People mover, bus lanes, on-demand buses: HWR, March 19

Dept. of Bulky Items:

Things to listen to whilst transiting: I’ve been liking the “Hit Parade” podcast, which looks at the Billboard charts over the years/decades and tells the story behind the music. There are a lot of songs featured that you’ll find familiar — and probably a lot of tunes you may not have heard in a while or ever. Like the Otis Redding song “Respect” that Aretha Franklin later made very famous.

Travel + Leaisure covers the groundbreaking last week for the LAX people mover project, noting the automated train will whisk passengers to both a Metro station (to be built at Aviation and 96th for Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line trains) and the airport’s new consolidated rental car facility.

We haven’t talked much about the CONRAC, as it’s called in airport circles, so let’s do that now. Basically: Thank goodness already. LAX says there are about 20 separate rental car facilities, the reason why there is an endless parade of rental car bus shuttles cruising the LAX horseshoe. In the future, travelers will take the people mover to their rental cars and hopefully the rental car bus shuttles will be dispatched to the fourth circle of Heck.

The people mover and the Metro station at Aviation/96th (called the Airport Metro Connector) are both scheduled to open in 2023. I’m curious to see if folks Uber/Lyft to Crenshaw/LAX and Green Line stations and then use Metro Rail plus the people mover to complete their trips. Thoughts?

•We included this in HWR last week but I think it bears repeating: The city of L.A. has launched a test project for an on-demand shuttle called LAnow on the Westside, reports Streetsblog LA. It’s on-demand — you can summon from a smartphone or regular phone — and rides are $1.50. The service area is Palms, Mar Vista, Venice and Del Rey. Thus, it might be a useful way to reach the Expo Line’s Palms Station. There are no set stops — as with a regular bus — but instead the program picks up and drops off riders near their location or destination.

Metro, too, has a ‘microtransit’ pilot project in the works that is aiming to launch in late 2019. Metro has hired three firms to help design and run the program. Still to be finalized are service areas and other features.

As these programs launch, it’s going to be interesting to see how much they catch on, how they compete against the pricier existing ride-share services and if folks are willing to download the different apps to summon vehicles. Seems to me microtransit is a good way to deal with first/last mile challenges and short trips and it will interesting to see how the different services perform. Stay tuned.

•The potentially future Long Beach Angels (Go Metro to the Angels!) are about to toss a ton of money at Mike Trout to keep him in (potentially) Long Beach through the 2030 season, reports the NYT. Which means…based on other mega-buster deals, you may not be riding the Blue Line to the World Series anytime soon. It’s a team game, people.

•The Venice Boulevard road diet through Mar Vista — which includes some nice protected bike lanes — will remain in place, Curbed LA reports. Opponents tried to tank the lanes, but the L.A. City Council says they’ve proven popular and that the impacts on traffic were slight.

Why relevant? If our region is ever going to have more bus lanes or protected bike lanes, that is going to mean either losing street parking or traffic lanes. I completely understand why that’s often not welcome, but I also hope folks are open-minded about the possibilities when they are proposed.


Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects

6 replies

    • Hi there —

      Thanks for posting the video. For those wondering, that’s from the regional train and bus agency for the Greater Toronto area. It’s a good/fun video. I do think that agency is a little different from ours — they run commuter rail (similar to Metrolink) and their bus lines are, to my understanding, more of the long haul type — i.e. commuter express here.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  1. “I’m curious to see if folks Uber/Lyft to Crenshaw/LAX and Green Line stations and then use Metro Rail plus the people mover to complete their trips. Thoughts?”

    Is Metro planning on running buses from the terminals to the new Aviation/Century station or just the Aviation/LAX station? To that point, has the operating plan for the wye been finalized? If so, it would be helpful to see a new map because the current ones I see are all ambiguous about the operating plan.

  2. Do you find it ironic that Metro is contemplating imposing additional fees on Uber/Lyft, while at the same time subsidizing its own micro-transit project? If the problem is traffic, then Metro’s own program is contributing to it. If the problem is cost, then Metro’s proposed policy would exacerbate that problem. If the problem is inefficiency—well, let’s put it this way–I have a lot more confidence in Uber/Lyft operating efficiently at their scale.

  3. Glad to hear the Venice Boulevard bike lanes are being kept. I’ll take safety over speed any day! Too many streets in LA have become like mini-freeways with so many speeding drivers endangering everyone.

  4. The LAX line should be on top or under the terminals, and stop at each terminal (many other airports have such a system they work very well) stops in the middle of the parking area will not be popular and will lead to low ridership

    “Road Diet” is an abomination and should be stopped immediately, We are spending huge amounts of money to placate a very tiny number of people who have an extremely unrealistic view of the viability of bicycles in LA (or any urban area) and to reduce auto lanes to accomplish this utopian blinders on goal is not only a waste of money, it will make LA even more undrivable