It goes without saying that coronavirus is and will continue to be the big story in our region and across the world in the coming days.
Metro has been fielding press inquiries and our messaging is this: we’re continuing the daily (sometimes more) cleaning regimen on buses, trains and facilities.
We also are asking the public to do their part by following good health practices. I was in a meeting today with Metro officials and a representative of the L.A. County Department of Public Health and he stressed the best defense is good public hygiene — especially washing your hands frequently and properly. Please see this Source post for more info.
From the Dept. of Self-Inflicted Leg Cramps:
If you’re participating in the LA Marathon or are planning to cheer on runners, Metro Rail is the best option to get to all marathon festivities and avoid extensive bus detours and street closures. https://t.co/ClmSXJmLLo pic.twitter.com/JmsPWP3swt
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) March 5, 2020
Dept. of New Buses!:
Metro took delivery last week of the last of the 295 40-foot buses ordered from the firm El Dorado. Metro executed an option to purchase an additional 259 of these compressed natural gas-powered buses last September as a bridge step while we strive to convert the fleet to zero emission buses in the future.
The new fleet of El Dorado buses allow Metro to retire some buses that 12 or more years old. They will significantly improve the reliability of the overall fleet performance and include enhanced features for the benefit of our operators. Here’s a Source post from 2018 about the buses.
Things to read whilst transiting: The NYT Magazine takes a deep look at the Wall Street investors who started buying homes across the U.S. in the wake of the Great Recession — and how that has impacted those who rent the homes and those squeezed out of the housing market by Wall Street driving up prices. A big chunk of the story involves our region.
Things to read whilst transiting 2: At a time of runaway costs of college, The Atlantic looks at Indiana’s Purdue University that has been able to hold the line on tuition — with in-state students spending $10,000 a year.
•Smart lede in the Whittier Daily News on the Eastside Gold Line Extension project:
Thirteen years ago, Metro was considering 47 end points for where the Gold Line extension from East Los Angeles should end. On Thursday, that number was reduced to one.
On a 13-0 vote, the Metro board directed its employees to continue studying just one option for the light rail, the one that would travel Atlantic and Washington boulevards and end at PIH Health in Whittier.
However, to mollify San Gabriel Valley-area officials who were supporting a line along the 60 Freeway to South El Monte, the board also voted to direct employees to prepare a feasibility study looking at other options to meet the needs of Valley residents.
Forty seven! That’s almost enough for an NCAA-style bracket 🙂
•Here’s a good primer at CurbedLA on the Regional Connector and how it will make light rail trips on the A (Blue), E (Expo) and L (Gold) Lines to and through DTLA a lot easier and quicker. Construction-minded readers may be interested in this recent Source post on the challenges of building this very unique project.
•Nice job of reporting at CurbedLA on the drop in the number of scooters on area streets — in December there was about half the number that there was in 2018. Scooter companies say it’s mostly seasonal although enforcement of rules by cities also seems a factor.
•Scary crash involving a motorist who drove through crossing gates on the A Line (Blue) at 55th Street and was struck by a train. The 60-year-old man, according to the LAPD, suffered some cuts and bruises. Good reminder to everyone to be mindful of motorists who may, or may not, be following the rules of the road and, of course, pay attention to your surroundings when around trains.
This could’ve had a tragic outcome. Fortunately the driver survived with minor injuries, but this should serve as a good reminder to all of us — pay attention near train tracks, and always obey all traffic signals and devices. pic.twitter.com/udDSkeDTPn
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 5, 2020
•Understanding planner-speak is oft an exercise in head-meet-wall, but here’s a good post from the L.A. Planning Department (the city agency) on how they’ve boosted production of affordable housing under their transit-oriented communities program. As they write, there’s still much work to be done but it’s good to see they’re getting some results. Streetsblog LA also offers a good explainer on the topic.
Categories: Transportation Headlines