. Metro, of course, is considering a potential ballot measure that would raise the countywide sales tax by a half-cent for 40 years and continue the Measure R sales tax another 18 years. That would raise an estimated $120 billion, with a lot of those funds being pumped back into the local economy via transportation projects and jobs.
LAist recently asked its readers why they don’t ride mass transit. They received hundreds of answers and some of them, it seemed, provided reasons with factual info that was wrong.
To its great credit, LAist tries to debunk those myths (yes, you can load a TAP card online). The one caveat I’ll add: all Metro buses do have bike racks. But we can’t guarantee there will be space for your bike, especially on the busier bus lines. It may help to have a Plan B if the bus either doesn’t run frequently or the bike racks are filled.
How public transit can thrive in car-obsessed cities (mySidewalk)
This is an article all about Los Angeles. It begins with a pretty cool map showing all the bike, bus and rail routes in L.A. — it’s a pretty impressive amount of coverage. The article concludes that half the battle of gaining ridership in L.A. involves letting people know the transit system exists and where they can go on it.
Can’t argue with that. On the rail side, that’s not too hard. On the bus side, it’s more of a challenge as bus lines operated by Metro and others can resemble a bowl of crooked spaghetti when mapped.
Categories: Transportation Headlines