•Metro ridership numbers for October have posted and show another uptick in boardings to average of 632K on weekdays — a little more than half the boardings we were carrying pre-pandemic.
•COVID-19 cases are on the rise again locally — please be careful if out and about. If riding Metro, face coverings are required. To learn more about other precautions that Metro is taking to slow the virus’ spread, click here.
•As you may have heard, several Board Members and/or Metro officials have had their names tossed around for either Cabinet posts under President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and/or the soon-to-be open U.S. Senate seat in California. My crystal ball is currently in the shop and I’m not going to add to speculation. But I will say this: a lot of the work we’re doing at Metro continues to be closely watched around the country. It’s definitely great to see California — with almost 12 percent of the nation’s population — regain some seats at the proverbial table.
•State Sen. Holly Mitchell will join the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the Metro Board of Directors after winning her race last week in the 2nd district over L.A. Council Member Herb Wesson. She replaces Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who won his race for the L.A. City Council. And…the five members of the Board of Supervisors will soon all be women – a historic first. Duarte Council Member and Metro Board Member John Fasana is also retiring, which will open a seat on the Board to a representative of the San Gabriel Valley.
•Here’s a list of five smart takeaways from last week’s local elections in L.A. Magazine. The most welcome, I think, was the city of L.A.’s recent shift to holding their elections in even numbered years — like many other cities do. The odd number year elections in L.A. resulted in lousy turnout and gave another boost to incumbents, who usually hold an edge in terms of fund-raising and visibility. As someone who once upon a time covered the L.A. City Council, it may not be such a bad thing if incumbents had to glance over their shoulders every so often.
•Good analysis in the Washington Post onProp 22, which allows the likes of Uber and Lyft to continue to treat their drivers as contractors instead of employees. After the companies opened their wallets to the tune of $200 million to campaign for the measure, it won handily last week with 58.5 percent yes votes. Uber and Lyft stock shot up thereafter, not surprising given that companies will likely be able to keep costs and fares down.
Many transit activists have argued the ride sharing firms are putting too many vehicles on the road, profiting too much from publicly-funded infrastructure and taking riders from transit.
•Good interview by Move LA with Metro Chief of Staff Nadine Lee that covers a lot of ground, including bus rapid transit, bus service levels, NextGen and social distancing. Excerpt:
NextGen comprises a network redesign – making sure that our routes are running where people want to go and at their optimum speed by straightening out some of the lines, consolidating some of the bus stops, etc. In addition, NextGen set a vision for desired service levels on the redesigned network. For the first phase of implementation, we’re putting the new network in place, and we will build service levels from there. As the ridership grows, we will have even more reason to add service.
•Four hundred new apartments are coming to Old Pasadena via the 100 West Walnut project; Urbanize LA gives an update. The apartments sit on what were parking lots and are a short walk to the L Line’s (Gold) Memorial Park Station. This is one of many big residential projects rising around the county — with many near rail lines or busy bus corridors.
On the eve of Veteran’s Day, here’s something to read or listen to whilst transiting or wondering when you might be transiting again: the amazing story in the NYT of the hunt for a U.S. aircraft carrier that sunk in the South Pacific during World War II. One of the sailors who perished that day wrote a deeply moving letter to his five-year-old son about carrying on and American ideals before the ship left San Diego.
And from Twitter:
Have you traveled through the new Union Station Patsaouras Bus Plaza Station yet? Let us know how your experience was! pic.twitter.com/uL0J0AQVaa
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) November 8, 2020
— Urbanize.LA (@UrbanizeLA) November 10, 2020
The Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project was released in late October. You can read it here and see some of the routes under study. The public comment period is open through Dec. 10.
Today our new electric-powered mini-sweeper “Verde” made its operational debut, sweeping the protected bike lanes on Los Angeles St near City Hall.
We will be making adjustments as we go along, learning how to optimize the machine for 🍂 season@MayorOfLA @kdeleon pic.twitter.com/AtAsIjwzrN
— Greg Spotts (@Spottnik) November 10, 2020
Join me for a 70sec video tour of the recently-completed North Atwater Bridge which enables people on foot, bike and horseback to cross the LA River and access Griffith Park pic.twitter.com/pDlvsJS1tE
— Greg Spotts (@Spottnik) November 8, 2020
There ought to be an Amtrak One pic.twitter.com/mlQ7ay87mp
— Darryl Young (@DarrylWYoung) November 7, 2020
Categories: Transportation Headlines