•The LAT has a story on why the forecast completion of the Regional Connector has recently slipped from Dec. 2021 to spring/summer 2022.
Among one of the challenges: labor shortages for some jobs , which is adjacent to the station being built at 2nd and Broadway. The article also discusses damage at the former LAT building, but Metro says that it’s not at fault.
Metro says the schedule still could recover. The LAT points out that some of the problems — particularly with jobs in a hot construction market — could threaten Metro’s efforts to build 28 projects in time for the 2028 Olympics (here’s a new staff update on that).
Below is a slide from the monthly construction project update to be given to the Metro Board this month. The full report is here. FWIW, here’s a Source post from last week with a bunch of Connector construction pics.
If you’re new to this space, the Connector is a pair of 1.9-mile light rail tunnels that will tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines to speed up light rail trips to and through DTLA and reduce the need to transfer.
•Metro and the city of L.A. are hoping to pilot a new bus lane in the nearish future. Below is a slide from the Board report on the four best candidates from the 25 initially studied and here’s the full presentation (it’s short) that will be given to the Board’s Operations Committee on Thursday. Thoughts?
Metro’s Vision 2028 Plan, approved by the Metro Board last year, calls for more bus lanes to speed up bus speeds, which have been in decline in recent years due to traffic.
•There’s a new staff report on Metro’s efforts to improve real-time arrival info. In one sentence: progress is being made on the bus side and there are some issues to still tackle on the rail side, where tunnels are one challenge to getting up-to-the-second data. Curbed LA wonked out on this important issue last year.
•For the first time, I took Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner from Union Station to San Luis Obispo on Friday. All in all, a nice experience — I treated myself to a business class seat and legroom-wise it’s going to be hard to go back to steerage class when flying from LAX to Cincy.
The train was comfortable enough, the staff was very friendly, social media updates were good and the ride was relaxing. The scenery from Ventura onward is truly awesome (northbound travelers should sit on the left side of the train). The wifi worked well enough to get baseball scores and do email and some basic searching.
Then again, when I fly to Cincy the nearly 2,000-mile flight usually takes about four hours in the air (if there are no delays) and up to three hours getting to and from airports. The train trip to SLO — which would have been an 190-mile drive — took five hours and 50 minutes in addition to a 55-minute delay at Union Station because of earlier delays to the train between San Diego and L.A.
Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks and much of the track between Union Station and SLO is single track — meaning we had to sit at sidings on at least three occasions to let other trains pass (Metrolink and Union Pacific also use the tracks). Our nation has poured a lot of money into infrastructure for air travel — and that’s great for travelers. But that has come at the expense of short- to medium-length trips that could be taken by train. And, IMHO, that’s too bad.
Quasi-related: I went to the Central Coast to do some kayaking in Morro Bay, which is scenic and has a pretty good variety of birds and other wildlife — including sea otters. There are kayak rentals in Morro Bay. If you take the train to SLO, there’s a local bus that runs to Morro Bay (it’s about a 25-minute ride) and ride share operates in the area. True confession: I was meeting my partner up there, who had a car — but there are ways to get around the lovely Central Coast without one.
Categories: Transportation Headlines