Metro News Now: August 12, 2019

Dept. of Regional Connector: 

Dept. of Go Metro to Sports: 

•LAFC has accumulated 55 points this season — the next closest team in the MLS has 45 points (and that team, Philly, isn’t even in the Western Conference). The Expo Line stops a short stroll away from Banc of California stadium. So the chance of transit-accessible-championship-soccer looks good for this fall.

•The Dodgers now have a 19-game lead in the NL West and could clinch the division by Labor Day. As I wrote last week, the Dodgers are likely a shoe-in to return to the World Series. But this week I’ll add a ‘but.’ The Mets have been coming on strong and have a strong starting rotation — perhaps the kind of team that, if they qualify for the post-season, could cause trouble in a best-of-five series. The Dodger Stadium Express will run for all post-season games.

•The Rams are Expo Line-adjacent for one more season and smartly managed not to get any of their important players injured during their pre-season opener against the Raiders (read: important players mostly did not play, which is wise). The Rams’ and Cowboys’ backups clash at the Coliseum on Saturday night. CORRECTION: They clash in Hawaii. Unfortunately, the Expo Line extension to Honolulu won’t be ready for a few more years. In the meantime, here’s a nice ode to underwater train travel: 

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In the news…

•The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments’ Board voted last week to supply $126 million in discretionary funds from Measure M to help the Gold Line extension reach Pomona instead of a first phase terminus of La Verne, reports the SGV Tribune. The Metro Board last month also voted to provide $97 million of the $1.5 billion needed to run the line from Azusa to Pomona, where riders will be able to transfer to/from Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line. The hope is to find the $500 million thqt will be needed to continue the project east to Claremont and Montclair.

•The LAT takes a look at some of the fossil fuel industry money backing the two candidates in the race for the 12th district Council seat in the city of L.A. — i.e. the Northwest San Fernando Valley. Council Members in L.A. and other cities often weigh in on transpo projects in their districts. In this case, Metro has the North San Fernando Valley Bus Rapid Transit project planned for the area and the East San Fernando Valley light rail line will be just to the east of the 12th district. Election Day is tomorrow.

•The group Jobs to Move America has filed a complaint in state court against bus manufacturer New Flyer, alleging the company didn’t pay wages or benefits it said it would as part of a 2012 bus contract with Metro, according to the NYT. The agency declined comment, citing pending litigation. A New Flyer official said the company had fulfilled the terms of the Metro contract.

•Two of eight candidates in the race for Salt Lake City mayor have said they would eliminate transit fares, according to Streetsblog. That would cost transit agencies $52 million. Campaign promises, of course, have a way to

a source to make up those funds would have to be found.

•A quiet, fast electric Harley Davidson? Yep and it’s a nice ride, says the NYT. Motorcycle riding remains very popular but sales of new bikes is down as the used market remains strong. Going electric is seen as possibly a boon for sales, especially with younger riders.

LAist takes a look at some of Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation’s ongoing projects, including the proposed privately-funded aerial tram to Dodger Stadium — which will definitely be useful for future World Series games starting during the afternoon rush hour!

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Dept. of Twitter

Well at least they weren’t on the sidewalk (hopefully). Almost had one run into my dog on a sidewalk in the 91106 over the weekend, btw. Not very endearing. Saw a stack of them laying on their side on Alameda in front of Union Station just before noon today.

Actually, more pink than I would expect. And now you know the answer to the trivia question “which state has the least percentage of people who take transit to work?” On the other hand, Wyoming does have these type of places in abundant supply:

Photo courtesy Steve Hymon.

Because light rail is such a threat to driving, I suppose. ?

I doubt the number of cars would decline that much, although I suspect initially we’d fewer vehicles on the road. But wouldn’t the theory of induced demand apply (i.e. traffic will consume new space on roads)?

Salmon cannons have actually been around a while, explains Popular Mechanics. If someone can develop a system for humans…

 

 

 

 

 

8 replies

  1. Steve,

    The Rams – Cowboys game is in Hawaii. It is listed as a Rams home game, so I understand the confusion

    • Hey Matt — Thanks for correcting me! I’ll fix the post now. Expo Line extension to Hawaii won’t be done for a few more years.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. The Citylab chart that uses ‘pink’ to indicate taking public transit to work is not really that helpful.
    0 to 5% is pink. If one person [let us say] took public transit in San Bernardino County the county would be pink.
    I assume more than one person does though.

  3. Why three years to lay rail and overhead for about a one mile tunnel? Henry Huntington again will be rolling over in his grave shaking his head and LOL. Again we see incompetence reigning at the MTA.

  4. It’s amazing how expensive these projects cost to build. $126 million to just cover the balance that costs $$ billions $$ for the Gold line extension to Pomona. There’s no room to maneuver. I heard most of this cost is parking garages. Do you realize there’s a way to fix that without parking garages? Add more extensions to neighborhoods where commuters can walk to the train stations. The Gold line follows the Metrolink route that’s heavy on freeway medians and industrial sites. They need to be closer to where residents live. They also need a network of rail lines that go north-south and don’t always have Downtown LA as the destination.

    Is there a plan to electrify Metrolink? There should be. They should also merge Metrolink into Metro where it’s actually cheaper with frequent service. The new Gold line extension will share track with Metrolink, which is redundant.

    People may be “anti-transit”, but there’s no need to make the Koch Brothers the bad guy each time. This gets old.

    • “ Is there a plan to electrify Metrolink? There should be. They should also merge Metrolink into Metro where it’s actually cheaper with frequent service. The new Gold line extension will share track with Metrolink, which is redundant.”

      Am I the only one that would much rather have the ENTIRE Metrolink system double tracked than Electrified?

      Like sure Electrification is nice, but reliable consistent service is even better!! It’s an embarrassment to watch Metrolink still dealing with a 1950s problem. Like, we really couldn’t wait to find the money needed to double track Burbank Airport North station yet somehow we’ll find the funds to electrify a 500 mile rail system? Talk about priorities.

    • Electrification would be prudent eventually but the priority needs to be capacity and frequency in the near term. Double tracking would be much more important and could allow half-hourly or better frequency system wide. Combine that with switching to lightweight DMUs which can also accelerate and decelerate faster, plus have lower operating costs, and you have a pretty darn effective system in the interim before electrification.

  5. “Is there a plan to electrify Metrolink? There should be. They should also merge Metrolink into Metro where it’s actually cheaper with frequent service. The new Gold line extension will share track with Metrolink, which is redundant.”

    I thought the plan was to electrify parts of Metrolink coupled with the more frequent service.