Weekly Transit eNewsletter
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 1

Happy New Year! This is an abreviated issue with just a little news and some goals. Next week we will be back with full news and developments unlike any over the past 5 years

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.

Goals for 2007: The Transit Coalition celebrates its third year in publishing its eNewsletter and bringing transportation news to your mailbox. As previously noted, many transit milestones took place in 2006. To keep the momentum going, The Transit Coalition will promote several transportation projects to key decision makers across Southern California during 2007.

In the immediate term, Metro is pushing for a major readjustment in bus service in June 2007. The shakeup will entail many service cuts and line cancellations, especially in the northeast San Fernando Valley, where population growth warrants more transit service. Rather than refocusing some routes to connect with the Orange Line and major Points of Interest such as colleges and hospitals, the Metro approach is to wound and to kill service.

The movement to complete the Exposition light rail line to Santa Monica heats up, starting with "scoping" meetings for Phase 2 between Culver City and the Ocean slated to be held in February or March.

Efforts to bring the Green Line to LAX and extend it further to the Expo Line in Santa Monica will also continue. Not to be forgotten is the Downtown Regional Connector proposal, which would connect the Blue, Gold and Expo lines and provide through service in Downtown L.A.

One project that The Transit Coalition will continue to promote is the Metrolink Regional Rail concept, a major upgrade of Metrolink service which includes increased number of trains, initialization of service between Union Station and LAX/South Bay and expanded service hours into the night and weekends within Los Angeles County.

Implementing through service to points other than Los Angeles Union Station is crucial to make this concept a reality. One way to achieve it is with the Run Through Tracks, an existing, environmentally cleared project that would extend four tracks in Union Station out south, consolidating back to two tracks to connect with nearby Burlington Northern Santa Fe / Metrolink / Amtrak service to Orange County.

This would enable trains to run through the station instead of backing out and entering the same way, thus saving time and reducing transfers. Right now, while the 101 Freeway is torn up for realignment and East L.A. Gold Line construction, is an excellent time to put a support column in the middle of the freeway for this upcoming project. Property acquisition should also get started.

Here is a list of other recent developments:

Will gas prices stay in the $2.40 range? Predictions are that $3.40 a gallon will be common by February or March.

Many upgrades are underway at the City of Los Angeles International Airport. Upgrades such as the completion of a runway, internet Wireless access and relocation of luggage screening behind check in counters are coming.

The Orange Line opened its Canoga Park Station Parking Lot. Will the 611 parking spaces get used? Some lots such as the Sepulveda Station get about a 5% usage. The Daily News thinks this lot is a step in the right direction.

It's only been a year since the Orange Line opened, but major repaving is underway on some segments that have been worn out.

The Highway Lobby thinks that Busways and Bus Rapid Transit are the ultimate answers to getting around town, as a response to a recent feature on our growing transit system.

The Port of L.A. continues to attract key managers from the Port of Long Beach. How far ahead will this push the L.A. Port?

Transit "Smart Cards" or Access Passes (TAP) continue to roll through test phases in Los Angeles County. It is one transit upgrade that will be largely welcomed, as it can be used on many and eventually all of the area's transit systems.

Will the Bus Riders Union ever give up? The BRU has appealed a ruling by a federal judge that ended the Consent Decree.

In South Orange County, the OCTA is working on a Major Investment Study on transportation options for south county traffic jams and all are welcome to their Mission Viejo City office for a Stakeholder Group Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007.

Upcoming Events:
Consider attending our monthly Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, January 23 - 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Philippe The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles CA 90012. ( Map.) We hope to see you there!

Angeles Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee: Thursday, January 4, 7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter office, 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320, Los Angeles.

Metro San Gabriel Valley Governance Council: Tuesday, January 9, 5 p.m., 3369 Santa Anita Ave. (near El Monte bus station), El Monte.

Metro Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday, January 10, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center, Sunset Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.

Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday, January 10, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.

SCAG MagLev Task Force: Thursday, January 11, 10:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los Angeles. CANCELLED.

Metro Gateway Cities Governance Council: Thursday, January 11, 2 p.m., Gas Company ERC, 9240 Firestone Bl., Downey.

Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday, January 11, 2:30 p.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

Metro South Bay Governance Council: Friday, January 12, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson.

SCRRA (Metrolink) Committee Meetings: Friday, January 12, 10 a.m. SCRRA Offices, 700 S. Flower St., 26th floor, Los Angeles.

Southern California Transit Advocates: Saturday, January 13, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill St., Los Angeles.

SCRRA (Metrolink) Board Meeting: Friday, January 26, 10 a.m., San Bernardino Conference Room, SCAG Building, 12th Floor, 818 W. Seventh St., Los Angeles.

Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!

Get the Print Edition of Moving Southern California, our monthly newsletter. Request a sample copy.

Contact Us:
We 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.

Visit our Discussion Board for the latest dialogue on transit.

 

bart.reed@thetransitcoalition.us  The Transit Coalition