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.
Please Join Us: The Transit Coalition invites
you to a special Metro Rail Customer
Conference on Tuesday, October 24. This is your
chance to voice your opinion on current Metro Rail
service. You must pre-register
to attend this event. See Upcoming
Events below for details.
The Orange County Register published an exposé
on properties bought by Caltrans and its predecessor
agency, the Department of Highways, for freeways
that were never built. Many of the properties are
in disrepair and do not pay property taxes. Caltrans
in the past promised reforms but never
took action in implementing them. California
Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary
Sunne Wright McPeak defended
Caltrans by stating that the Department has sold
674 parcels at $105 million during the time Arnold
Schwarzenegger has been governor. Nevertheless,
newly elected Orange County tax collector-treasurer
Chriss Street promised to excise 10
years of back taxes from Caltrans.
In other road-related news, activists are asking
the City of Los Angeles to sell
its 74 electric-powered vehicles to the public
before they must return the leased vehicles to Toyota.
Now that Metro has completed a
study on the feasibility of a tunnel to connect
the 710 Freeway with Pasadena, the California Transportation
Commission may decide further
steps in the project. La Cañada Flintridge residents
met at a Caltrans meeting to discuss the repaving
of Angeles Crest Highway (State Highway Route 2).
A letter to the Los Angeles Times suggests
it's high time for Southern California to explore
Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena are joining
forces to link the Gold and Red Lines with some
form of public transportation along the 134 Freeway.
in the Burbank Leader lauded the development.
However, RailPAC President Paul Dyson expressed
his reservations about the idea in an op-ed,
suggesting that simply improving the existing bus
system along the corridor would yield great benefits.
Meanwhile, the City of Los Angeles is asking Metro
over the restoration of Angels Flight, irking
the Angels Flight Foundation, which would like to
keep the funicular in the hands of a private entity.
With the Consent Decree theoretically expiring in
11 days, the push to rationalize Metro bus and rail
stronger, even as officials strive to avert
fare hikes through new funding sources. Judge Terry
Hatter will hold a hearing on the Consent Decree
this Thursday, October 19, at 10:30 a.m. Azusa residents
are concerned that the city may purchase
properties around a future Gold Line station
and create blight in the process. To promote public
transportation, rock band The Secret Machines
at Union Station on Tuesday, October 24.
Elsewhere, transit innovations take center stage.
Long Beach Transit
rolled out with a website improvement that provides
arrival times of its buses. PC Magazine
writer John C. Dvorak ponders why people are not
telecommuting more, even as the benefits are
growing and communications technologies are making
it increasingly feasible. To the north, some 250
BART patrons will use
flash passes" as part of a pilot program
to implement "smart card" technology on
Local municipalities are playing a more active role
in bringing transportation to discussion. The Santa
Clarita City Council approved
a resolution supporting development of MagLev to
their community. This would be part of the proposed
MagLev system that would run between Palmdale
Airport and southern Orange County. The Los Angeles
City Council approved studying a Green
Line extension that would connect with the Expo
Line in the Westside. Santa Ana and Costa Mesa will
together to bring improved transit connections
from their cities to the Santa Ana Depot and Metrolink
Shameless Plug: A research team will conduct
a focus group on pedestrian issues in Los Angeles.
The 90-minute session will be held on one evening
during the week of November 6. If you are a pedestrian
in LA, this is an opportunity to have your views
and perspectives heard on the topic of pedestrian
safety around transit buses. If you are interested
in participating, and are a pedestrian and bus rider,
please contact Jennifer Rephlo at email@example.com
or 703-676-2407 by this Thursday, Oct 19th to express
your interest. Space is limited, so those who respond
will be screened on a first-come first-served basis.
Three Weeks Until the Election: As the Los
Angeles Daily News suggests, voters in a way
will choose the
better of two evils: Using crumbling infrastructure
or invoke bonds and pay later to fix it. It is no
secret that, should voters approve the measures,
job bonanza will ensue. Officials from San Bernardino
and Riverside Counties believe the bonds will speed
up projects in the fast growing region.
Meanwhile, more Measure M fun brews in Orange County.
Letters to the Orange County Register expressed
at the mass transit money included in the measure
renewal. Still, one OC Register report noted
that 40% existing Measure M tax revenues are returned
to cities for local projects.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
October 6: The Westside Cities Council of
Governments held a symposium
to discuss "Livable Boulevards" and other
mutual topics. As envisioned, these "Livable
Boulevards" would take advantage of multiple
transit modes, provide affordable housing and foster
October 10: The South Coast Air Quality Management
District hosted the 2-day Clean Vehicle Technology
Expo at the Ontario Convention Center. Expo participants
were informed on the importance of establishing
relationships with alternative fuel technology providers,
the various grants available for projects related
to clean air technologies, and state regulations
and tax benefits. Over 550 participants attended
the Expo, including representatives from public
and private entities that use alternative fuel fleets.
Protection Agency former Secretary Alan Lloyd
was among the event speakers.
Concurrently, the AQMD unveiled new
measures that aim to curb vehicle pollution.
According to the AQMD, mobile sources generate over
75 percent of the Southland's air pollution. While
the agency successfully has forced "stationary
sources" such as ports and power plants to
reduce emissions, it has little
power to enforce measures. The 10-year plan
would be far reaching and includes more frequent
smog checks and more strict regulation of aerosols.
The AQMD also lauded
the City of South Pasadena for purchasing electric
and hybrid vehicles, supporting legislation encouraging
their use, and encouraging other cities to do the
The American Public
Transportation Association (APTA) awarded
Metro the 2006 Outstanding Public Transportation
Award at its annual meeting in San Jose. "Metro
has aggressively added new service, including additional
freeway express buses and the wildly successful
Metro Orange Line," while keeping costs low,
according to the APTA. As a result, Metro has been
conferred labels on its buses and website designating the
agency as "America's Best." APTA also
commended BART for its availability of train
schedules for iPods.
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously
approved a $576 million contract to remodel
the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. The
project will begin next year and will take 38 months
October 11: The national Center for Housing
a report concluding that low- to moderate-income
families that move further from work to attain affordable
housing often spend those savings and more on transportation.
In fact, families with an annual income between
$20,000 and $50,000 spend 28% on housing but 30%
on transportation. The report is
available online courtesy of the National Housing
October 12: The Southern California Regional
Airport Authority met for the first time in two
years at Metro Gateway Headquarters. Participants
heard a presentation on the history of the Joint
Powers Agreement that created the Authority and
discussed past failures and missteps. Transit Coalition
Communications Director Numan Parada attended the
event and reported
on what developed during the meeting.
October 13: Transit Coalition Executive Director
Bart Reed attended the inaugural meeting of the
newly formed Coalition to Explore the Development
of a New Regional Airport in Palmdale. State Senators
Richard Alarcon and George Runner created the new
group to focus on how to bring passenger air service
to Palmdale Airport, a frequent player in attempts
to spread air traffic to other airports in Southern
California. A report of the event is now
Upcoming Events: SCAG Goods Movement
Task Force: Wednesday, October 18, 9 a.m., SCAG
Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los Angeles.
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, October 18 and
Thursday, October 19 Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
and Programming Committee: Wednesday, October
18, 1 p.m.
and Budget Committee: Wednesday, October 18,
Management and Audit Committee: Thursday, October
19, 9 a.m.
Committee: Thursday, October 19, 10:30 a.m.
Committee: Thursday, October 19, 12 noon.
Expo Line Community Education Workshop: Wednesday,
October 18, 7 p.m., 3731 Stocker St. #201, Los Angeles.
Guest speaker: Genetha Eddins, Expo Line Community
Relations Manager. Sponsored by Save Leimert Neighborhood
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting:
Monday, October 23, 9 a.m., Board Hearing Room,
600 Main St., Orange.
Rail Customer Conference: Tuesday, October 24,
6:45 p.m., Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza
(adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles. To participate,
this form and include your first & last
name, mailing address, birth date and gender, as
it would appear on your legal ID, since you will
enter a secure building. Also include your phone
number so we can inform you of any last minute changes.
Also submit any questions you might want to ask.
Speed Rail Authority Public Meeting: Wednesday,
October 25, 10 a.m., State Capitol Building, Senate
Hearing Room 112, Sacramento.
Specific Plan Amendment Study Public Outreach
Meetings: Wednesday, October 25, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,
and Saturday, October 28, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Proud
Bird Restaurant 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles.
The meetings will discuss the North Airfield Preliminary
Concepts. Those who wish to come can attend either
one of the two meetings.
Meeting: Thursday, October 26, 9:30 a.m., Board
Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent
to Union Station), Los Angeles.
RailPAC Regional Meeting,
Northern California: Saturday, October 28, 1 to
3 p.m., SamTrans Headquarters, 1250 San Carlos Ave.,
San Carlos, one block from the San Carlos Caltrain
Mobility21 5th Annual
Transportation Summit: Monday, October 30, 8 a.m.
(Continental breakfast at 7 a.m.), Sheraton Universal
Hotel, 333 Universal Hollywood Dr., Universal City.
Registration: $150 per person.
Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!
Get the Print Edition of Moving Southern
California, our monthly newsletter. Request a sample copy.
welcome your thoughts and comments on our new electronic
newsletter. Please write us:
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
please donate to help us grow.
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