HWR, Sept. 19: here comes autumn, here comes election season

Rams are in first place!: I’ll be posting the ridership estimates for the Rams game on Sunday over at this post, where we have plenty of pics already. Looks like it was pretty busy day out there on the Expo Line and Silver Line.

Super Bowl prediction update: Joe Lemon and I may not be highly-paid NFL experts but after two weeks of the NFL regular season, our Super Bowl picks still seem plausible. I’ve got the Vikings vs Bengals and Joe likes the Cards vs Patriots. The Bengals loss to the Steelers was a bummer, but hey — the NFL wanted them to lose and made sure they did.

Art of Transit: 


Cities along future Gold Line cross fingers for Measure M, go all in with related development (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin) 

One of the Measure M sales tax ballot measure projects is an extension of the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont, with stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. The Daily Bulletin also says that San Bernardino County officials have said they will pay to extend the line to Montclair. Excerpt:

Meanwhile, L.A. County officials are putting all their Gold Line eggs into one Measure M basket.

If Measure M doesn’t pass, the authority would have to evaluate how to move forward the various projects it’s overseeing “based on when funds become available,” said Pauletta Tonilas, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro.

“We have not identified another plan at this point,” Tonilas said. “This is the plan we’re putting forth to the public. We haven’t thought beyond that. We’re focused on Measure M and educating the public on what Measure M will provide.”

A distant Plan B, should the ballot measure fail, would have Metro looking at “local, state and federal funding opportunities, such as low-interest loans or other mechanisms we can use to keep things moving,” she said.

Developers are already eyeing projects along the line. Of course, Source Readers With Long Memories will remember that was also the case with the Pasadena-to-Azusa phase, with some of those projects succumbing to the Great Recession or being delayed by it.

Related: The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority released a video last week on the Azusa-Montclair segment. See it here.

Metro’s half-cent sales tax increase ballot measure — the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan — is on the Nov. 8 ballot in Los Angeles County. You can learn more about the plan here. I suggest looking at the ordinance and the project/program list. Speaking of…

Metro moves up date for possible Crenshaw/LAX northern extension (WEHOville) 

Extending the Crenshaw/LAX Line north of the Expo Line to the Purple Line and a possible connection with the Red Line in Hollywood is another of the Measure M sales tax ballot measure projects — but under the current project list isn’t due to be completed to break ground until 2041 and be completed until 2047-49.

But Metro CEO Phil Washington recently wrote a letter to WeHo Council Member Lindsey Horvath committing to getting the planning and environmental studies done by 2020 to give the project a shot at getting accelerated (if Measure M passes) via state and federal grants or possibly a public-private partnership.

There was an early feasibility study done in 2009 that looked at three potential routes. More about that in this recent post.

Consider actual benefits from Sound Transit 3 (Seattle Times) 

In an editorial that is either poorly written or meek, the Times’ editorial board suggests that they agree with a local city that believes the ballot measure that would raise sales taxes, property taxes and vehicle license fees to pay for transit expansion would benefit too few places in the Greater Seattle area. One advocacy group responded this way:

Quasi-related: driving alone to work in the Seattle area has dropped more than eight percent in the last decade according to new Census Bureau numbers, although these year-by-year stats do come with a higher margin of error than other Bureau estimates.

As we’ve noted, there are plenty of transportation ballot measures going to voters this fall, especially on the West Coast. In the Bay Area, a bond measure will be considered to help pay for BART maintenance and the San Diego region is considering a sales tax increase to pay for transit and highway project upgrades and repairs.

Parking for Rams games hits $200 and up (LAT)

Fun story about parking lot operators and those in the neighborhood trying to figure out what to charge fans trolling for parking near the Coliseum. I was amazed at how much some folks are paying to see the Rams — nothing against them (4.5 points per game!) but going to an NFL game means embracing the term “television timeout.”

Interactive Metro ridership map (Google Maps)


I’m not sure who made this map, but hit the link above to click away and see ridership numbers for different bus and rail stops. The screen grab shows the pattern: the highest ridership stops and stations tend to increase the closer they get to DTLA. But there’s also some busy bus stops out in the SFV.


6 replies

  1. Metro Rail maintains two distinct systems of rail: a light rail system and a heavy rail system. The heavy rail and light rail systems are incompatible with each other, even though they both use 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge. Metro’s heavy rail lines are powered by third rail, whereas its light rail lines are powered by overhead catenary. Also, the two separate systems have different loading gauge, and platforms are designed to match the separate car widths.

  2. The map has interesting numbers – apparently more people get off the train at Santa Monica than get on the train during weekends, by several thousand. I wonder why that is.

    • Yes, very interesting. However, the Expo numbers are incorrect. I’m looking at the numbers for the Culver City and La Cienega stations. The numbers indicate that ~90% of the riders at these stations are headed eastbound to downtown LA. Anybody who uses these stations since Phase 2 opened knows that a majority of the ridership at these two stations is now headed westbound to Santa Monica.

  3. I have a crazy idea.

    Why not start a list of the Top 10 of heavy and light rail projects that should make to the list and have the priorities to get them build in the future? Much like how the NFL relocation to L.A. had the Rams competing against the Chargers and Raiders over which stadium proposal site should get selected, with the Rams winning over the other two AFC West teams. This is my personal opinion.

  4. “Other options considered by Metro are running the extension from San Vicente to Fairfax Avenue and on to the Hollywood/Highland Red Line station and ending the extension at the Wilshire/Vermont Red Line station.”

    That last part must be a typo….