Art of Transportation:
27 bears have been hit by vehicles in Yosemite in 2017, including 4 in the last three weeks (at least 3 / 4 died).
Drive the speed limit, and scan the roadsides ahead of you. Your cautious driving could save a life! #KeepBearsWild
— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) November 15, 2017
I wrote about this issue in 2001 in the Sierra parks and things don’t seem to be getting much better. Geesh.
At the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum this week, Metro CEO Phil Washington said: “We don’t argue that a station would be a good idea in the Arts District. The question is, how do you pay for it? Because it’s not in anybody’s budget. So unless manna falls from heaven,” and he paused to look up, drawing laughs, “that’s the challenge that we have.”
The station’s location would likely be in the the Red/Purple Line yards between the Arts District and the L.A. River. It has been talked about over the years but has never been funded as part of a ballot measure and has never gotten far enough so that other funding could be secured.
Metro is working on another project involving the subway yards that will allow Red/Purple Line trains to turn around more quickly at Union Station. The project will also make it possible to run more frequent trains on the subway. Metro has said it is designing the project not to preclude an Arts District station.
There are, of course, other ways to fund public infrastructure. So perhaps there’s another way to get money for an Arts District Station for the Red/Purple Line. Stay tuned. Of course, on another front the Artesia to Union Station light rail project — funded by Measures R and M — may run through the Arts District although would require a transfer to either light rail or subway at Union Station to get to the heart of DTLA. See this post.
Dept. of We Don’t Do This:
After Tokyo Commuter Train Leaves 20 Seconds Early, Company Apologizes //t.co/eDb7s5tI5J
— NPR (@NPR) November 16, 2017
Air pollution officials are citing hot weather as the primary culprit. But please. Weather’s gonna happen in the same way the haters gonna hate. The real problem is we haven’t lowered our emissions enough from transportation and industry.
In other air pollution news…
— The Atlantic Photo (@TheAtlPhoto) November 16, 2017
Dept. of Point/Counterpoint:
— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) November 16, 2017
The excerpt in the tweet is from a New Geography article about Metro’s ridership losses. Our ridership data is here, btw. As I have written in the past, the numbers are certainly fair game for public scrutiny and there are efforts underway to improve the system, expand it and — in particular — restructure the Metro bus system to make it more relevant.
What the car did and might do (NYT Magazine)
Last Sunday’s issue was devoted to articles about self-driving cars (the links to the different articles are at the bottom of the story linked to above).
The two big takeaways: 1) do not underestimate how many companies are striving to make self-driving cars the next big thing, and; 2) there continues to be many reasons to be skeptical about the time it will take for totally self-driving cars to be common.
Another story has this illuminating paragraph that spells out the dramatic impact of reducing labor costs for Uber, Lyft and company:
A 2017 report by Tasha Keeney, an analyst with ARK Invest, told the story in four numbers. A rider’s “all-in cost per mile” for average United States taxi services was about $3.50. For a human-driven Uber in San Francisco, that number was about $2.86. Assuming the same fuel price, the figure for personal cars is much lower, at around 70 cents. The estimate for self-driving taxi services, circa 2020, would cut that cost in half.
Dept. of Congress: The tax bill approved today by the House of Representatives is more bad than good for the agency, so says Metro’s government relations staff while reporting to the Metro Board’s Executive Management Committee this morning. The House bill impacts bond expenses (Metro borrows through bonds) and also would reduce commuter tax benefits. The U.S. Senate is considering their own version of the bill.
Categories: Transportation Headlines