Bike to Work Day, student fares, in praise of walking: HWR, May 16

Dept. of Instagram Stories: Check out the new IxN Customer Information Panels that are being installed on the Blue Line stations currently closed — they’ll be available when the southern section of the Blue Line reopens on June 1. Screen grab is above. 

From the Dept. of Bike to Work Day

From the Dept. of Congressional Testimony

Metro CEO Phil Washington testified this morning in Washington D.C. (at the 42:53 mark) to the House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s hearing on “The Impacts of State-Owned Enterprises on Public Transit and Freight Rail Sectors.”

The hearing, which lasted nearly three hours, covered many topics related to Congressional concerns (here’s one example) tied to rolling stock from firms based in China (Metro has a pending order from new subway cars from China Railways). Also today, Congressman Harley Rouda (D-48) introduced legislation in the House that mirrors a bill brought forth earlier this year by U.S. Senator John Cornyn which seeks to bar the use of federal funds to purchase rolling stock from firms based in China.

Phil’s main point: the L.A. area would be a great place to build a passenger rail car manufacturing facility that could build cars for use in America and the rest of the world.

In the news…

Investing in Place opines that Metro should offer free fares to K-12 students to increase ridership, help kids get around the region and get cars off the road, among other reasons. K-12 students currently pay $1 for a one-way trip (discounted from $1.75) and $24 for a 30-day pass (discounted from $100) to ride Metro.

•The city of Long Beach estimates it would cost $1.05 billion to build a ballpark for the Angels — including $105 million for a 3,500-space parking garage, so says the LAT. That would supplement other parking nearby. Of course, the Blue Line would be a short 10- to 15-minute stroll from the stadium, should the Angels decide to flee Orange County.

Things to read whilst transiting on baseball: SI.com on how much the game has changed in the past five seasons: strikeouts and home runs are at record levels, walks have increased for the 19th straight season and the chance of hitting a single has never been lower. The Dodgers are good examples: they’re second in MLB in dingers and their starting pitchers usually exit games sooner rather than later.

Interesting stat in the LAT: nearly one-third of the households in the city of L.A. are occupied by one person — and people do get lonely. A remedy? Go for a walk. One dude, in fact, started a business to accompany people on walks. Excerpt:

“I’m sure it seems crazy, but it’s cheaper than a gym, it’s been quite beneficial and I get good stories out of it,” Pocker said.

On rainy days, he has hired walkers to join him at Costco and Ikea. Mostly they meet outside his Hollywood building, and walk south down his street as it turns from apartments, studios and cityscape to big suburban-style homes with matching big front lawns.

It’s different than doing exercises with a trainer. It’s also different from pure friendship.
But every day Pocker is out there, being seen and being heard. And in a big city of strangers, maybe that helps.

•The Metro Board’s Finance Committee on Wednesday moved the agency’s budget for the coming fiscal year to the full Board, who will consider it at next Thursday’s meeting. Below are a few slides from a presentation by Metro staff that help explain the service levels being proposed for Metro Bus and Rail. We also posted last week about some changes made to the budget — specifically adding bus service hours.

5 replies

  1. My Godson is in TK this year. He received a personalized library card through his school, but we had to jump through hoops to get him a TAP card. There has got to be easier and faster way!

  2. Excellent points made by LA Metro CEO Phil Washington (42:53) about the need for domestic manufacturing of light rail cars for expansion of mass transits systems in the US. Why no one has jumped on this before now is a mystery; it makes no sense to me that all our rail cars must be purchased oversees when domestic need is high and they could be manufactured right here. Phil Washington makes a lot of sense, as always, and is an articulate champion of advances in how mass transit is developed in the US.

    Thanks for posting this YouTube video.

  3. The Investing in Place commentary fails to disclose that ‘low-income’ students already can get the $100 monthly pass for only $14 through Metro’s LIFE program. Low-income is defined, for a family of four, as $52,200 or less annually. Taxpayers already spend billions of dollars on schools and related services for students. School districts have saved money by cutting school buses out of their budgets. If parents can’t afford the twice-discounted rate for their children, schools should pay the balance out of their own district budgets.

    How about free transportation for all truly low-income riders, including seniors and the homeless?

    • I second that. Although I think students should ride for free as well.

      If I’m not mistaken, Phil Washington has expressed an interest in developing such free transit.

  4. Changes to the LIFE program, scheduled to go into effect July 1, essentially eliminate by absorption the current Immediate Needs Transportation Program, the benefits of which have until now been exclusive to those living below LA County’s poverty line. The INTP benefit (previously available to a family of four making around $25,000 or less annually) will now be available to everyone eligible under HUD’s low-income guidelines ($52,200 or less for the same family).

    This change makes more (relatively) higher-income families eligible, but it does nothing to enhance the benefit for those living in poverty. There is no longer a distinction between ‘low-income’ and ‘poverty-level’. Furthermore, the monthly LIFE discount for passes just increased from $6 to $8 for Seniors, while at the very same time increasing from $10 to a whopping $24 off for Regular riders.