Join the Movement, Election Day rides, the morality of robot cars: HWR, Nov. 5

Check out Metro’s new “Join the Movement” ad, which you may also see on television this week. The spot is part of a broader campaign designed to get people thinking about the different ways to get around our region — and to get involved in the get-around discussion. How do you like the ad, folks?

Not sure about you, but my poor lil’ mailbox is busting at the seams with campaign fliers. It mercifully comes to the end manana. We don’t take sides on election issues in this space; but it’s fair to say the big transportation item on tomorrow’s ballot is Prop 6, which asks voters to repeal the gas tax and vehicle fee increases approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017.

On Saturday night, the first rail cars were towed from the Green Line’s rail yard to the new rail yard that will serve the Crenshaw/LAX Line. The cars will be used for a variety of tests as construction on the yard and new light rail heads toward completion.

First rail cars in new Crenshaw/LAX Line's Southwestern rail yard.

First rail cars in new Crenshaw/LAX Line's Southwestern rail yard.

On the subject of other, non-governmenty construction…Elon Musk posted a video tour of the Boring Company’s test tunnel under Hawthorne. The test tunnel is less than two miles long (disturbing!) and is a prototype for the network of tunnels that Musk wants to build under Los Angeles — beginning with one running from near a Red Line station to Dodger Stadium. Stay tuned.

Natalia Lusinski of Business Insider asked 25 people for the worst things about living in LA — and it’s not just the traffic and most of her answers involve…traffic or public transit or just plain getting around. It’s a fun read and utterly predictable in its complaints.

Our region has struggled in some places to add density near transit lines. And now a lawsuit seeks to overturn a plan that would allow up to 6,000 more residential units along the Metro Expo Line, reports the L.A. Times. The plaintiff is Fix the City, the same group that has taken similar stances on other city zoning and transportation plans. Fix the City says better infrastructure is needed to accommodate more people and cars.

From the Dept. of Scooter Wars, Bird has sued Beverly Hills over the city’s ban on electric scooters — saying such a ban is illegal, reports the LAT. The city had previously impounded about 1,000 scooters found within its boundaries and charged Bird $100,000 to get them back. So it’s not exactly a shocker lawyers are gonna lawyer.

The folks at MIT surveyed folks around the world and asked them how self-driving cars should be programmed when an accident is imminent. The answers, generally speaking, were that cars should try their best to reduce carnage and should hit an older person before hitting a younger person. That said, the answers weren’t the same everywhere.

I hope the programming is included in the window sticker so I know if my robot car is gonna take out the deer and put me into the tree. I’m not saying which is better; just saying I wanna know.

On that subject, a little Monday music…


8 replies

  1. “Fix the City says better infrastructure is needed to accommodate more people and cars.”

    This is chicken and egg. Which comes first? There is no need for infrastructure if no housing is approved.

    I hope the gas tax is repealed. It is time for the city to spend according to it’s budget. You can’t keep milking drivers for mass transit spending. They don’t go hand in hand. The roads are already in sorry shape in LA.

    • Yup, you’re right. The thing is, demand on a weeknight is reasonable (I guess). Most people are at home. But when you’ve got the Kings, LAFC, and various events going on, you can hear people complaining about how bad it is. Especially with a buzz. These people will take lyft or Uber, and do. Metros app has a lyft banner on it and chances are its pay per click, so lyft pays metro everytime someone clicks that link metro gets a slice. Its probably more profitable than the base fare too.

      Metro is not transparent. I’ve asked an engineer/maintenance guy and he just said “track work”. Around the same time, I rolled from Vermont and Wilshire at a slow pace and saw what looked like guys in full hazmat suits in the tunnel under Westlake? Whats up with that?

      I also read the suggestion that the purple line should be closed after 8 due to lack of demand. Could that be it? Are they preventing empty purple line trains from originating at union station since most would only ride to Vermont anyway?

      Maintenance just sounds like a lie. Also considering the fact that this service pattern has gone on for as long as I can remember living in central city proper (about 2006).

      Ive hinted at wanting an explanation here, but there is none. So, that being said, i’ve voted down EVERY transportation initiative in the last three or four years. Im tired of paying contractors and then Metro fails on operations when they take over.

  2. When the Crenshaw line opens, will that also be a twenty minute wait at 10:45pm on a Saturday night? It’s not exactly a strait shot to Hollywood for a drink. So that means two twenty minute waits each way if Metro does what Metro does. The Red and Purple Line will still have the mysterious ongoing track maintenance. So over an hour of wait time on a Saturday night. I cant wait, I really really can’t.

    • Agreed 100%. It’s not just Saturday nights. It’s every night.

      My biggest worry is that once these new lines open, Metro will be stretched even thinner than it is now, and service is going to get even worse. I seem to recall all these latest service cuts and mysterious “maintenance” schedules became much more prominent right around the time the Gold Line extension to Azusa and the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica opened in 2016.

      I fear things are going to get even worse once the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Purple Line extension begin service.

      Does Metro have a plan?

  3. I really hope more updates on the Crenshaw Line are posted atleast 2 every month as we get closer to 2019.

    • It isn’t opening anywhere near 2019. Mid 2020 at the earliest based on all the delays.

      • Spring 2020 is the currently-forecast “Revenue Service Date”. That is up to 18 months from now. Hopefully they can get it open sooner than that, but I wouldn’t count on it.