Art of Transit:
In the news…
•The numbers are in — transit ridership fell two percent across the United States in 2018, according to Government Technology (a website, not an oxymoron btw). Losses were felt across the country at agencies big and small, Metro included. Excerpt:
Los Angeles Metro, one of the largest transit systems in the country, saw ridership decline across all major sectors in 2018, according APTA data. Bus ridership in L.A., which accounts for 70 percent of the transit trips, was down 3.1 percent.
Metro is in the process of a “NextGen Bus Study,” which will examine the system for areas where improvements can be made. The system “hasn’t had a major overhaul in more than 25-30 years,” said Rick Jager, a spokesman for L.A. Metro, adding the county — one of the largest in the nation with more than 10 million residents — has changed a great deal during that time.
“There are many reasons for a decline in ridership that include ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, a better economy, lower gas prices — until recently — perceptions of safety issues when riding transit, but one of the many factors is an increase in car ownership,” said Jager.
Metro’s ridership numbers are updated every month here.
•It’s National Bike Month — here’s the list of activities that Metro is participating in or sponsoring. And here’s the list of classes and community rides, which are a great way to tackle the streets of our region on two wheels.
•As someone who spends a lot of time walking Bluey the Dog around Pasadena, I’ve become pretty familiar with traffic patterns on residential streets. Some days traffic is light. Other days, traffic on some of these streets can be very heavy — I’m guessing because traffic apps are sending motorists down those streets.
Curbed LA has a good post about efforts in the city of L.A. to write new data sharing agreements with Waze and Google Maps. As part of this:
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday directed the city’s transportation department to attempt to persuade digital mapping companies to participate in a pilot program that would limit the streets that drivers are instructed to use in a given area.
City officials, no shocker here, think that’s a wise idea. The nav companies? Well, we’ll see.
•The Cato Institute has a few words about a recent LAT story exploring the promine•nt role of consultants on the state’s bullet train project. Their conclusion:
This Wednesday the rail authority plans to send the legislature “a detailed plan on building a partial operating system from Bakersfield to Merced for $16 billion to $18 billion.” You can drive from Bakersfield to Merced in 2.5 hours according to Google Maps. You can already take a train for $27 that covers the distance in two hours and 45 minutes, and the consultants promise that the high-speed train would cut that by 45 minutes. And all for only God-knows-how-many billions of dollars.
Bakersfield and Merced are 164 miles apart by car, so says Google. Depending on who is doing the driving and the number of pit stops needed, that’s probably a two- to three-hour drive. FWIW, I’ve enjoyed some highly successful dog walks + coffee stops in DTVI, or downtown Visalia for you long-worders.
•With Traxx closing its doors at Union Station this week, a little more background on the restaurant over at Eater LA.
•Between traffic and the chronic number of vehicle accidents, LAT columnist Steve Lopez is more bullish on driver-less cars and the good things they may offer our region.
Categories: Transportation Headlines