Let’s start with a friendly reminder: rail service on the northern section of the Blue Line from Compton Station to 7th/Metro will be suspended and replaced by bus shuttle service beginning tomorrow (Saturday, June 1) through September. Also tomorrow, Blue Line rail service resumes between Compton Station and Downtown Long Beach. More info here.
Something that needs stressing: many of the bus shuttle stops on the northern section line are a block or two from the Blue Line rail stations. See the above map. Metro has signage in place to help riders find the buses and there will be Metro staff out to help. Still — please, please, please take a look at the map above — especially you weekday commuters.
We’re trying to minimize the number of people who show up Monday morning and wondering WTH (what-the-heck) is happening. In one sentence: we’re rebuilding the Blue Line to reduce the number of breakdowns in the future and minimize delays when they occur.
From the Twitterverse:
San Francisco officials are considering banning right-turns-on-red as a response to the growing number of accidents that happen in crosswalks…
What if Los Angeles, where 148 pedestrians and bicyclists died on the streets in 2018, did the same?https://t.co/mKE5I5ie75
— LAist (@LAist) May 30, 2019
Cars that make right turns through crosswalks with people still in them — something not enforced nearly enough, IMHO.
— CicLAvia (@CicLAvia) May 30, 2019
New delineators are now in place at intersections along the Spring Street two-way protected bike lane in DTLA. These shorter, candlestick-style bollards act as a barrier to keep motorists from driving or parking in the bike lane. #BikeLA pic.twitter.com/SluG6FzTWO
— LADOT (@LADOTofficial) May 31, 2019
America is not just split between expensive cities of opportunity and "the rest." https://t.co/LZuel3wx8y
— CityLab (@CityLab) May 31, 2019
•At Streetsblog LA, Joe Linton takes a deeper dive on the $7.2-billion Metro budget for the coming fiscal year — which includes service changes on the rail side with slightly less frequent service (but more three-car trains) during peak hours. Excerpt:
It is perhaps not news that elected leadership want to see plenty of shiny new infrastructure projects with opportunities for ribbon-cuttings. The push for project acceleration for the 2028 Olympics exacerbates this imbalance.
One wildcard is Metro’s NextGen Bus Study, which is scheduled to conclude in late 2019 – with recommendations that might take effect in mid-2020. Operations staff were quick to point to transit service improvements coming soon as a result of this study. Perhaps allowing transit service to degrade slightly now will make the reorganization improvements appear better in comparison. In the meantime, riders will endure longer wait times and Metro ridership is likely to further decline.
Metro staff told the agency’s Board during budget deliberations that they’ll keep an eye on ridership and crowding — and add trains if necessary. The service changes are scheduled to begin June 23.
As for project acceleration, the agency is certainly looking at ways to fast-forward a few projects that have opening dates beyond 2028. But nothing is even close to being a done deal at this time and there are many, many rivers to cross before anything gets accelerated.
•A pair of New York Times articles — a news story and opinion piece — use Uber for batting practice.
In the news, Uber continues to lose a lot of money ($1 billion in the first quarter of this year) while trying to build more market share.
In the opinion piece, headlined “How Uber hopes to profit from public transportation,” writer E. Tammy Kim argues that Uber and Lyft are both trying to privatize a service that has been publicly-run. Excerpt:
Americans badly need more convenient public transport, but the risks of privatization are grave. Last year, Uber logged some five billion trips and $1.8 billion in losses; Lyft provided 619 million rides and reported more than $900 million in losses. These apps are popular because they’re artificially cheap: Uber and Lyft subsidize rides to increase their number of monthly users, a key metric for investors, while allocating relatively little per trip to drivers.
But by reducing the cost of individual rides, Uber and Lyft also draw a privileged subset of passengers away from public transit systems. That, in turn, undermines support for public transportation.
Another way of looking at it is that Uber and Lyft are offering a convenient service people want and willing to pay for. That’s my view, but with this caveat: Uber and Lyft fares likely won’t stay cheap forever — even if robot cars come to pass — and an increasing number of investors, residents and local governments are going to tire of subsidizing firms that, according to many, are making traffic worse.
•The Planning Report interviews UCLA professor Ananya Roy on housing issues facing our region and the state. Wonky but interesting — and she has doubts that simply increasingly housing supply in California will result in more housing people can actually afford.
A little train music for those of you waiting at a station — the new Springsteen song that dropped yesterday. It’s a good one.
Categories: Transportation Headlines