Late night Metro Rail & BRT service tonight!: All Metro Rail lines and the Orange Line and Silver Line are running a Friday/Saturday night schedule tonight for you trick-or-treaters (especially if tricking/treating involves drinks), meaning they’ll be in service until 2 a.m. or so. All timetables are here.
Art of Transit 1 — Happy Halloween transit riders! “I can assure you this isn’t the least bit amusing…”
Art of Transit 2:
Art of Transit 3:
Art of Transit 4:
Art of Transit 5:
Honestly, a pretty snoozeworthy batch of costumes from Gothamites — who have a whole slew of Batman villains to choose from. And, it must be said, the world really can’t have enough Catwoman costumes, IMHO.
The NYT’s editorial board looks at why so many local areas have transportation ballot measures going before voters on Nov. 8. That includes Metro, whose Measure M sales tax ballot measure is the largest of the lot in terms of the money it could raise.
Why are so many transit agencies looking for tax increases? Because more people are moving to urban areas, there’s more traffic and federal transportation spending — especially on transit — has been stagnant or declined in recent times. Transit agencies can’t run deficits, so to build big, new projects they usually must raise some of the money themselves.
The editorial concludes with this:
In an ideal world, the federal government would be doing more to support these local initiatives by, for example, providing matching funds. This would help cities like Los Angeles and Seattle and encourage others to expand existing systems. During this campaign season, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and some congressional candidates have talked a lot about improving infrastructure. It will be up to the next president and Congress to make good on those promises.
As the editorial notes, “In 2014, only about 27 percent of the public money spent on highways, mass transit and rail came from Washington, down from a high of 35 percent in 1980, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”
That strikes me as short-sighted in age when so many Americans live in large metro areas and at a time when America keeps saying it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions but continues to produce CO2 levels per capita far above what we see in other countries.
Related: Former County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky argues Measure M is larger than the sum of its parts in a Daily News op-ed.
Measure M would raise the countywide sales tax by a half cent and continue the Measure R half-cent sales tax beyond its 2039 expiration date to fund a number of transit, road, pedestrian and bike projects. To learn more, click here. To see a timeline of projects and programs, click here and scroll down.
I guess whoever wrote the headline doesn’t much care for the Bay Area, even though they have a more extensive rail transit system between the BART, the San Francisco Muni, Caltrain and others.
Nonetheless, as the story rightly notes, the BART system has been around since the early 1970s and parts of it badly need to be repaired — thus a bond measure that Bay Area voters will consider on Election Day. Surprising quotes:
“I think a lot of folks in the Bay Area look with a lot of envy toward Los Angeles,” said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “I mean that seriously: A lot of people here wish we could find that political capital and raise that kind of money to expand the system that we have.”
“We have yet to develop the type of visionary package that L.A. County has,” said Ratna Amin, transportation policy director for the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Assn., “in part because we are nine counties in our region, and no one of them captures a majority of residents or jobs the way L.A. County has.”
Oh it’s not all roses for Metro. As reporter Ron Lin notes, Metro Rail ridership has slightly decreased over the past year. But officials predict that will change as more parts of the rail network are completed and go into service. BART, meanwhile, faces massive maintenance needs.
Bay Area voters approved building BART in 1962, long before L.A. County voters decided in 1980 to get going with the Metro Rail system. The first trains went into operation in 1972 — the Blue Line wouldn’t begin rolling between DTLA and Long Beach until July 1990. Plus, San Francisco Muni began running light rail in 1980 (they lines were previously streetcars). If the Bay Area failed at anything, it’s maintaining something they had the foresight to build long before their brethren in So Cal.
Categories: Transportation Headlines