Key Metro Updates
•Service changes are coming Sunday, Dec. 19. This is the third of three changes to implement our NextGen Bus Plan — the first big overhaul of the Metro Bus system in 25 years. The idea is to bulk up more frequent service on our most used routes and adjust other routes to reflect today’s travel patterns. See the changes here and here’s an online tool that lets you see if/how your bus line is changing.
•Face masks are still required to ride Metro because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The federal TSA recently extended the facemask order through March 18, 2022.
•Fare collection resumes on Metro buses on Jan. 10. Metro has also been rolling out discount fares to help everyone keep riding — in addition to our GoPass that provides free transit for K-12 and community college students at participating schools and districts.
•The Metro Board earlier this month had a long discussion and took action on several items related to public safety and Metro’s law enforcement contracts. This Source post explains what transpired.
•The public comment period is now open for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project, which is beginning its draft environment report phase. The project will be either a monorail or heavy rail between the Van Nuys Metrolink Station and the E Line (Expo) on the Westside. There are six alternatives. Check ’em out here and please submit an official comment.
•Ridership-wise, our numbers ticked up slightly in November — even with Thanksgiving.
For sake of comparison note — we’re back to about 70 percent of our weekday pre-pandemic ridership, whereas the New York bus and subway numbers are tad lower in recent days (see below from the New York MTA). These are pretty typical numbers for transit across the nation and shows the toll the pandemic has taken. Lots of folks are still telecommuting and it will be interesting to see how many people return to offices here and across the U.S. in 2022.
Around the horn on social media
Some posts that caught my eye…
At @urbaninstitute, @JGonzalez311 & I describe transit agency service plans post-pandemic. We polled agencies, finding they expect long-term drops in ridership overall & from white-collar workers—but expect growth from essential workers & low-income folks https://t.co/FWNiShfPtk pic.twitter.com/3QattpsXLP
— Yonah Freemark (@yfreemark) December 2, 2021
Directly related to above ridership item — this shows there are many people who heavily rely on public transit.
10 worst cities in the US for traffic tie-ups:
1️⃣Chicago: 104 hrs
2️⃣New York City: 102 hrs
3️⃣Philadelphia: 90 hrs
4️⃣Boston: 78 hrs
5️⃣Miami: 66 hrs
6️⃣San Francisco: 64 hrs
7️⃣New Orleans: 63 hrs
8️⃣Los Angeles: 62 hrs
9️⃣Houston: 58 hrs
🔟Atlanta: 53 hrshttps://t.co/EdkTbmC5QO
— INRIX ® (@INRIX) December 9, 2021
The gist of it — traffic in many places hasn’t returned to 2019 levels because of telecommuting. Interesting to see our region not topping these kind of lists as in years past.
Save the planet.
— MTA. Wear a Mask. Stop the Spread. (@MTA) November 12, 2021
Good, pertinent messaging.
Feet of snow and heavy winds are still in the forecast through tonight. Chain controls remain in effect throughout the Sierra. Check https://t.co/2BbQLztxN4 for all chain control locations in the region. pic.twitter.com/flXoHRgafT
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) December 13, 2021
Much-needed water falling this week in the Sierra. Does not look like a fun day to be on I-80 over Donner Pass.
From the media
•Seattle was able to add about 60K housing units in past decade — an impressive number — but still couldn’t keep pace with population growth, reports the Seattle Times. Other cities, including those in our region, are grappling with the same problem with housing. There just isn’t enough and it’s often not built where needed the most.
•The NYT recently looked at challenges in getting big infrastructure built in the U.S. in recent years. Among the issues: cost, rising construction costs and lengthy federal requirements.
•Some good news on the infrastructure front via the LAT: funding is almost complete to build a wildlife bridge over the 101 west of Calabasas — thanks to a huge fund-raising push. The bridge could help mountain lions survive in the Santa Monica Mountains.
•The NYT also dove into the race to be the next mayor of L.A. with the primaries this coming June. The winner gets an automatic seat on the Metro Board of Direcrors and can appoint three Board Members.
We know for sure that one NFL playoff game will be at SoFi: the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. Both the Rams and Chargers have a good chance of making the playoffs — but both need to win a lot of games down the stretch to win their respective divisions and host a game. The Rams play at Arizona tonight and the Chargers host the Chiefs Thursday — both games key to the playoff picture. Here’s how to ride Metro to SoFi.
Categories: Transportation Headlines