Cheap taxis, Dodgers & Rams, Tejon Ranch: HWR, Aug. 27

Therese is Metro’s chief planner. Good conversation on Black Kids in Outer Space.

Dept. of NextGen Bus Study: Metro is in the midst of a study to restructure its bus network. This online tool allows you to rank your priorities, basically along the lines of more frequency on some corridors versus more bus service to more areas. This is important as the bus restructuring is trying to figure out how best way to serve our county with the same amount of service in terms of bus hours.


Dept. of Elections: 

Dept. of Dodger Stadium Express: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dodgers win the NL West. They have plenty of games left against the D-Backs and Rockies, plus a GUARANTEED three wins over the woeful Cincinnati Reds. Neither Arizona or Colorado plays the Reds down the stretch. More on the freebie bus between the ballpark and both Union Station and Harbor Gateway here.

Dept. of Go Metro the the Rams: I love that Coach Sean McVay is smart enough to mostly sit the starters during the preseason — which is designed only to make the league money and get good players hurt. My guess is the Rams will be rewarded with two extra regular season victories and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. How to reach the Coliseum via the Expo Line and Silver Line.

Some Santa Monica Residents Are Blaming a Spike in Crime on the Expo Line (LA Magazine)

I don’t buy it but this is reporters doing what they’re supposed to do: report what people are saying and kicking the tires.

As the article notes, there are a lot of factors that influence crime rates and no one has really been able to pinpoint why crime went up in Santa Monica in 2016 and ’17.

Attentive transit advocates know that fear of crime has been a popular way to fight transit expansion in the past.


Building a vast new city on L.A.’s northern edges: A solution for region’s housing crunch? (LAT)

Seventy-plus miles north of downtown Los Angeles and north of Tejon Pass, the Tejon Ranch wants to build a community along the 5 freeway that can support 19,000 or so new residents. This is an area without any train service to L.A. — an area a lot closer to Bakersfield than L.A. (And, quite frankly, still well outside the metro B-field area although similar distance to L.A. as Lancaster).

Will it happen? Who knows. Some environmental groups have agreed not to sue in exchange for most of the Ranch being set aside. But not all groups have and approvals are still not done.

As this excellent story notes, this is more old school So Cal development than new, although supporters say the housing crisis is severe enough that all housing is needed — in the urban core and well outside. Thoughts?

Inflation and delays could add billions more to bullet train project costs (LAT)

Key graphs:

To be sure, the vast majority of megaprojects around the world bust their budgets, though, for a variety of technical, legal, political and financial reasons. Boston’s 3.5-mile Big Dig, for example, was finished in 2007 — nine years behind schedule and at a cost of $14.6 billion, up from an initial estimate of $2.5 billion. The 11-mile East Side Access tunnel in New York City is 14 years behind schedule, and its tab has grown from $4.3 billion to $11.1 billion…

…Records show that NASA spent an average of $30 million a day during the 13-year Apollo moon program (adjusted to 2018 dollars) and had 35,000 government employees. The rail authority has been adding to its executive staff this year, but currently has 226 state employees and hundreds of consultants who also help manage the program.

As I’ve said before, I think the train — if built between San Francisco and L.A. — will be very popular. But figuring how to fund it is an ongoing challenge, to say the least.

8 replies

  1. Crime on the Expo Line? Shocking! About a year ago, I witnessed some dirtbag defacing the train. I photographed him, noted the date, time, train number. Called LASD Transit division, and was asked “what do you want me to do about it?” You get the transit system, government you deserve L.A. County. Good luck! Especially when the Crenshaw line opens and starts crashing into cars and peds since they didn’t keep it grade separated in its entirety.

  2. I wish some LAPD or Sheriff would come on and start checking for fares. I use the Expo Line to Santa Monica every morning to go to work, I either use the first train or the second train of the day and I can tell you for a fact that more than half of the riders on those early trains are homeless who obviously did not pay the fare, I’ve seen a few just walk on without a care in the world and no Tap card in sight. And they all get off in downtown Santa Monica where the train driver (conductor?) empties the train. Don’t believe me? try riding those very first trains.

  3. I believe at one time the 212 Line and the line that has changed numbers repeatedly that operates from Hollywood into the Burbank area on Hollywood Way were one line . That lasted less than a year due to the people in Burbank complaining about the increased crime rate.

    Concerning the HSR, it’s being built between two small populated areas instead of starting in San Fransisco or Los Angeles and then is not a direct route but attempts too serve every little burg in the state. Why the majority of the route does not run down the middle of Interstate Five is beyond me. There is ample room between the north and southbound lanes and the need to purchase property would have been eliminated. Instead it has become a political football with everyone trying to get a piece of the action. These politicians are going to leave office very wealthy and have a immediate job as consultants.

    Concerning the Bike Lanes on Figueroa. Finally someone has the sense to separate the bike riders from the traffic with more than a cute little painted white line as if that is keeping them safe. I grew up in Los Angeles and rode my bike in the street. The last thing one wanted to do was ride right next to the parked autos where a sudden opened door could mean injury or death. I well remember getting knocked off my bike with such an incident on Sunset Bl. and Micheltorena. What made the accident even more dangerous was that a bus had to slammer on it’s brake to avoid hitting me while I momentarily laid in the street. In Honolulu on King St. they created a great alternative. The parking lane was moved out into the street where the former bike lane was located and the bike lane is between the parked cars and the curb. The hazard caused from opened doors is now in an area less dangerous as opposed to in the traffic lanes.

  4. Yeah cause that’s how you lower crime by sending non-violent people to a place of violence where if they weren’t before they are now and upon early release of their petty crime can now use all they learned on society. Tell me didn’t the article mention what kind of crime? I bet you it’s the string of vandalism against the scooters, which is related to transportation. Yeah I’m placing all my chips on the scooters.

  5. Criminals might not necessarily ride a somewhat slow moving light rail with security cameras everywhere, but they most likely would take advantage of the large crowds of people it brings.

    There’s also been a rise in crime committed by the homeless in recent years on the Westside. The area around the downtown SM Expo station has become something of an occasional hangout for the homeless, not only because it’s next to a shelter, but also because they might be drawn to the large crowds of people for whatever reason.

    The Expo line isn’t bringing new crime into the city. The influx of transit riders just introduces a new opportunity for those who might commit crimes.

    I just hope people figure this out, because what’s needed is more local law enforcement. Trying to place blame won’t get anything done.

  6. One thing I am really annoyed by many Uber and Lyft drivers is they think the sticker or mustache allows them to stop on red curbs, double park, loading & unloading at a bus stop, to name a few. Hello? Pressing the hazard lights button does not give you a free pass!

  7. A new rail line resulted in more crime? Please. That makes as much sense as saying mortgage rates or bike lanes or sales tax fluctuations are causing crime. By which I mean, it doesn’t make *any* sense. I would think the higher crime is more likely a function of drug legalization and an increased homeless population than the presence of a new transit line.

  8. The spike in crime was caused by the new lenient crime sentencing laws that passed with voter approval. We should repeal them. Thanks Kamela.