Dept. of Public Policy: thinky thread below on whether zero emission buses may attract new bus riders.
I would posit that most riders care very little about how their buses are powered, compared to whether they arrive on time and get them where they're going quickly. https://t.co/pcjgiUOveU pic.twitter.com/MZxw6OChpT
— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) December 2, 2019
Dept. of Debate: Which large city has the best view of skyline and snowy mountains? L.A. is very good, I think, with a few other candidates below. Any city I’m missing?
— Shelby Grad (@shelbygrad) December 1, 2019
I added Geneva and Tokyo at the request of a Metro colleague. Also, check out these views of the snowy San Gabriels as captured by KABC’s helicopter.
In the news…
•The LAT takes a look at the A Line’s (Blue) performance since fully reopening on Nov. 2. Excerpt:
Before opening a new line, Metro typically spends at least a month running empty trains on the tracks to find and fix any problems. Such testing on the A Line lasted 30 hours, spokesman Brian Haas said.
Metro conducted more than 14,000 hours of testing while the new systems were being installed and brought online, enough for the line to be safely opened, Haas said. But another week, he said, “would have been beneficial.”
The Blue Line closures began in late January and extended for nine months and change — obviously the agency was eager to reopen the line. Service issues have been declining and the last week was mostly quiet although there were delays due to signal maintenance during the mid- to late-morning on Monday, Nov. 25.
Here’s a presentation that staff will give to the Metro Board of Directors at their meeting on Thursday.
Regular riders, how has the line performed in recent days? Comment please.
•USC professor and regular Metro rider Wendy Wood penned an LAT op-ed that argues that Metro is not doing enough to get people to make taking buses and trains a regular habit. She points to infrequent midday service, loud+annoying announcements, lack of accurate real-time arrival data, cleanliness challenges and having to deal with the homeless.
FWIW, I’m encouraged that Metro isn’t standing pat. There is work here underway to improve the customer experience on buses and trains, overhaul our bus routes, beef up security and get better arrival data to riders, among other things. The midday maintenance is a tough issue as we want to keep trains from breaking down, but that means running less service to accommodate the work on active tracks.
•I’m sure some of you reading this enjoyed some quality time sitting parked on the 405 freeway at some point in the last week. Thus you may be interested to know that the Metro Board on Thursday will consider a $27.5-million contract with WP USA to do the environmental document and other studies for the Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes project, reports the LAT.
There are actually three phases to improving mobility in the Sepulveda Pass corridor. This project is the first with the goal to finish the ExpressLanes between the 10 and the 101 by 2027. The second phase is a rail line or monorail between Van Nuys Metrolink Station and the Expo Line (2033 to ’35) and the third phase is between the Expo Line and LAX (’57 to ’59). Those are the Measure M spending plan dates; Metro is trying to accelerate the transit part of the project through a public-private partnership.
As for the ExpressLanes, a lot of planning work remains to be done — with one big question being whether there would be one or two lanes in both directions. It depends on how much space there is in the corridor as this is not another widening project.
The current ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 have proved popular and allow those who don’t meet the carpool requirements to pay a toll to use the lanes. Metro is also presently planning to add ExpressLanes on the 105 freeway between the 405 and 605.
•Quasi-transpo LAT article that may raise the dander: a state bill to make it easier to convince people of car burglaries is going nowhere. The bill’s sponsor says that’s because his colleagues are reluctant to pass any bill that might add people to already crowded state prisons.
Dept. of Football — The Rams have two more regular season games left in their tenure at the Expo Line-adjacent Coliseum: this coming Sunday at 5 p.m. versus the Seahawks (barf) and Dec. 29 against Glendale, Arizona. (More info on transit to the game is here).
Professional football writers were ready to write off the Rams after they lost to Baltimore last Monday night — arguably the best team in the league. Hmmm.
Perhaps the writers should have looked at the standings and schedule. If the Vikings — not a team good outdoors against good teams — lose at Seattle tonight, the Rams will be one game out of a wildcard spot with four games to play. (Let’s repeat that: the Vikings are based in a cold climate but are weanies when outside. Perhaps why the Vikes have never visited the Super Bowl since moving into a dome). That is hardly insurmountable if the Rams can put together a winning streak down the stretch and our L.A. Chargers can beat the Vikes in a couple weeks in Carson.
Over at NBC Sports, Peter King can envision a Rams at Green Bay game on Saturday night of wildcard weekend. That would be fun television viewing.
Categories: Transportation Headlines