•Cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County — and at Metro — have dropped steeply in recent weeks after the deadly surge of late fall and winter. The next big step for Metro is to keep cases down and secure vaccinations for frontline staff.
•Metro continues to run service for essential trips. Riders are required to wear face coverings/masks unless they have a medical reason not to do so.
•As you might have seen in the news, President Biden was critical of Mississippi and Texas over their reopening efforts and dropping face covering requirements. FWIW, health officials in both states urged residents to keep using masks and continue social distancing. More in the Washington Post.
•The big news from last week’s Metro Board meeting: the agency will aim to restore bus service to pre-pandemic levels by September. Here’s our meeting roundup.
•Metro’s contractor last Thursday finished tunneling the first of the twin tunnels between Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega on the Purple Line Extension. Once the second tunnel between those stations is completed, tunneling will be done on Section 1 of the project, which runs for four miles between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega and is forecast to open in 2023. Here’s some video of what a break-through looks like — basically two seconds of action.
•Bus shuttles replace trains on the A Line (Blue) between Del Amo and downtown Long Beach this weekend. Details here.
•If you have a few minutes, here’s a nice video on Metro front line staff’s heroic work during the pandemic.
•And if you have a few minutes more, here’s a fun video celebrating Bob Baker Day and Union Station. A nice respite from the pandemic.
In other transit news…
•Good visuals on new rail tunnel being built in Melbourne, Australia.
In the news….
•LAT editorial page opines that the world needs more zero emission vehicles and fewer big gas guzzlers. The editorial sums up the challenges well but how do we get from here to there? Here’a an idea: a full tax credit for those who purchase electric vehicles? Good idea or quite terrible? Comment please.
•On a similar note, global carbon dioxide emissions — CO2 is a big culprit for global warming — dropped about 6.4 percent in 2020 from 2019. As you probably guessed, that’s due to the pandemic, reports Nature.
•But Forbes reports CO2 levels this year are back to Pre Hanks/Wilson levels as more economies open back up.
•NYT looks at the hurdles to passing a national infrastructure bill — something long sought but elusive. In the meantime, the House of Reps on party lines approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill over the weekend and is now before the Senate. That bill is critical — capital C — to transit agencies that took a financial hit during the ongoing pandemic.
The legislation passed by the House last night includes $30 billion for transit, of which $26 billion will go to urbanized area formula grants (which will be usable for operating expenses), $1 billion for major capital projects, and the rest for other expenses. On to the Senate. https://t.co/UgLO1vaFUU
— Yonah Freemark (@yfreemark) February 27, 2021
•Cool look by NYT at efforts by the city of Heidelberg in Germany to reduce the number of cars in the city.
Things to listen to whilst or whilst not transiting: Fun and interesting Sway podcast with guest Ralph Macchio talking about “Cobra Kai,” a show that has been a pandemic staple of many, including yours truly.
Categories: Transportation Headlines