Welcome to The
Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization
participates in meetings with key decision makers
and community leaders and our goal is to keep you
informed on the latest developments in the transportation
scene across Southern California.
Despite a $110 million structural deficit, the Metro
a $3 billion budget that will add new bus service
and hold off a fare increase in addition to keep
rail and highway projects on track. The Board concurrently
a plan by CEO Roger Snoble to cut $10 million from
security expenses and instead directed him to find
other sources of funds. The Bus Riders Union is
on a mad
dash to have the Consent Decree extended until
2011 since it believes that Metro will surely reduce
service or raise fares as a result of the deficit.
The Special Master appointed to oversee the Decree,
Donald Bliss, resigned earlier this year, with no
one having taken his place, which marks an ominous
note on whether the Decree will be extended or allowed
itself is profiting from robust ridership, as their
budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year
can attest to. Other commuters are finding relief
two-wheel transportation such as bicycles, motorcycles
and even Segways. This increase in use of alternative
modes may soon be over, however, as gas
prices are falling across the state. Lawmakers
at the state and federal levels are disappointed
that months of studies regarding the high prices
have come to nothing, since oil companies, who have
been reaping in record profits, were otherwise not
found to have done any wrongdoing.
Speaking of bicycling, activists in San Bernardino
County are fighting to complete a gap between two
Santa Ana River trails and create a single "Crest-to-Coast"
multipurpose trail. To this purpose, it was announced
that a coalition of cities and institutes are coming
together and forming the Upper Santa Ana Watershed
Other cities are moving with their own enhancements
to improve the transit experience. The City and
County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved
a law that would ban
smoking at all transit facilities, from bus
and cable car stops to Muni
stations. The New York City MTA is moving forward
with plans to combat
a rise in graffiti incidents, which include
installation of cameras.
Transportation continues to play an important role
at the state level even after finishing work on
the bond proposals set for a November vote. At least
Assembly district race is circling around port
issues, even though the ports themselves are not
in the district. An editorial from the Sacramento
Bee decried the governor's proposal to use "spillover"
funds from the state gas tax to pay for previous
transportation bonds instead of current transit
operations. Former Assemblymember and current candidate
for State Controller Tony Strickland moves
forward with a petition to repeal said tax altogether.
A report revealed that aging
school buses are among some of the worst air
polluters in the state. Even though the state has
vigorously followed a program to buy new natural
gas vehicles and soot collectors for existing vehicles,
the Berkeley-based Union of Concerned Scientists
noted that there is still a long way to go. Meanwhile,
South Coast Area Transit in Ventura County is moving
away from purchasing hybrid buses and instead
resorting to improved natural gas buses.
opened a section of new
carpool lanes on the San Diego Freeway between
I-105 and the Marina Freeway ahead of schedule.
Caltrans hopes that the new lanes will reduce
travel times by as much as 50 percent. The last
segment of the southbound carpool lane between the
San Fernando Valley and the Westside will be complete
by 2008. Plans to build the northbound lane are
ongoing. Meanwhile, officials pushing for reversible
carpool lanes for the Antelope Valley Freeway (State
Highway Route 14) near Pearblossom Highway were
to learn that the project would cost close to $800
million. On the other end of the Southland, a group
is resorting to a
higher power in aiding their fight against the
San Onofre Toll Road.
In Burbank, officials are looking into quirky
technologies that can help manage parking woes
throughout the city. The City Council recently delayed
a decision on selecting a parking management option
and instead directed staff to study the costs of
the technologies as well as existing parking revenues.
quirky technologies help the City of Los Angeles
manage traffic across the city, according to the
Announcement: Starting June 3, Metrolink
will begin weekend
service on the Orange County line. Through December
31, weekend fares will be 50% of the regular fare.
However, for June 3 only, you can buy one Saturday
Metrolink ticket and a friend rides along for no
additional cost. Also for June 3, those holding
County Transportation Authority bus passes can
also ride at no cost. All stations within Orange
County will host events for the family to celebrate
Here is a list of other recent developments:
May 24: The Los Angeles Department of Transportation
released an audit showing that as much as $530,000
in tickets has been unaccounted for by Five
Star Parking, the private operator of the Hollywood
and Highland parking garage. The day before, the
Los Angeles City Council voted to extend the operator's
contract, ensuring a $17 million share of the revenues.
The report, and others that came before it, believed
that Five Star employees are engaging in fraudulent
activities, though a company executive said that
some employees have already been disciplined.
May 25: The California State Assembly approved
a bill to upgrade the status of the Los Angeles
World Airports police and establish it as an autonomous
body. The upgrade would give the police body additional
powers, including training bomb-sniffing dogs, controlling
traffic and regulate alcohol sales.
May 30: Three Los Angeles Daily News
staff writers wrote about their recent experiences
on transit in Los Angeles. Brett
Hopkins tries to use transit as much as he can,
if only to give him a clear conscience. Aron
Miller tries to find any excuse to get on the
bus and learn about his fellow Angelenos. Josh
Kleinbaum believes that the additional time
spent traveling is not worth the cost savings or
even the peace of mind, to the point that he summarily
resumed his auto commute.
Upcoming Events: Exposition
Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday,
June 1, 2:30 p.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee:
Thursday, June 1, 7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter office,
3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320, Los Angeles.
San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday,
June 7, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent Center,
6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.
MagLev Task Force: Thursday, June 8, 11:00 a.m.
SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los
California Transit Advocates: Saturday, June
10, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill
St., Los Angeles.
Gold Line Community Design Workshops:
Wednesday, June 14, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Monrovia
Community Center, 119 W. Palm Av., Monrovia.
Monday, June 19, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Ayres
Hall, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden,
301 N. Baldwin Av., Arcadia. Parking available.
Tuesday, June 27, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., City
Hall, Outer Council Chamber, 5050 N. Irwindale Av.,
Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday,
June 14, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center, Sunset
Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, June 14 and Thursday,
June 15, Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway
Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
Goods Movement Task Force: Wednesday, June 21,
9 a.m., SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor,
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Bart Reed, Executive Director
Numan Parada, Communications Director
About The Transit Coalition:
The Transit Coalition is a 501[c](3) non-profit
whose goal is to increase Transit Options and Mobility
in Southern California by mobilizing citizens to
press for sensible public policy to grow our bus
and rail network.
As a grass roots group, we depend upon your contributions
to allow us to pursue our important work. Add yourself to our mailing list and
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