How We Roll: your take on what it would take to get people to drive less in LaLa Land

I wrote last week about the impending gas tax and vehicle registration fee increase in CaliforniaFolks were not shy offering up some answers about what would drive them to drive less.

Dept. of Ridership: the estimates for March have been posted and show a slight a dip overall from a year ago. But the Expo Line set another record. Keep in mind these estimates are tabulated over the six prior months, so what these numbers are showing for Expo are the increases that came after Metro began running Expo at six-minute frequencies during peak hours in October.

‘A different image:’ the city moves to alter its sprawling image (NYT)

The 101 freeway in the San Fernando Valley. Some sprawl, some denser corridors, too. Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.

The Senior Gray Lady takes a look at the results of Measure M in November and Measure S in the city of L.A. last March and concludes we’re moving toward a less sprawling, more dense, more walkable, less auto-centric and more transit-friendly version of ourselves. And that’s what we want.

This article takes an almost total pass on skepticism. My three cents: so few people voted in the Measure S election that I don’t think you can draw any conclusions about the greater population’s wishes.

That said, I think the central premise is certainly true in many places. There’s no doubt we’re seeing more neighborhoods gentrify (some say for better, some say for worse). And people don’t seem to fret as much about traffic when considering new developments.

It’s worth mentioning that there are as many vehicles in L.A. County as ever, transit ridership has dipped or been flat and real estate prices everywhere — including the ‘burbs — have risen steeply in recent times. Maybe our image has changed, but it’s hard to say the days of sprawl are behind us.

Charing for Metro parking is good for equity and the environment (Streetsblog LA)

Metro’s announcement earlier this month that a $3 daily parking fee will go into effect at NoHo and Universal City/Studio City stations on April 24 has certainly garnered some interest and caused eyebrows to flap. See the comments on our recent post.

Joe Linton likes the fees and points to something he has often complained about: the vast majority of Metro riders do not drive to stations, yet help pay for the construction and maintenance of free parking lots for the riders who do. Of course, there’s another side to the coin: the riders who do drive often say they’re doing the right thing by taking transit and free parking makes that option possible/palatable.

Things to read whilst transiting: how hard must Thor hit the Hulk in order to send the Hulk flying backward? Probably harder than is possible, so says Wired in a very fun let’s-apply-the-rules-of-physics to the new trailer for Thor III.

Credit: Marvel.

S.F. considering legal action against state to get Uber, Lyft data (SF Examiner)

The California Public Utilities Commission has data on the location of Uber and Lyft vehicles — and says it’s confidential. The city wants the data to see what traffic lessons might be learned. And get this: there may be as many as 45,000 Uber and Lyft drivers in the city, compared to less than 2,000 taxis.

New York City ferries get a touch of whimsy thanks to kids (WNYC)

Quote of the day: “I was looking at the lunchboxes,” he said, pointing to cubbies at the front of the classroom. “Then I just came up with the name lunchbox.”


13 replies

  1. One thing is to acknowledge that people currently use freeways and have freeway bus routes. Routes that run along a freeway and stop every few miles to connect to local transit and near interchanges. This with park and rides would change the persons per vehicle ratio.

  2. Own lanes for BRT would be cool. I dont mind waiting for lights but sitting behind a bunch of one passenger drivers is nonsense.

  3. In order for me to give up my car, not only does Metro system have to be expanded and reliable but also safe. Safety on public transportation is #1 for me. I am a female native Angeleno who has lived in and continues to visit NYC. I have felt safer riding NY subways at 4am by myself than I do riding LA Metro in broad daylight. Before I owned a car I had to depend on LA Metro buses and I used to get harassed at bus stops and on the buses at least once every week or two. The moment I got a car there was no looking back. LA Metro became out of sight, out of mind for me. @bboarder12 I am in total agreement. @metrolosangeles put more into offering a safe, secure ride for all passengers along with an expanded and reliable system. That’s how you get more people out of cars.

  4. Interesting to include an article about how to get people to ride more on the same page as one about how good the new parking charges are.

  5. The biggest thing Metro can do to increase ridership is simplify bus routes. Right now, from my apartment in the Arts District, if I want to get to the central library, I’m stuck doing a 30 minute round-a-bout trip on the Gold Line to Red Line, and then walk a bunch. If I want to get from the north of the Arts District to the south, I’m completely stranded. While these specific examples are more of an LADOT DASH bus problem (no weekend/night service in the Arts District, strange routes that don’t go where anyone wants to go with a 1 seat ride), I can see how this would still fall into Metro’s jurisdiction. I tend to take Metro rail only because I know where I’ll end up. If I hop on a bus without the aid of Google Maps, who knows where’s I’ll go or how many detours I’ll take along the way… That’s a major deterrent to new riders of the system.

    • The bus system (Metro, NOT LADOT) is actually very comprehensive in this city. Most probably, you can easily get from your house in the AD to the center of DTLA with a 1 seat ride (though, you may have to walk a bit to get to your starting bus stop in the AD). The Metro Bus system is more complicated than the Metro Rail system because there are just so many lines and there is no real numbering system correlation to where the buses goes. Rail systems throughout the world are always perceived as the easier, more dependable transit solution. But no matter which part of the world you go, you will see that bus systems are ALWAYS the workhorse of urban transit for the masses.

      I agree with major limitations of the DASH system for weekend/night service. However, Metro buses are there to compensate. It just takes patience, understanding, and a bit of a sense of adventure to work out how to get to your destination on time and without too much hassle.

  6. I already take Metro if I’m going to Disney Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Exposition Park, Pasadena Center, or Toyota (formerly Healthsouth) Sports Center.

    I took Metro to see the Endeavour land, and to see the Long Crawl (both at the Forum and at Crenshaw & King), and to see the External Tank’s arrival at the Science Center. I’ve taken Metro to Beverly Hills, and to LACMA and the Page Museum, and to the FlightPath Museum in the old Imperial Terminal at LAX. And since Griffith Observatory’s renovation, I’ve probably taken Metro and the shuttle bus there more times than I’ve driven.

    The only reason I DIDN’T take Metro to see “Merrily We Roll Along” at the Wallis was that there wasn’t any practical way for me to get there, and get home, in a halfway-reasonable amount of time.

    I’d also love to have a reasonable way to take Metro to the International Printing Museum, and avoid having to drive any further than Long Beach on Saturdays.

    And as to the gas tax, well, Assembly Member Travis Allen sent me an email link to what was probably intended as a “push-poll” to drum up opposition to the gas tax hike; I logged myself as supporting the tax, then gave him a piece of my mind via a reply to his email.

    The reply bounced.

    I promptly flagged him as a spammer.

  7. The amount of money that will go towards creating more bicycle infrastructure may be enough to halt the growth of driving in the county. We should be able to measure this before the next rail line opens. Already bicycling is out pacing the growth in population. The vast majority of the 88 cities in the county do next to nothing to encourage bicycling. Measure M and the upcoming motor fuel tax increase will force these cities. This is almost revolutionary. This will create perhaps the most exciting time for bicycling in the county since the advent of the bicycle.

  8. Hi Steve, can you please provide a more detailed explanation of how the ridership numbers are calculated? Is it based on observers on the platforms? Tickets bought and sold in a station? How does the “six month average work”? Is it a weighted average? The more details the better so I can nerd out.

  9. Just make Los Angeles especially outside central and downtown more densely urban……………..

  10. Could you talk a little more about how the ridership numbers are calculated? Is it just a simple running average of the preceding six months? i.e. the “March 2017” number is actually the average of October 16-March 17? Or is it actually attempting to reflect March 2017 ridership, but uses prior months’ data to smooth or otherwise modify the calculation?