Dept. of Delays: The Blue Line and Expo Line delays during today’s morning rush hour was caused by this car getting stuck on the tracks at 12th and Flower in downtown L.A. at about 5:25 a.m. How’d the car get there? Early word is that the driver was allegedly drunk.
The problem was removing the car from the tracks without damaging any rail equipment, meaning there was no train service between Pico and 7th/Metro on two very busy light rail lines. The car was finally lifted away from the tracks about 7:30 a.m. and service was restored shortly thereafter with — not surprisingly — residual delays. Thank you to everyone for their patience!
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) February 28, 2017
BLUE/EXPO: Bus shuttles replace service btwn Pico-7th/Metro due to vehicle blocking tracks. Follow announcements. pic.twitter.com/Dr1eJ3L1nV
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) February 28, 2017
Delayed by Blue or Expo Line this AM and need delay verification for work/school? Call Customer Relations at 213.922.6235. pic.twitter.com/PmWpqTy1Cs
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) February 28, 2017
Art of Transit:
Geh bitte, Batman! Die Anweisung war klar: Keine Verkleidung im Dienst. Und nein, wir fahren heute sicher nicht nach Gotham City… pic.twitter.com/G7bxrRdhjc
— Wiener Linien (@wienerlinien) February 28, 2017
It’s settled: Uber is making NYC gridlock worse (Streetsblog NYC)
The post concerns a new report that tries to quantify exactly how much traffic ride hailing cars are causing in Gotham — allegedly a three to four percent jump in vehicle miles driven. Not a huge shocker, given how popular ride hailing has become and how much cheaper ride hailing is than traditional taxis.
I thought the comments were much more illuminating with readers offering the pros and cons of ride hailing.
Here’s one comment from an Uber driver in Pittsburgh:
Since the 1930s/40s top-down urban transit “experts” have erected and protected inefficient, expensive, rigid, top-down, bureaucratic, politicized, government-run modes of transportation (trains on rails!) and monopoly cab and bus companies that detract from city living in myriad ways.
Uber is filling in the holes in this archaic system, supplementing fixed-line buses and subways, reaching farther into the suburbs, providing service to drunks and restaurant employees in the wee hours. Yes there are costs — more congestion in a city already in virtual gridlock during daylight hours. Uber has obviously made city-living better and serves cab-starved suburbanites too — unless you think 70 million people in North America who use it every month are morons.
To be clear: I don’t think ride hailing customers are morons (disclosure: I’m occasionally one of them). I do think it’s fair to observe:
•That ride hailing has been very popular and it has likely put a dent in transit ridership in some cities. And it may have even put a dent in traffic, although I’m not sure how many people really care given there are many things that dent traffic.
•Ride hailing is popular because it’s extremely convenient and cheap — and perhaps cheap in a way that is not sustainable for companies such as Uber.
•Predictions that ride hailing — including self-driving ride hailing cars — will lower car ownership and reduce traffic should be taken with a grain of salt, given those predictions tend to be made by ride hailing companies, their agents or those who simply like to dream.
RELATED 1: CityLab has their own take on the study about ride hailing in New York but they buried the lead, which is the final line of the post: “And reducing car reliance means investing in public transportation.”
RELATED 2: Which is basically what I wrote about transit ridership vs driving and ride hailing in yesterdays’ How We Roll. To quote myself: “With ridership off at many transit agencies, I think the message is pretty clear: if you want the discretionary crowd to ride (and keep riding), speed and convenience matters. A lot.”
53-story hotel tower planned near L.A. Convention Center (Urbanize LA)
The tower at Fig & Pico in DTLA is a very short walk to the Blue Line’s and Expo Line’s Pico Station and across from the Convention Center, Staple Center and LA Live.
The policy approved by the Metro Board in December allowed the Board to pick and choose companies, the idea being to use companies that were appropriate for a public transit station. But an agency attorney opined that would open the agency to lawsuits from spurned companies based on First Amendment rights. And thus ends the station naming policy, which was originally sought as a way to raise revenues for the agency.
Talking headways podcast: transit predictions 2017 (Streetsblog)
Lots of good background for those interested in transit trends around the U.S. — and some predictions from last year that proved correct and not as much correct 🙂 Here’s the overview page for the Seattle Streetcar downtown extension, which is talked about by Jeff Wood and Yonah Freemark.
Categories: Transportation Headlines