Things to read whilst transiting:
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 4, 2017
Also, check out this fine Steve Lopez column on Angelenos decamping for more affordable climes, especially Vegas.
Dept. of Sportsing:
•If you’re from Georgia and Oklahoma and for some reason are reading this: we’re looking forward to serving your transit needs. No tears spilled here about not having to host a bunch of lost Buckeye fans trying to find the nearest Applebees to our transit system. Which might be…
— Militant Angeleno (@militantangleno) December 4, 2017
•Both the Rams and Chargers continue progress toward hosting playoff games. I’d love to watch but…if the NFL doesn’t suspend New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for his amazingly dirty, filthy hit that may have concussed a helpless Bills player, I’m done watching NFL football. You can’t say you’re serious about reducing head injuries and let that play go with only a 15-yard penalty. Geesh. On a happier note, nice writeup on the Chargers in Peter King’s MMQB.
More details on The Boring Company’s plans for those tunnels they want to dig along the 405 — and beyond. A recent video from the company showed cars zipping through the tunnel on giant “skates.”
Now, according to plans filed with the city of L.A., it’s actually transit pods zooming through the tunnels that would initially run from Inglewood-ish to the San Fernando Valley and then possibly to the new football stadium in Inglewood and DTLA, Union Station and even Dodger Stadium.
I honestly don’t know what to make of all this. Along the 405 we have both private and public entities — Metro on the public side — pursuing a transit system. The Metro Board, in fact, on Thursday approved a contract with a firm for an advanced technical study on possible routes for a rail system between the Valley and Westside.
The Boring Co. seems to be trying to make it appear they’re a step ahead. Of course, they’re proposing a type of transit system unlike any other that currently exists. Thus far, a lot of their activity has been restricted to their own property in Hawthorne and they haven’t had to deal with an environmental study process that at Metro typically gobbles several years. Hard to say exactly what they’re funding situation is. Or isn’t.
Should public transit be free? (Fast Company)
The article argues that free fares will give you a bump in ridership but you get a bigger bump with better service.
Why self-driving cars will kill the T? (Boston Globe)
Here’s the most provocative graphs from the top of the magazine article by Tom Keane, a Boston freelancer:
Environmentalists and planners love public transit. Those who ride it? Not so much. Trains, trolleys, and buses are crowded and inconvenient. They don’t run on your schedule, they run on theirs — sometimes, anyway. Check out the grim faces of your fellow passengers the next time you’re on the subway. And for many riders, a trip via public transit means a time-consuming series of hops — foot to bus to train to another train to bus and then back on foot. Little wonder the latest numbers from the MBTA show a 2 percent drop in train ridership and a 6 percent drop in bus ridership.
By contrast, a car is convenient. You start and end where you want. While driving, you can talk on the phone or sing as loudly (and badly) as you please. Nevertheless, we Bostonians suffer through 409 million trips on the T annually. Why? Because owning a car is expensive — almost $8,500 a year. And, of course, the congestion.
Not so with AVs.
The writer has zero skepticism about self-driving cars. He says we’ll mostly subscribe to a self-driving car service instead of owning them, thus we can get rid of parking lanes. They’ll be faster, he says. And they’ll be cheaper than transit.
I have zero problems with him floating his hypothesis. I have a lot of problems that he blindly accepts what self-driving car proponents are saying.
One other thing: I know a lot of people believe that self-driving cars will kill car ownership. The idea is we’ll subscribe to a self-driving car service and pay a monthly fee to use them, presumably with different levels of service. For example, X amount of money gets you so many miles per month and so forth.
No one has any ideas what those fees are. I have an extremely difficult time thinking they’ll be cheap, especially for those who want to travel 1,000 or more miles per month (like the typical motorist already does). And there’s this: if self driving cars are so awesome, why won’t people want to own one?
Good News/Bad News. The change is because power plants have been getting cleaner. So have motor vehicles. The problem is that has been offset by Americans driving more than ever.
Categories: Transportation Headlines