COVID-19 update; Thursday, Aug. 13

As the pandemic continues in our region, Metro’s messaging remains that we’re here for essential travel, in addition to:

In some other agency news…

•The C (Green) Line turned 25 yesterday for you transit-anniversary fans. Hint: “problematic” is the key word below. Also, a nice write-up of the line’s opening day over at Militant Angeleno.

•Virtual public hearings begin next Wednesday, Aug. 19, for Metro’s draft NextGen plan to improve bus frequencies, speeds and to restructure our bus routes. Click here for times and dates of the meetings.

Please see this Source post for particulars on the draft NextGen plan and maps of changes to routes.

And in the news…

Good interactive feature in the NYT that shows how air flow moves across a New York subway vehicle. The point: public health officials say that good air flow coupled with riders wearing face coverings increases safety and helps reduce the chance of coronavirus spreading on the subway.

•Uber and Lyft are threatening to shut down rides in California after a court ruled that drivers should be treated as employees and not contractors, reports the LAT. Hard to say how much everyday people would notice given demand for both services has dropped during the pandemic. A shut down, the thinking goes, could help sway voters on Prop 22 on the November ballot — 22 would allow the ride hailers to continue treating drivers as non-employees.

•There will be no “Go Metro” to Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, LAFC, Rams or Chargers games this fall due to the ongoing pandemic. LAT sports columnist Bill Plaschke is recovering from COVID-19 and offers a pretty good reminder why so much has changed in recent months. Excerpt:

I’ve written all this before, and so I write it again with feeling. It didn’t take much for COVID-19 to make my unexciting life hell. Imagine the increased risk for someone who actually hits and hugs and huddles and hangs out with other people?

The novel coronavirus is not a statistic. It’s not an agenda. It’s not a debate. COVID-19 is real enough to rise up and beat me senseless. We need to stop giving it license to do the same to others.

Like many others, I enjoy watching sports and am dearly hoping pro leagues can pull off their seasons without getting any of their employees or their families hurt or killed.

Books to read while transiting, staying safer at home and/or hiding under the kitchen table: “Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje. The main character looks back on the shadowy life of his mum, who was involved in British intelligence efforts during and after WWII. A good mystery tale unfolds and the writing is excellent and doesn’t get in the way.

Thoughts on bike riding during the pandemic: My road bike is the preferred mode of exercise these days and, geewillickers, our region could use some more quality Class I bike lanes. I did the Ventura-to-Ojai path the other day and it was nice but sorely in need of a repaving. The San Gabriel River trail — kinda steep falloffs into the concrete catheter of a river in places (plus obviously built by people who had no intention of using it). The San Diego Creek trail down in The OC — actually pretty nice and well maintained with access to some nice parks. L.A. County beach trail — too crowded for my taste.

Suggestions? I don’t mind riding on the road as long as traffic is light. I’m not exactly a road warrior so something in the 20 to 40 mile range would be good.