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.