Art of Transit:
Cliche alert! The story about the Expo Line begins “Los Angeles, of all places, has taken a bold step forward on mass transit.” The second paragraph includes a funny Fran Liebowitz quote from 1981 about the lack of transit in L.A.
That said, it’s nice to see that someone outside our region noticed that Expo is popular (the Gold Line, btw, just had its largest ridership month in July) and already meeting future ridership projections.
The reporter also makes a point lower in the story that our region is relying heavily on light rail instead of heavy rail (i.e. the Red/Purple Line subway) and that could lead to slower trains. That’s a fair point, although the light rail here can run at a pretty good clip when there are grade separations, crossing gates and traffic lights give priority to trains.
Give the story a read and discuss. I’m interested to hear what you think. LAT transpo reporter Laura Nelson and her followers offer some thoughts on her Twitter stream.
Writer Patrick Sisson asks whether the bus rapid transit line across the SFV should be converted to rail, as eventually planned under Measure M. An earlier M-funded project seeks to build grade separations or other improvements to speed up buses and add capacity to the Orange Line.
Most of the experts or officials quoted in the blog post praise the BRT line with mixed views on how it could be better — some say BRT improvements would go a long way, others say rail would do the trick.
In the meantime, Metro has been working to speed up travel times by getting buses across intersections in a quicker fashion (25 mph instead of 10 mph at some crossings). See this post from earlier this year. Plans are underway to use only electric buses on the Orange Line by 2020 with the Metro Board approving the purchase of 35 60-foot electric buses last month.
The real reason streetcars are making a comeback (Vox)
The video suggests that many cities are seeking streetcars to support economic development and not necessarily for mobility. Measure M supplies funding for the city of Los Angeles’ streetcar project in DTLA, but the funds won’t be available until the 2050s.
Categories: Transportation Headlines