Democratic politicians and union boosters held
a jobs rally at Los Angeles City Hall in which 30/10 was a focus.
Speakers took turns taking shots at Republican candidates for their
platforms on jobs. Republican critics, on the other hand, criticized
Barbara Boxer for actually
attending the rally in her official capacity. As candidates duke it out
in advance of the November election it's important to note that 30/10 is
not just a conduit for jobs but an ambitious and sound transportation
roadmap for the future
of Los Angeles that will result in very real improvements to the
capacity of our regional transit system.
Weekly Transit eNewsletter
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 33
The Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization
participates in meetings with key decision makers and community leaders.
Our goal is to keep you informed on the latest developments in the
transportation scene across Southern
Ohayou gozaimasu: The Transit Coalition
will host its monthly Dinner Meeting next Tuesday, August 24, featuring
an update on the Los Angeles-Sylmar segment on the state high-speed
rail project. Also, the
August 2010 issue of Moving Southern California is now available online with new features and news, as are
past issues. Here is
a video clip of our June meeting with Art Leahy and
the latest July video featuring Dennis Allen, Executive Director of
LA Streetcar. See
Upcoming Events below for details.
If 30/10 becomes a reality the initiative would accomplish the
construction of 12 major transit projects in 10 years rather than 30. To
do this, however, LA County needs two programs - a federal loan program
and a federal transportation
infrastructure bond program - to be passed into law by our DC lawmakers.
On a national level such innovative financing programs would allow
regions and cities that have passed tax measures to finance public
transportation infrastructure, effectively speeding up projects with
upfront loans that would be repaid
with tax revenues. As a model for possible projects 30/10 would generate
over 166,000 jobs and reduce congestion, air pollution and dependence
Transportation for America is actively working with partners in Los Angeles to push national scale legislation to put in place these lending programs.
The Transit Coalition wants to see the
California high-speed rail system done right, as does an active
transit blogger in Riverside. According to the writer's point of view,
placing a HSR station in the outer fringes of a major city instead of
the central portion
generally doesn't make sense. How far stations are situated from
cities has been a focal point in the high-speed rail debate with some
supporters claiming that trains should serve dense downtown areas to
maximize the attractiveness of
the system per the Japanese model. Other supporters say that trains
should serve suburban stations to minimize environmental impacts and
cost according to the French model.
To get a look at some alternatives for the Palmdale to Los Angeles
section of the high-speed rail project, consider attending one of three
upcoming community open houses. The first will take place at the
Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale on August 23 at 7 p.m. The second will take place in Burbank at the
Buena Vista Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on August 25. The third will be held in Santa Clarita at the
Santa Clarita Sports Complex at 7 p.m.
received some criticism when it posted an explanation on its
Facebook page about why so few of its employees appear to take transit
and then deleted it. Metro then
explained why it did what it did.
A more thorough response was posted at Metro's official blog. The issue was initially pressed by the
The Bus Bench, a blog where issues related to race, gender and
transit often intersect. The post claims that because Metro is managed
so poorly, even its own employees will not take transit. Lost in the
controversy is context. What bus
would you take to get to division 8 or 15 in the San Fernando Valley to
report for work at 4 a.m. in advance of the morning commute? Would those
who demand such service at a time when most people are sleeping be
willing to pay higher fares
or taxes to fund that service?
It's bad when a transit-dependent worker can't rely on the bus. It's
worse when connector roads are shut down. It's even worse when a natural
disaster strikes in regions where the roads are not found on a map.
This is the case in Pakistan where some of the poorest villages are connected by unmapped roads that have been destroyed due to
severe flooding. OpenStreeMap.org volunteers have once again taken the charge to
trace the satellite imagery provided by Yahoo! and other data sources for these little known outer villages to help with the flood relief efforts.
When a careless driver caused Mayor Villaraigosa to fall off his bike
and break his arm, the mayor was criticized for not using the incident
to foster a teachable moment about road safety. Since then, the mayor
has come to
embrace cycling as a viable mode of transportation after ignoring
the issue during most of his time in office. He has pledged to do this
by increasing total bikeway miles from 372 to 1,600 miles by 2015. The
mayor made the announcement
bike summit this Monday.
LAist also covered the very crowded event. The mayor's new attitude is a far cry from one Colorado town, which has
banned cycling from its major streets
Farmers Insurance is
moving into Woodland Hills which may present an opportunity for
Metrolink's Ventura County Line and Metro's Orange Line to pick up some
new riders. The Farmers office, which employs about 1,200 workers, will
be moved from Simi Valley
and be placed near the current Orange Line terminus. By the summer of
2012, workers will be able to take Metrolink and transfer to the Orange
Line at Chatsworth. At least one employee is already planning on taking
the Orange Line to work,
according to the Daily News. Just imagine what it would be like for
commuters from east of downtown LA and the OC, if Metrolink could get
you to Chatsworth on a one-seat ride with the Orange Line completing the
purchased 130 passenger railcars from a Spanish train builder named
CAF. The new cars, which will be built in New York, will be used on
long-distance routes and replace part of Amtrak's aging fleet. The bill
is about $298 million.
There are two weeks left to visit railLA's "
LA Beyond Cars" exhibit. It runs through August 28. railLA is also holding an "
alternative transportation party" on Wednesday, August 18 at the
City National Plaza in Downtown LA. The celebration starts at 7 p.m. If
you attend this party, the entrance is actually at 524 S. Figueroa. So
much for good pedestrian
directions. The street address given is great for motorists parking
under the building, but this is a good example of poor ped wayfinding in
our vast metropolis.
As alternatives to the personal automobile become more popular, so do
cell phone applications that dispense bicycle and transit
information. With the advent of Google Bicycle Maps, accessing
information about bikeways and bike paths is a simple affair with
smartphones such as the iPhone and Android
devices. On transit, phones are slowly becoming a regular method of
finding bus routes and schedules. Remember, you can't text and drive,
but you can text and ride!
America wants its transit systems back, but according to Tom Downs, they don't want to pay for it. Downs explores our
reluctance to raise the gas tax and its impact on transit systems across the nation. Sometimes our national debate over the gas tax
resembles an episode of The Simpsons.
Passenger traffic is down at Bob Hope Airport, but the most recent
figures are still exceeding expectations. In June, passenger counts were
2.4% lower than a year prior. Between 60 and 70 percent of seats have
been filled on average
over the last three years. Next week, the Burbank City Council is
expected to make a decision on the fate of a proposed regional
transportation center. Council members want to be assured that it
remains a transit center and not used for
another purpose by the airport.
good news and bad news at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The good news is that international trade is up from the dismal numbers
posted last year. The bad news is that the holiday surge that shippers
and dock workers reliably
counted on in the past may not materialize this year. The ports just had
their best July ever, but consumers continue to remain skittish about
the economy and retailers are worried that holiday shoppers won't be
shelling out their hard
earned cash for brand name products at low, low prices later this year.
This translates into fewer opportunities for work down at the docks.
A prominent transit advocate and lead figure in the opposition to the Expo Line is alleged to have
abused his girlfriend. The arrest is said to have happened on May 9 when the LAPD picked him up for cohabitant abuse.
And finally, an increasing number of business travelers are being
forced to fly coach by their employers. Sounds like a horror movie to us!
Join! If you have not done so yet, we invite you to donate and join The Transit Coalition. A monthly subscription to Moving Southern California comes with your membership. Visit our new and improved
Donations page to explore other options. Please include The Transit
Coalition in your will, trust or estate. Your contribution is greatly
Upcoming Events: Consider attending our monthly
Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, August 24, 6:45 p.m. to
8:45 p.m. at Philippe the Original, 1001 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles.
We hope to see you there!
OCTA Board Meeting: Monday, August 23, 9 a.m., OCTA Headquarters, 600 S. Main St., Orange.
Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority: Wednesday, August 25, 7 p.m., Arcadia City Hall, Council Chambers 240 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia.
Metro Measure R Project Delivery Committee: Thursday, August 26, 10
a.m., Board Room, Metro Gateway Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza, 3rd
Floor, Los Angeles.
Foothill Transit Executive Board: Friday, August 27, 8 a.m., 100 S. Vincent Ave., 2nd floor, West Covina.
SCRRA (Metrolink) Board Meeting: Friday, August 27, 10 a.m., San Bernardino Conference Room, SCAG Building, 12th Floor, 818 W. Seventh St., Los Angeles.
Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council Meeting: Wednesday, September 1, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys.
Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday, September 2,
2:30 p.m., Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Board of Supervisors
Hearing Room 381B, 500 W. Temple St., Los Angeles.
Angeles Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee: Thursday, September 2, 7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter Office, 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320, Los Angeles.
Metro Westside/Central Service Governance Council Meeting: Wednesday, September 8, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
LOSSAN Technical Advisory Committee: Thursday, September 9, 11:30
a.m., Metro Gateway Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza, 3rd Floor, Los
Metro Gateway Cities Governance Council Meeting: Thursday, September 9, 2 p.m., Gas Company ERC, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey.
Metro South Bay Governance Council Meeting: Friday, September 10, 9:30 a.m., Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson.
Ventura County Transportation Commission: Friday, September 10, 10 a.m., Camarillo City Hall, 601 Carmen Dr., Camarillo.
Southern California Transit Advocates: Saturday, September 11, 1 p.m.
Metro San Gabriel Valley Governance Council Meeting: Monday, September 13, 5 p.m.,
3369 Santa Anita Ave. (near El Monte bus station)
City Hall East, Council Chambers, 11333 Valley Blvd., El Monte.
Missed last week's newsletter?
Read it here!
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Bart Reed, Executive Director
Mina Nichols, Legislative Analyst
Zach Gutierrez, Communications
Damien Newton, Editor
About The Transit Coalition:
The Transit Coalition is a non-profit
public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501[c](3)
of the Internal Revenue Service. Our 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.
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