Good afternoon and Good Earth Day — we hope that you’re enjoying the free rides on Metro buses and trains today. The point of the freebies: taking transit instead of driving alone is good for our local and planetary air + climate.
Above: two visions of the L.A. area. Which do you prefer?
As the story notes, Metro used location data from smart phones (stripped of identifying info) to learn more about travel patterns in L.A. County. What we learned: as would be expected, there are defined morning and afternoon rush hours. And…
Partially obscured by the evening commute, though, was a third peak. That was new. “What we know from traditional surveys is, people remember their biggest trips,” Komanduri says. “But what people forget is ‘I’m picking up the laundry,’ ‘I’m stopping to grab coffee.’ We see more of these data captured by cell phones.” Those trips, the futzing around of daily life, tend to happen in off-peak hours—from midday into the evening, 8 or 9 o’clock. “That’s traditionally when agencies cut down their services.” The buses are slacking off when they could be serving a whole other population.
Not only that, it was found there’s a big, underserved market for short trips on buses whereas Metro has put a lot of emphasis on trying to speed up long-distance bus trips. The result: a lot of long bus routes with some sections that are very under-used.
The other big emphasis of the article is the topic of bus lanes and the carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot: bus lanes = faster commutes. The stick: bus lanes could make driving harder and give more people incentive to ride the bus. Excerpt #2:
This is the baller move: Stop making cars easy and everything else hard. Tear down some freeways. Make retail districts pedestrian-only. Strew commercial corridors with curbside parklets, protected bike lanes, scooter-share services, and apartment buildings with first-floor retail and no parking. Make it illegal to park on the street—on every street. Put buses and trains everywhere.
Bold words. I personally wouldn’t go that far on many of those topics. But I do like the sentiment: if you really want to change, you actually have to change.
Over at Streetsblog LA, Joe Linton takes a look at Metro’s proposed rules over scooter parking and other — warning: jargon ahead! — ‘micro-mobility’ devices. His take: he feels the agency is treating scooters more as a nuisance than a popular, environmentally-friendly way of getting around.
Wanna read the staff report. Here you go. Sleepy? You’ve been warned: it’s not exactly the Mountain Dew of staff reports.
A look by the LAT at SB 50 through the prism that is the city of Palo Alto. The much-discussed bill would allow more dense housing near frequent transit lines — including in single-family home neighborhoods.
As the article notes, the mayor of Palo Alto is strongly against the bill, which would rezone much of the city. Interestingly, the city’s Vice Mayor is for SB 50. Opponents say there are other ways to cure housing woes while proponents point to median home values north of $3 million as the reason for doing something.
As we noted last week, the L.A. City Council voted unanimously for a resolution to oppose the bill. Stay tuned. Much dust remains to settle before this bill gets outta the henhouse. My take: it’s one thing to be politically provocative. It’s another to be politically successful.
Missed this article from earlier in the month: the Daily News looks at the increased security presence on Metro and the challenge of luring back riders.
L.A. Council Member Mike Bonin — who represents much of the city’s far Westside — is asking residents for their to take a survey on Metro’s Sepulveda Transit Corridor project, which will connect the Westside and San Fernando Valley via a heavy rail line or monorail. Here’s the most recent Source post on the alternatives being studied.
Things to read whilst transiting: this article in the Atlantic on the sports gambler who has been cleaning up on Jeopardy.
A lil’ Earth Day music for you and a look back at how television used to look:
Categories: Transportation Headlines