New rail cars and bench seating, Earth vs climate change: Metro News Now, Nov. 27

Curbed LA seems to like the renderings of the new Red/Purple Line subway cars with bench seating — and notes that bench seating would make them easier to clean. Lots of reaction to this from the public — 342 comments alone on our IG post. Here is the original Source post with pics and all the renderings.


•For all the talk about climate change in recent years, a new United Nations report finds that carbon emissions are still rising and the countries that are among the biggest emitters — hello, United States — have a lot of work to do to reverse the trend, reports NPR. Excerpt:

The new report lays out recommendations for how the world’s top economies could cut emissions in the next decade. For example, countries could ban new coal-fired power plants, require all new vehicles to be CO2-free by 2030, expand mass transit and require all new buildings to be entirely electric.

Hard to argue with any of that. If I were the King, I’d increase funding for transit projects and put in place some whopper-sized tax credits for electric vehicles and home solar installation. That wouldn’t solve the problem of carbon emissions (nor would it solve traffic) but it would certainly help incentivize folks to make the change and industry to go along.

•Main Street in DTLA now has 1.5 miles of two-way bike lanes to go along with a similar arrangement on adjacent Spring Street, reports Streetsblog LA. That should help those traveling north-south and is, I think, a nice amenity for downtown residents and visitors alike.

•Oh gosh geewillickers — this is against the NYT subway rules because food attracts insects, people! But the community effort has to be admired.

•The University of Chicago’s Business School asks how Uber can lose $20 billion and still claim to be successful. That, of course, is a valid question. Most companies that lose $20 billion away are relegated to the dustbin. That said, I think what has helped Uber and Lyft stick around is the product works (putting aside its impacts) by providing door-to-door rides for prices cheaper than a taxi, albeit prices heavily subsidized by investors, government and Uber drivers.

•London’s “Crossrail” project to build a 60-mile east-west rail line is at least two years behind schedule and $4.5 billion over-budget. Small businesses that have invested in improvements with the expectation of increased foot traffic are capital-B bristling at the delays, reports Marketplace.

•Question o’ the day:

And, yes, we’re working to adjust the volume of the ‘beep,’ which in some places is a little on the high/Spinal Tap side of things.

Things to read/watch whilst transiting/traveling during Thanksgiving weekend: Everyone, it seems, is trying to make sense of the 2010s and list the best of everything.

I’ll offer two recommendations. One, this fun NYT article on 33 noteworthy things from the decade. Two, a film from 2008 — Wall-E — that I think had remarkable foresight about the future, specifically a culture of people who spend way to much time staring into screens.

Best television shows of the 2010s…”Homeland,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.” You can find plenty to read about all three, but I’ll say this about “Walking Dead.” Despite its flaws, it’s really a show about the kind of leaders we turn to when times get tough. To say the least, our heroes encounter some total maniacs while trying to build a new world and stay safe from the zombies. World history would suggest this piece of fiction is rooted in reality. WD streams on Netfix, FWIW.

That’s all I got. Thanks for riding, reading and Happy Thanksgiving everyone and safe travels! More next week…



6 replies

  1. That Uber article is absolutely scathing yet no less fascinating. The Uber/Lyft saga and the whole rideshare phenomenon is so interesting to follow. Time will tell whether these companies stick around or go out in a blaze of glory.

  2. Bench seating is common in most cities and I’m glad metro is making the switch. I hope the agency can do more to curb bad behavior on trains especially from the homeless. Also, metro has a major dog problem on the trains.
    I noticed the new card readers when transferring to the gold line. They reminded me of hop readers in Portland. You can download a pass on Hop to your iphone or just use apple pay, scan your phone and ride. Any chance metro has plans to introduce something like this? So much more convenient.

  3. The bench seating, without MAJOR security upgrades, will just encourage more homeless to park themselves on these seats. The amount of seating for seniors and handicapped is just ridicilous. There needs to be either NO bench seating or, at least, triple the amount of handicapped and senior seating. If Metro insist on this stupid bench seating, there just asking for more problems. This idea will just become a nightmare for those of us who need seating as there isn’t enough senior or handicapped seating available now. Whomever came up with this idea has a giant hole from their head to their a**! I knew Metro was stupid, but this idea is just off the charts on stupid!