After a long slog of a pandemic, today is “reopening” day across California — meaning some COVID-related rules are changing. ONE THAT IS NOT CHANGING: all riders on public transit are still required to wear masks, as per federal rules.
We appreciate everyone’s cooperation as we work to make transit as safe as possible.
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) June 10, 2021
•There are five COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Metro stations to make it as easy to get your shot — and it’s free! All the details here. Due to today’s heat, please note this change for the El Monte Station:
Due to today’s heatwave, transit riders planning to use the vaccination site at Metro’s El Monte Station between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. will be redirected to a different location at Sunshine Park, 515 Deepmead Ave, La Puente, CA 91744. Metro’s vaccine site vendor, Fulgent Genetics, has rescheduled all pre-existing appointments. Any others seeking to obtain their vaccines tomorrow at El Monte Station can check if there are any other vaccine sites available to them by visiting vaccine.fulgentgenetics.com. Patrons can also call 626-800-8467 for more information. All other vaccination sites on Metro station properties will not be affected.
•Metro bus and rail service changes begin June 27 with Metro adding more frequent bus and rail trips as the economy reopens and ridership ticks upward. More info here.
•Headed to the Dodgers game? Metro’s Dodger Stadium Express is running from both Harbor Gateway and Union Station to the ballpark. It’s a good way to avoid traffic and parking fees. Deets here. Although I may not be the biggest Dodger fan on el mundo, here’s hoping the Reds can inflict damage to the Padres in their four-game tilt this weekend.
And in the news….
•After years of offering cheap rides and serving as cheap taxis, the Ubers and Lyfts of the world seem to have raised prices in their quest to actually make a profit. The issue: Silicon Valley venture capitalists/overlords are growing weary of shoveling money into a pit, so says the Chicago Tribune.
Fun + pithy excerpt:
A few years ago, while on a work trip in Los Angeles, I hailed an Uber for a crosstown ride during rush hour. I knew it would be a long trip, and I steeled myself to fork over $60 or $70.
Instead, the app spit out a price that made my jaw drop: $16.Experiences like these were common during the golden era of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy, which is what I like to call the period from roughly 2012 through early 2020, when many of the daily activities of big-city 20- and 30-somethings were being quietly underwritten by Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
“Transportation historically has changed very slowly,” said Steven Polzin, a former senior adviser for research and technology at the federal Department of Transportation. What we’re talking about now “is dramatic relative to the pace of change we’ve seen.”
In 1980, about 2.3 percent of workers said they usually telecommuted, according to census data. By 2018, it was 5.7 percent. Now researchers are projecting that share could double or more effectively overnight.
Ms. Salon, who has conducted national surveys over the past year with colleagues at Arizona State and the University of Illinois at Chicago, finds that the share of workers who expect to telecommute at least a few times each week is double what it was prepandemic. That’s a large increase in telecommuting, she said, without a large increase in people doing it full time.
The LAT offers this graph — although I’ve yet to meet anyone who has quit or moved over their commute.
Informed that they will be expected to return to the office at least part time, workers are scrambling to lessen or eliminate their former commutes by moving closer to work, negotiating new terms with their managers, switching jobs or quitting altogether.
And then the NYT Magazine offers up this thinkpiece on remote work and what may change at the office. I thought these graphs were important:
That question and others like it have been caroming around white-collar, office-work America for months now. In a May working paper, Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor in management science at M.I.T., and a group of academics reported survey results indicating that half of those who were employed before the pandemic were now working remotely. That’s a significant increase — pre-Covid-19, the paper estimates, the figure was about 15 percent. (In 2018, a U.S. Census Bureau survey found that just 5.3 percent of Americans worked from home full time.) It’s a situation deeply skewed toward the privileged: Many employees who work in health care, public transportation or the service sector, for instance, have never been given the option to work remotely, during the crisis or before. At companies where remote work is possible, though, many now expect it to continue for quite some time. As Kass told me, the remote experience at SoftBank Robotics is “absolutely going to change the way we think about as a company who needs to be in the office and not.”
The coronavirus crisis is forcing white-collar America to reconsider nearly every aspect of office life. Some practices now seem to be wastes of time, happily discarded; others seem to be unexpectedly crucial, and impossible to replicate online. For workers wondering right now if they’re ever going back to the office, the most honest answer is this: Even if they do, the office might never be the same.
My three cents on all of this: I like the NYT and others have hammered home the point that remote work often skews toward the privileged (and benefits them). I also agree that remote work can be very productive but think there are aspects of being in a work setting that are positive. Like seeing people and talking to them face-to-face. Example: email. Until someone invents Nuance-a-nator for email, email will continue to induce regular Rage Spirals among those obliged to use it.
I also think rush hour as we know it is madness — often not benefiting anyone. As I’ve said in the past, one upside of some remote work could be that it benefits those who have to go to work by offering them more humane traffic/transit commutes. That seems to be something close to a win-win and we know now that many industries could not only survive, but perhaps benefit, from those who work at home and take their work seriously.
As the mercury rises today, this…
Categories: Transportation Headlines