Art of Transit:
Dept. of All the Transit News Fit to Print, Courtesy ABC News:
PARCHED PIGEON: A passerby approached a water fountain in the Staten Island Ferry terminal at just the right time for this pigeon who was just waiting for someone to help him get a drink. //t.co/5RVCzJjsRd pic.twitter.com/oYTEV80efr
— ABC News (@ABC) January 18, 2019
Some quick hits for a Friday afternoon:
•The Women’s March LA and the One Life March are both Saturday. Hard to say what the crowds will be like but Metro is running extra service. More here. Quasi-related: the Expo Line is a good way to reach the Kingdom Day Parade on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is Monday.
On the subject of rallys and marches, teachers were out in force this a.m. in DTLA:
#LAUSDStrike: Thousands of people show up for the latest teachers’ union rally in downtown LA. Contract talks set to resume in a few minutes across the street at City Hall. @KNX1070 pic.twitter.com/8rfTTzTnuD
— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) January 18, 2019
— Militant Angeleno (@militantangleno) January 18, 2019
•The federal government shutdown has depleted Washington Metro’s ridership and the agency says it’s losing $400,000 a day as a result. Bottom line: if things keep up, the agency may have to cut service or borrow money. Hmm.
•As Curbed LA notes, Metro CEO Phil Washington told a Metro Board committee earlier this week that staff will be recommending congestion pricing as one way to raise money to build 28 projects in time of the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Not a shocker for those who recall Phil’s report to the Board last month in which he noted congestion pricing could also pay for free transit. More next week on this. Here’s a presentation given to the Board by UCLA professor Michael Manville:
•Streetsblog LA has a post on the Gold Line to Montclair project. Attentive readers recall the project has a budget shortfall due to rising construction costs. The Foothill Extension Construction Authority now wants to build project in phases — with the first segment to La Verne. Metro staff have recommended some strategies for stretching the first phase to Pomona, which would allow riders to transfer between the Gold Line and Metrolink. Staff report
•Here’s an eyebrow-raiser of a headline from CityLab: “Los Angeles Passed a Historic Transit Tax. Why Isn’t It Working?”
The obvious quick response there is that Measure M was approved just over two years ago and none of the M-funded projects have been built or open. And that ridership has fallen on Metro’s existing system, not its future one (for those of us without access to the future).
That said, the post goes way deeper than the headline and focuses on a good point: getting people to vote for a ballot measure is one thing, getting them to actually ride transit or plan their cities around transit is a different thing altogether.
Excerpt, which includes quotes from the same Michael Manville who presented to the Metro Board on congestion pricing:
The lesson should be a sobering one for transit agencies around the country, many of which have banged the gong of traffic relief to rally car-driving voters for transit plans. (Denver comes to mind.) This tactic may be politically expedient, but it fails to map a clear path towards increased ridership. On the other hand, [Michael] Manville said, the recipe for transit success is not mysterious: Build good service, and make driving hard. The second part is politically difficult. But failing to rise to the challenge is limiting L.A.’s potential as a real transit town.
Transportation agencies should learn from L.A. and pick their fights now to take the necessary steps to price driving and make room for buses and bikes, Manville told me. In sprawling, congested, liberal-leaning cities, he said, “getting voters to the polls is the easy part.” Breaking old habits: much tougher.
Fair enough. For now. Let’s check back on the “rise to the challenge” part next week 🙂
Categories: Transportation Headlines