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LosAngelesBeauty
Dec 18, 2006, 10:21 PM
http://www.metro.net/images/rail_info-1.gif


L.A., Long Ruled by Cars, Becoming a Transit Leader

Evolving Region Pushes for More Rail Lines :cheers:

By John Pomfret
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 17, 2006; A03



LOS ANGELES -- Demeaned as a car-crazed megalopolis where people drive two blocks to valet-park at the dry cleaners, Los Angeles is on the road to fashioning one of the best public transit systems in the nation.

Los Angeles is No. 2 in the nation in bus ridership and No. 3 in light rail, according to industry statistics. Since 1993, it and Detroit are the only major metropolitan regions in the nation that have succeeded in lowering the annual hours of delay per traveler. In October, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) named Los Angeles County's Mass Transportation Authority the best public transportation system in the country -- truly a man-bites-dog turnaround for an agency that for years was known for incompetence and shady deals. Other cities interested in expanding their public transit systems, notably Atlanta and Tampa, are even studying Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the District's Metro system recently lured the MTA's highly respected second-in-command, John B. Catoe Jr., to Washington to run that agency. And in November, voters in California approved the biggest infrastructure bond package in U.S. history, which will provide the MTA at least $2 billion to continue to build the system, thanks to lobbying from Los Angeles's determined mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa (D).

"The untold secret about L.A. is while it's known for its freeways and for the attitude that the highway is king, it has -- in fits and starts -- begun to piece together a world-class mass transit system," said APTA President William W. Millar. "This is an enormous change."

To be sure, the car still rules in Los Angeles, and the APTA's award appears to be not so much for the system that is -- a motley collection of buses, subways and light rail -- than for what will be. (It took this reporter two hours to travel 20 miles on three buses to interview the mayor on a recent Friday.)

Only 6.6 percent of the workforce in this region uses public transit to get to work. Each day, automobiles on Los Angeles's freeways travel 136 million miles -- tops in the nation and four times as many as in the Washington region, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. Commuters here spend more time caught in traffic jams than those in any other city in the country -- almost four days and nights per person per year, burning 407 million excess gallons of gas in delays that cost $11 billion, 50 percent more than in the runner-up, New York.

Los Angeles is known throughout the world as 100 suburbs looking for a city. But although it lacks the downtown core of a Manhattan or a Washington, it is hemmed in by mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and it has evolved into the most densely populated urban region in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This "dense sprawl," as it is known in the argot of urban planners, has helped shift public opinion toward support for public transportation. Roger Moliere, who heads the MTA's real estate development business, speaks of a "paradigm shift" in the way Angelenos view mass transit. Real estate ads now regularly use proximity to transit as a selling point. Developers are eager to build near transit stops; currently there are 25 such projects, involving more than $4 billion, across the region, Moliere said.

"Places that 10 to 20 years ago said they didn't want mass transit are now clamoring for it yesterday," said Jaime de la Vega, the city's deputy mayor in charge of transportation.

Work is continuing on a six-mile extension of the Yellow Line -- a light-rail route running from Pasadena to downtown -- into East Los Angeles, a predominantly Latino area. Construction has just begun on the Exposition Line, which will link downtown with the University of Southern California and Culver City on the Westside. Also on the books is a downtown subway system that will connect two light-rail systems and the city's lone subway line, which were never joined because of shoddy planning.

"When this thing was planned out, it wasn't planned out in a way that allowed people to connect between lines," Villaraigosa said. "We're going to fix that."

But the Holy Grail for Villaraigosa and others in the city administration is what he calls a "subway to the sea" that would run under Wilshire Boulevard, one of the most heavily traveled avenues in the nation, and bond the Westside with the rest of the region.

Estimated to cost a whopping $350 million per mile, the 13-mile subway, named the Purple Line, was long considered impossible. In 1985, a building blew up on Wilshire Boulevard after subway tunneling hit a methane pocket. That prompted Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) to write legislation banning the use of federal funds for subway construction in a 400-square-block area -- a move that many here saw as a ploy by Waxman's constituents on the richer, whiter Westside to stop mass transit from bringing the poor into their part of town.

But now, forced by gridlock, Waxman and his well-heeled constituents have dropped their opposition, and Congress is expected to change the law next year.

Villaraigosa said he plans to lobby Congress aggressively for federal funds to bankroll his dream. "We want to rethink what the city looks like," he said, "to focus on a new urbanism that makes transit-oriented development and mixed-use development the future of L.A."

Lucille Rawls, 50, a data-entry technician, is a believer in the mayor's vision. She's been riding Los Angeles's buses for years and is also a fan of the short subway line. "It's funny," she said after spending 90 minutes to go nine miles downtown. "I have some rich friends, and none of them know about the improving system. But my poor friends can't do without it."

For many years, it did not seem that Los Angeles could ever build a mass transit system. From 1948 to 1980, at least six plans including some form of rail transit were placed before voters and failed. But in 1980, voters in the county passed propositions for a subway, a light-rail line to Long Beach and lower bus fares. Cost overruns turned the Red Line, the city's 17.4-mile subway line, into the most expensive subway system ever. It is the only one in the United States that runs on the honor system.

Problems have been plentiful. Eighty-one people have died in accidents involving Blue Line trains along the 22-mile light-rail system to Long Beach, the most of any light-rail system in the country, since it opened in 1990. A sinkhole opened on Hollywood Boulevard, and more than 2,000 feet of a subway tunnel was found to be half the required thickness. Wags dubbed the MTA the "Money Train Authority" and called its plush new headquarters at Gateway Plaza near Chinatown the "Taj Mahal." In 1998, voters, fed up with waste, approved a ballot measure barring the use of sales tax revenue for tunneling.

"But all this is changing, because we realized that the status quo was unworkable," Villaraigosa said, noting that the management of the MTA has been overhauled.

In a sense, Los Angeles is returning to its roots. In the 1920s, the region was home to the most elaborate rail system in the country: almost 1,500 miles of track connecting the eastern desert with the Pacific Coast. It was Los Angeles's great transit network, not the automobile, that jump-started the region's sprawl, said Martin Wachs, a transportation expert at the Rand Corp. But by the 1960s, the car had taken over, and all the trains were gone.

The MTA now finds itself rebuilding the old system -- in some places along the same rights-of-way.

"Sometimes retro is the wave of the future," mused Bart Reed, executive director of the Transit Coalition, a Southern California-based nonprofit organization. "L.A. can't really sprawl anymore. So we are retrofitting our city. There really is nowhere else to go."

cookiejarvis
Dec 18, 2006, 10:51 PM
Two errors worth correcting:

It's the Gold Line, not the Yellow Line.

Tunneling during the construction of the Red Line did not cause the Ross Building on 3rd & Fairfax to blow up. The incident was completely unrelated (and about 2.5 miles away from each other).

SunMonTueWedThuFriSa
Dec 18, 2006, 10:56 PM
I don't get how then can write an article like this when it's clear L.A.'s transit system is about 70% of what it should actually be right now: a green line that doesn't reach the airport, a purple line nipped at the bud, and a worthless gold line to Pasadena. With its missing links, incomplete lines, political infighting, regional rivalism, red tape galore, lack of source of funding and lack of political will I don't see how the Metro is a transit leader or at all a model for new American rail systems. This isn't efficiency.

mSeattle
Dec 18, 2006, 11:07 PM
From Seattle I say, same 'ol spin, different city same game. However, L.A. has made a big leap in the right direction considering that it had none of the half connected lines to start with.

In the 1920s, the region was home to the most elaborate rail system in the country: almost 1,500 miles of track connecting the eastern desert with the Pacific Coast. It was Los Angeles's great transit network, not the automobile, that jump-started the region's sprawl, said Martin Wachs, a transportation expert at the Rand Corp.

This is one reason I don't think building lines that go way out are good for density. There should be marked transit-choice and frequency benefit increases the closer-in one stays to the core.

soonermeteor
Dec 18, 2006, 11:20 PM
What is the line that is gold and white on the map that is parallel to the blue line? The map is too small to read. :frog:

cookiejarvis
Dec 19, 2006, 12:07 AM
The busways have snuck onto to the MTA rail maps recently. The dotted gold and white line is the Harbor Busway.

John F
Dec 19, 2006, 2:42 AM
What is the line that is gold and white on the map that is parallel to the blue line? The map is too small to read. :frog:

Yeah, I was wondering myself. I thought it was the Expo line but the Expo line is supposed to be running west, not south.

VivaLFuego
Dec 19, 2006, 2:48 AM
I don't get how then can write an article like this when it's clear L.A.'s transit system is about 70% of what it should actually be right now: a green line that doesn't reach the airport, a purple line nipped at the bud, and a worthless gold line to Pasadena. With its missing links, incomplete lines, political infighting, regional rivalism, red tape galore, lack of source of funding and lack of political will I don't see how the Metro is a transit leader or at all a model for new American rail systems. This isn't efficiency.

LA's MTA is very well funded compared to most U.S. transit systems. What's the operating recovery ratio, around 30-some percent? The only other major system with similar funding ratio is MBTA in Boston. You also apparently have a mayor very committed to funding and expanding transit and transit-oriented development....which certainly helps with all the transit projects under construction or planned for the near future. Must be nice. In Chicago we're on the verge of massive service cuts because no politician will take any initiative in supporting a fair funding package for regional transit.

Damien
Dec 19, 2006, 3:56 AM
I don't get how then can write an article like this when it's clear L.A.'s transit system is about 70% of what it should actually be right now: a green line that doesn't reach the airport, a purple line nipped at the bud, and a worthless gold line to Pasadena. With its missing links, incomplete lines, political infighting, regional rivalism, red tape galore, lack of source of funding and lack of political will I don't see how the Metro is a transit leader or at all a model for new American rail systems. This isn't efficiency.

The point is we do it better than other American cities! :thankyouthankyou:

Two errors worth correcting:

It's the Gold Line, not the Yellow Line.

Tunneling during the construction of the Red Line did not cause the Ross Building on 3rd & Fairfax to blow up. The incident was completely unrelated (and about 2.5 miles away from each other).

I can see a few others, most notably that we're going to spend $2 billion of the bond money on trains and buses. If only... :no:

DJM19
Dec 19, 2006, 5:02 AM
From Seattle I say, same 'ol spin, different city same game. However, L.A. has made a big leap in the right direction considering that it had none of the half connected lines to start with.



This is one reason I don't think building lines that go way out are good for density. There should be marked transit-choice and frequency benefit increases the closer-in one stays to the core.


Well LA's old street car systems were so expansive because the people who owned the lines also sold the land along them. And eventually people even began to complain that the lines were being neglected because the owners focused more on the real estate.

miketoronto
Dec 19, 2006, 5:28 AM
I understand what the article is getting at with LA improving transit.

However transit still has a long way to come in LA.
Most transit riders in LA are still captives who have no other choice but to ride transit.
And the % of people who use transit in LA is very very very very low.

And LA is going to need to centralize or transit will never work.

So lots of work needs to be done. But atleast they are trying.

bjornson
Dec 19, 2006, 5:33 AM
And LA is going to need to centralize or transit will never work.



Not necessarily so. Look at Tokyo, it's not particularly centralized in any way. However, if you look that the Metro map, there's a definite center to the rail [downtown].

anm
Dec 25, 2006, 6:07 PM
Estimated to cost a whopping $350 million per mile, the 13-mile subway, named the Purple Line, was long considered impossible.

I wonder if this 350 mil per mile is higher than usual in the US, or is typical? In China and India costs are around 50 mil per mile; in Russia about 80 mil per mile, in Madrid it is about 90 mil per mile. OK, in India and China labor is cheap, in Russia it is also much cheaper than in the US, but how does Madrid do it at almost 25% of LA? Does most of the cost go toward purchasing the land rather than actual construction perhaps?

**********

note in proof

according to coth, 80 mil per mile is the cost of Moscow 's "light metro" (elevated tracks, 6-cars trains); regular tunnel metro is about 125 mil per mile, at least for Moscow; in other Russian cities costs are probably lower

Swede
Dec 25, 2006, 6:25 PM
Speaking of costs per mile, what's the projected cost for the Expo LRT line per mile?
/just want to compare with the $35M per mile projected for a proposed conversion of the busiest bus-line in Stockholm to LRT.

KarLarRec1
Dec 25, 2006, 8:34 PM
Swede: I'm not sure about the Expo LRT, but the Gold Line LRT, which opened in 2003 and which goes from Downtown to Pasadena, is 13.7 miles and was built at a cost of $859 million.

So that's about $62.7 million per mile.

However, the Gold Line has some underground portions (very few) which may have inflated the cost a bit.

Marcu
Dec 25, 2006, 11:30 PM
Not necessarily so. Look at Tokyo, it's not particularly centralized in any way. However, if you look that the Metro map, there's a definite center to the rail [downtown].

Tokyo's density doesn't compare with LA's. It's probably 5 times as dense.

RAlossi
Dec 25, 2006, 11:41 PM
I think the 350 million/mile is an outdated cost estimate based upon the original Red Line's notorious cost overruns which would (most likely) NOT happen in today's climate. The MTA is a lot more responsible in recent years.

I still just don't see why we can't run an elevated line down the center of Wilshire from its current terminus at Western all the way down to SaMo...

Wright Concept
Dec 26, 2006, 1:41 AM
Tokyo's density doesn't compare with LA's. It's probably 5 times as dense.

But LA is getting denser, and the layout patterns are very similar. So that would make an easy argument for it. Washington DC system is set-up in the same fashion. They connect the key regional and subregional centers together.

edluva
Dec 26, 2006, 7:23 AM
The Tokyo area is not 5 times as dense as LA. Maybe twice to thrice.

der Reisender
Dec 26, 2006, 8:33 AM
mike, i think you underestimate the % of folks in LA who take transit. 10% as of Census 2000, which granted is not superb but it is something to build on, better than many other large cities. and i dont think it needs to be centralized, it just needs to connect centers

VivaLFuego
Dec 26, 2006, 4:37 PM
mike, i think you underestimate the % of folks in LA who take transit. 10% as of Census 2000, which granted is not superb but it is something to build on, better than many other large cities. and i dont think it needs to be centralized, it just needs to connect centers

Right, connect centers and build corridors between them. It can happen.

Also, it's pretty hard to compare subway construction costs between cities, there are so many differing environmental factors. In Chicago, it is costing $94 million to dig a 1 block long tunnel in the middle of our downtown area, connecting 2 existing subway lines. The lines are about 45 feet down, but the project has to be done with cut-and-cover because of environmental factors. There is also alot of noise and vibration mitigation that must take place because of its location in the heart of the business district and surrounded by some very old buildings. And of course, Chicago is built on very dense, thick mud, not nice rock like many cities. So that price extended would be like $800 million/mile, but of course it's a totally different project than a tunneling project in another city. And we're not even getting into the labor costs, which are the bulk of just about any project in the U.S. where construction labor rights are much, much higher than almost any other country.

Damien
Dec 26, 2006, 6:38 PM
The last leg of the Red line (MOS-3 which opened in 2000) didn't cost anywhere near $350 million/mile, nor is the current Gold line eastside extension tunneling project (1.7 miles) coming anywhere near that amount.

And Expo LRT at only 7.2 miles of additional tracks (1.2 miles of the line is on currently existing Blue line tracks that will be shared once Expo starts running) is $640 million...and most people think it will run overbudget. This includes two street overpasses and one underpass...oh and NO railyard.

Wright Concept
Dec 26, 2006, 7:05 PM
^Which people would that be? I hope this isn't the case. It would be nice for them to just end the first phase to La Cienega and then continue the tracks over Ballona Creek and make a make shift train stroage area.

LosAngelesBeauty
Jan 24, 2007, 9:44 AM
Monday, January 22, 2007 Last modified: Thursday, January 18, 2007 9:49 AM PST

Group of elected officials and activists asks MTA to extend Green Line to LAX


Calling the local Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Green Line light rail system a "monument of poor planning," a
group of elected officials and community activists led by State Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill
Rosendahl and Congresswoman Jane Harman sent a letter to the MTA asking its board to connect the line to Los Angeles
International Airport (LAX).
The group cited State Infrastructure Bonds as a funding source for the project.
Currently, the Green Line follows the Century Freeway (Interstate 105), and then abruptly turns south through El Segundo to
Redondo Beach. Some residents in the area have long referred to the line as the "train to nowhere."
"The entire point of building the Green Line was to connect the MTA system to the airport," Lieu said. "The Legislature and the
voters have done their job by passing these bonds. It's time for MTA to fix this debacle."
The letter, addressed to MTA chairwoman Gloria Molina and copied to the other board members, points out that the more than
61 million annual passengers that use LAX every year create more than 100 million vehicle trips.
If even some of these passengers could be moved into rail, it would relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality
throughout the region, the letter states.
Kenneth Alpern, the co-chair of Friends of the Green Line, a community group that advocates for connecting rail to LAX, said he
was excited to see the broad-based support from Westside politicians.
"Those of us who have been working on this issue for a long time are sensing a historic moment when political support is
matching up with available funds," Alpern said. "This could dramatically change this whole area."
Alpern also signed the letter to the MTA. Besides Alpern, Harman, Lieu and Rosendahl, the other signers of the letter are:
Assemblywoman Karen Bass, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Assemblywoman Betty Karnette, Assemblyman Curren Price,
State Senator Jenny Oropeza, State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn and El Segundo Mayor Kelly
McDowell.

urbanflyer
Jan 24, 2007, 1:21 PM
The Tokyo/LA comparisons need to stop. Geographically, they share similar traits in terms of urban form and pattern of centralization around nodal points of activity. But the similarity ends there, especially if we're going to talk about transit. Put simply, LA is recognizing the need for transit because of unmet need and lack of good options. People in greater Tokyo simply take trains because driving is an unacceptable option in most cases.

soleri
Jan 24, 2007, 2:08 PM
A few years ago, I spent a weekend in LA (it was for the marathon). I got a great deal for the downtown Checkers Hotel, so I decided transit must be a viable option. What a shock! I spent about 30 minutes asking various cops and airport personnel how to catch a bus that would somehow transfer me to a Green Line stop. When I finally got that stop, I was one of few people waiting for the train.

I was talking to a Pasadena city planner a few weeks back who stated what would seem like the obvious if cynical explanation: taxi and shuttle companies were instumental in making sure the Green Line would not go to LAX. In my hometown of Phoenix, we're building a light rail line that runs by but not to the airport. There have been good and plausible explanations why this is the case, but it's still unsatisfactory. The airport is the single biggest destination in Phoenix (and probably LA, too). That it's left underserved by mass transit is so counterintuitive that it really brings into question the point of transit.

J Church
Jan 24, 2007, 9:18 PM
I've heard that LA World Airports also profits handsomely from parked cars and helped turn away the Green Line, though I don't know whether that's the case. But it's exciting to see some movement on the issue. It's been talked about for so long, it'd be such a short and (relatively) inexpensive extension, it's a wonder it hasn't happened already. The power of politics.

Aaron, I wonder how closely the old Red Car etc. network tracked Tokyo's prewar system. My guess is they were of similar size, though even then the land use patterns were only superficially similar.

J Church
Jan 24, 2007, 9:30 PM
OK, not to go off-topic, but just because it's interesting: I did some quick research, and as World War II Tokyo had: around 200km of streetcars; maybe 20km of subway (Asakusa to Shibuya via Shimbashi); but, who knows how many overland lines. That one could be hard to track down.

edluva
Jan 25, 2007, 8:35 AM
The Tokyo/LA comparisons need to stop.

thank you.

hk_ayu
Jan 27, 2007, 3:16 PM
Not necessarily so. Look at Tokyo, it's not particularly centralized in any way. However, if you look that the Metro map, there's a definite center to the rail [downtown].


Tokyo definitely has a strong downtown core


Areas around and enclosed by Yamanote Loop Line are the strongest and largest CBD in the world with 7 million workers

Some CBD workers even need to travel more than 200 km to and from work

hk_ayu
Jan 27, 2007, 3:20 PM
OK, not to go off-topic, but just because it's interesting: I did some quick research, and as World War II Tokyo had: around 200km of streetcars; maybe 20km of subway (Asakusa to Shibuya via Shimbashi); but, who knows how many overland lines. That one could be hard to track down.


Most of the overland JR in nowadays Tokyo already exist before World War II

blake5377
Jan 28, 2007, 7:09 AM
Didn't something happen to LA's metro system while building it... maybe sometime ago... I mean for subways there arn't built on sturdy ground like bedrock as in new york... So im not sure how safe something like that is... Isn't LA mainly created over all farmer soil?
I still to this day have not met somebody who takes public transportation in LA to work and hang out spots... And I have a lot of LA friend! heh

Marrson
Jan 28, 2007, 12:24 PM
I concur About LAX Spur, it's way, way overdue! How about The Green Line East Bound, IT Also needs to connect to the Metrolink, east of I-605. Linking Orange County, San Diego County, and Inland Empire via Union Station.

Marrson
Jan 28, 2007, 12:35 PM
:tup: :whip: I concur About LAX Spur, it's way, way overdue! How about The Green Line East Bound, IT(MTA), Also needs to connect to the Metrolink, east of I-605. Linking Orange County, San Diego County, and Inland Empire via Union Station. THIS TAKES TRAFFIC OFF OF VERY CROWDED I-5.:worship:

Marrson
Feb 2, 2007, 11:02 AM
http://www.metro.net/images/rail_info-1.gif


L.A., Long Ruled by Cars, Becoming a Transit Leader

Evolving Region Pushes for More Rail Lines :cheers:

By John Pomfret
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 17, 2006; A03



LOS ANGELES -- Demeaned as a car-crazed megalopolis where people drive two blocks to valet-park at the dry cleaners, Los Angeles is on the road to fashioning one of the best public transit systems in the nation.

Los Angeles is No. 2 in the nation in bus ridership and No. 3 in light rail, according to industry statistics. Since 1993, it and Detroit are the only major metropolitan regions in the nation that have succeeded in lowering the annual hours of delay per traveler. In October, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) named Los Angeles County's Mass Transportation Authority the best public transportation system in the country -- truly a man-bites-dog turnaround for an agency that for years was known for incompetence and shady deals. Other cities interested in expanding their public transit systems, notably Atlanta and Tampa, are even studying Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the District's Metro system recently lured the MTA's highly respected second-in-command, John B. Catoe Jr., to Washington to run that agency. And in November, voters in California approved the biggest infrastructure bond package in U.S. history, which will provide the MTA at least $2 billion to continue to build the system, thanks to lobbying from Los Angeles's determined mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa (D).

"The untold secret about L.A. is while it's known for its freeways and for the attitude that the highway is king, it has -- in fits and starts -- begun to piece together a world-class mass transit system," said APTA President William W. Millar. "This is an enormous change."

To be sure, the car still rules in Los Angeles, and the APTA's award appears to be not so much for the system that is -- a motley collection of buses, subways and light rail -- than for what will be. (It took this reporter two hours to travel 20 miles on three buses to interview the mayor on a recent Friday.)

Only 6.6 percent of the workforce in this region uses public transit to get to work. Each day, automobiles on Los Angeles's freeways travel 136 million miles -- tops in the nation and four times as many as in the Washington region, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. Commuters here spend more time caught in traffic jams than those in any other city in the country -- almost four days and nights per person per year, burning 407 million excess gallons of gas in delays that cost $11 billion, 50 percent more than in the runner-up, New York.

Los Angeles is known throughout the world as 100 suburbs looking for a city. But although it lacks the downtown core of a Manhattan or a Washington, it is hemmed in by mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and it has evolved into the most densely populated urban region in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This "dense sprawl," as it is known in the argot of urban planners, has helped shift public opinion toward support for public transportation. Roger Moliere, who heads the MTA's real estate development business, speaks of a "paradigm shift" in the way Angelenos view mass transit. Real estate ads now regularly use proximity to transit as a selling point. Developers are eager to build near transit stops; currently there are 25 such projects, involving more than $4 billion, across the region, Moliere said.

"Places that 10 to 20 years ago said they didn't want mass transit are now clamoring for it yesterday," said Jaime de la Vega, the city's deputy mayor in charge of transportation.

Work is continuing on a six-mile extension of the Yellow Line -- a light-rail route running from Pasadena to downtown -- into East Los Angeles, a predominantly Latino area. Construction has just begun on the Exposition Line, which will link downtown with the University of Southern California and Culver City on the Westside. Also on the books is a downtown subway system that will connect two light-rail systems and the city's lone subway line, which were never joined because of shoddy planning.

"When this thing was planned out, it wasn't planned out in a way that allowed people to connect between lines," Villaraigosa said. "We're going to fix that."

But the Holy Grail for Villaraigosa and others in the city administration is what he calls a "subway to the sea" that would run under Wilshire Boulevard, one of the most heavily traveled avenues in the nation, and bond the Westside with the rest of the region.

Estimated to cost a whopping $350 million per mile, the 13-mile subway, named the Purple Line, was long considered impossible. In 1985, a building blew up on Wilshire Boulevard after subway tunneling hit a methane pocket. That prompted Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) to write legislation banning the use of federal funds for subway construction in a 400-square-block area -- a move that many here saw as a ploy by Waxman's constituents on the richer, whiter Westside to stop mass transit from bringing the poor into their part of town.

But now, forced by gridlock, Waxman and his well-heeled constituents have dropped their opposition, and Congress is expected to change the law next year.

Villaraigosa said he plans to lobby Congress aggressively for federal funds to bankroll his dream. "We want to rethink what the city looks like," he said, "to focus on a new urbanism that makes transit-oriented development and mixed-use development the future of L.A."

Lucille Rawls, 50, a data-entry technician, is a believer in the mayor's vision. She's been riding Los Angeles's buses for years and is also a fan of the short subway line. "It's funny," she said after spending 90 minutes to go nine miles downtown. "I have some rich friends, and none of them know about the improving system. But my poor friends can't do without it."

For many years, it did not seem that Los Angeles could ever build a mass transit system. From 1948 to 1980, at least six plans including some form of rail transit were placed before voters and failed. But in 1980, voters in the county passed propositions for a subway, a light-rail line to Long Beach and lower bus fares. Cost overruns turned the Red Line, the city's 17.4-mile subway line, into the most expensive subway system ever. It is the only one in the United States that runs on the honor system.

Problems have been plentiful. Eighty-one people have died in accidents involving Blue Line trains along the 22-mile light-rail system to Long Beach, the most of any light-rail system in the country, since it opened in 1990. A sinkhole opened on Hollywood Boulevard, and more than 2,000 feet of a subway tunnel was found to be half the required thickness. Wags dubbed the MTA the "Money Train Authority" and called its plush new headquarters at Gateway Plaza near Chinatown the "Taj Mahal." In 1998, voters, fed up with waste, approved a ballot measure barring the use of sales tax revenue for tunneling.

"But all this is changing, because we realized that the status quo was unworkable," Villaraigosa said, noting that the management of the MTA has been overhauled.

In a sense, Los Angeles is returning to its roots. In the 1920s, the region was home to the most elaborate rail system in the country: almost 1,500 miles of track connecting the eastern desert with the Pacific Coast. It was Los Angeles's great transit network, not the automobile, that jump-started the region's sprawl, said Martin Wachs, a transportation expert at the Rand Corp. But by the 1960s, the car had taken over, and all the trains were gone.

The MTA now finds itself rebuilding the old system -- in some places along the same rights-of-way.

"Sometimes retro is the wave of the future," mused Bart Reed, executive director of the Transit Coalition, a Southern California-based nonprofit organization. "L.A. can't really sprawl anymore. So we are retrofitting our city. There really is nowhere else to go."
Interesting NEWS Article that show the DIRE NEED FOR RAIL TRANSIT IN L.A. Can't get to Downtown L.A. for a night of Cultural Events at Music Center, Staples Center, or Galen Center!!!! HELP US MAYOR, M.T.A., JOINT City Councils, L.A. COUNTY SUPERVISOR STAFF, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, GOVERNMENT. THE PEOPLE HAVE VOTED OVER & OVER!!! BUILD IT NOW!!! LIGHT RAIL, SUBWAYS, MONORAILS!!! LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!
Check this article out: http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-lopez7jan07,1,7670226.column?coll=la-news-columns&ctrack=1&cset=true

Marrson
Feb 2, 2007, 11:31 AM
:whip: FRIENDS 4 EXPO ANNOUNCEMENT, CHECK THIS SCHEDULE OUT FOR NEXT LEG OF THIS LIGHT RAIL FROM DOWNTOWN L.A.TO SANTA MONICA: http://buildexpo.org/phase2.htm:banana:
:koko: CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE AS WELL: http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-lopez28jan28,1,4372719.column?coll=la-news-columns :shrug:

Inkdaub
Feb 2, 2007, 11:58 AM
I find the transit progress in LA very exciting. Yes, they have a long way to go...but they are going. I have ridden the subway in LA, between downtown and Hollywood mostly, and the trains weren't hurting for riders. I hope they continue to expand. I mean...Los Angeles with a subway is cool.

I live in Portland and don't own a car. I never feel the lack. I prefer the pedestrian lifestyle and that's what I have here. I lived in Los Angeles as a pedestrian for about a year and it was pretty awful. I lived and worked in West Hollywood so I walked to work in about a half hour. I rode the bus all over but it was a pain...sometimes the bus would be so full the driver wouldn't even stop. Anyway, there is a lot that is great about LA but people like myself are left out in some ways because we don't like the car culture lifestyle. So I am all for LA expanding transit until they have lines to the moon.

My buddy is from Boston and spends a bit of time in LA where he has some family. As late as six months ago he had no idea there was a subway in LA. He got pretty excited when I told him...once I convinced him I wasn't mistaken, that I actually knew what a subway was and wasn't simply making the whole thing up.

Viva LA Transit!

Marrson
Feb 2, 2007, 12:26 PM
HERE'S the Los Angeles' M.T.A. INFO SITE FOR INKDAUB & YOUR FRIEND PLUS ANYBODY HEADED THIS WAY!:http://www.mta.net/default.asp PORTLAND IS REALLY DOING SOME INTERESTING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THINGS, PLUS UTILIZING THEIR SURROUNDINGS. THE VISUALS ARE A PLUS FOR THE VISITORS & THE LOCALS!

LosAngelesBeauty
Feb 7, 2007, 5:58 PM
Congress : Senators Boxer, Feinstein Introduce Legislation to Permit Subway Tunneling in Parts of Los Angeles
Posted by Patriot on 2007/2/7 10:03:20

Bill would allow for more mass transit in congested regionFebruary 6, 2007 -- Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would allow for subway tunneling in parts of Los Angeles, which would provide much needed public transit to one of the most congested regions in the country.

Sen. Boxer said, "Today is a good day for Los Angeles. This subway project is another important step to decreasing congestion in Los Angeles. We've been told this project can be done safely, so it's time to move forward."

"Severe gridlock is a reality faced by millions of residents in Los Angeles every day," Sen. Feinstein said. "This is why public transportation is so important. But plans to expand the City's Metro Rail Red Line and to offer direct connections from Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean were delayed for more than 20 years because of serious safety concerns. Experts have now assured us that tunneling technologies have improved sufficiently to allay those concerns. It's time to make this project a reality."


The Los Angeles Subway Tunneling Bill overturns a 1985 law that prohibited tunneling because of the potential for methane gas explosions. After the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion in support of reversing the laws banning tunneling in 2004 and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to begin discussions of subway expansion in 2005, an independent scientific safety review determined that subway tunneling could move forward safely.

This legislation has the support of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Representative Waxman introduced a companion bill in the House.

Source: Senator Barbara Boxer

LAMetroGuy
Feb 7, 2007, 10:03 PM
if that 1985 law was never passed, where would LA be today? I can only speculate and it makes me sad... but moving right along.. this is good news!

cookiejarvis
Feb 9, 2007, 1:30 AM
Well, for one the Red Line would have gone up Fairfax instead of Vermont before heading over the hill to the Valley. There would have been only one subway station in Hollywood (at Cahuenga & Hollywood) instead of three and we probably wouldn't be seeing the same type of urban renewal that we're seeing along Hollywood Blvd. that we're seeing today.

Marrson
Feb 9, 2007, 11:36 PM
Congress : Senators Boxer, Feinstein Introduce Legislation to Permit Subway Tunneling in Parts of Los Angeles
Posted by Patriot on 2007/2/7 10:03:20

Bill would allow for more mass transit in congested regionFebruary 6, 2007 -- Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would allow for subway tunneling in parts of Los Angeles, which would provide much needed public transit to one of the most congested regions in the country.

Sen. Boxer said, "Today is a good day for Los Angeles. This subway project is another important step to decreasing congestion in Los Angeles. We've been told this project can be done safely, so it's time to move forward."

"Severe gridlock is a reality faced by millions of residents in Los Angeles every day," Sen. Feinstein said. "This is why public transportation is so important. But plans to expand the City's Metro Rail Red Line and to offer direct connections from Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean were delayed for more than 20 years because of serious safety concerns. Experts have now assured us that tunneling technologies have improved sufficiently to allay those concerns. It's time to make this project a reality."


The Los Angeles Subway Tunneling Bill overturns a 1985 law that prohibited tunneling because of the potential for methane gas explosions. After the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion in support of reversing the laws banning tunneling in 2004 and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to begin discussions of subway expansion in 2005, an independent scientific safety review determined that subway tunneling could move forward safely.

This legislation has the support of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Representative Waxman introduced a companion bill in the House.

Source: Senator Barbara Boxer
WE STILL NEED THE EXPO LINE, PLUS, LESS TIME TO CONSTRUCT!!! THAT SUBWAY UNDER WILHSIRE BLVD. WILL TAKE AWHILE TO CONSTRUCT, DIFINITELY NEEDED. ALONG WITH THE OTHER ROUTES HERE MENTIONED, THEY ARE A DIRE NEED FOR ALL THESE ALTERNATIVES ALSO! HOW ABOUT CITY COUNCILMAN RECOMMENDING MAKING PICO & OLYMPIC BLVDS ONE WAY FROM OCEAN TO DOWNTOWN L.A.??? BY NEXT YEAR ON THAT ISSUE, IF!!!

Swede
Feb 10, 2007, 2:57 AM
^Hey Marrson, could you give the ALL CAPS a rest? it's really quite annoying to see/read (same goes for quoteing long posts in their entirety). There is no need to shout.

SFUVancouver
Feb 10, 2007, 5:49 AM
I too agree a spurline to LAX would make perfect sense for the Green Line and LA transit in general. I hadn't considered that the taxis and shuttle bus companies would have had enough political clout to keep the Green Line from LAX.

Here in Vancouver the airport, YVR, has put $300 million dollars into the new $2 billion dollar Canada Line subway to ensure that it goes to the airport and meets its present and future needs. The subway line will run from the downtown core out to the airport, about 12km, and to the city of Richmond, about 16km. YVR got its people involved in the planning of the Canada Line and ensured that the airport station would integrate into a new terminal and that the necessary infrastructure was built to allow a future station to be added later.

www.canadaline.ca if you are interesting in learning more.

Inkdaub
Feb 10, 2007, 1:03 PM
HERE'S the Los Angeles' M.T.A. INFO SITE FOR INKDAUB & YOUR FRIEND PLUS ANYBODY HEADED THIS WAY!:http://www.mta.net/default.asp PORTLAND IS REALLY DOING SOME INTERESTING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THINGS, PLUS UTILIZING THEIR SURROUNDINGS. THE VISUALS ARE A PLUS FOR THE VISITORS & THE LOCALS!

Thanks for the link, Marrson.

John F
Feb 11, 2007, 12:45 AM
Are there any pictures of the begining of expo line construction? I thought they broke ground around the time i was there if not a little later (October 2006)

caligrad06
Feb 19, 2007, 7:06 AM
The problem with Los Angeles is not that it doesnt have the right transprotaion its just that all of it doent go anywhere, the only transportaition system in los angeles county that is actually worth any thing is the blue line that runs from long beach to downtown L.A. But other than the blue line i think the green line, gold line, red line, and all the future planned ones are completely worthless, they dont go anywhere and no one is going to ride somthing that only takes them back to where they started which is now where. This is the reason why the car is still the dominant controller in L.A, the freeways take Angelinos every where they need to be so in return we stick to the freeways!

RAlossi
Feb 19, 2007, 7:11 AM
^oh man...

Let's make a list of where transit in the county DOES go.

"Nowhere":

Hollywood
Universal City/Universal Studios
NoHo Arts District
Koreatown
Thai Town/Little Armenia
Wilshire
Downtown
Chinatown
Highland Park
Pasadena (Old Town)/South Pasadena
Long Beach and all the communities between Downtown and Long Beach
Woodland Hills/Warner Center
Sepulveda Basin


Metro will soon reach:

Little Tokyo
Boyle Heights
East Los Angeles
USC/Exposition Park
Culver City

Toss in Metrolink and buses, and you can reach just about anywhere but the obscure reaches of the suburbs in the county on Metro.

But apparently that's a whole lot of nowhere.

DaveofCali
Feb 19, 2007, 8:21 AM
The problem with Los Angeles is not that it doesnt have the right transprotaion its just that all of it doent go anywhere, the only transportaition system in los angeles county that is actually worth any thing is the blue line that runs from long beach to downtown L.A. But other than the blue line i think the green line, gold line, red line, and all the future planned ones are completely worthless, they dont go anywhere and no one is going to ride somthing that only takes them back to where they started which is now where. This is the reason why the car is still the dominant controller in L.A, the freeways take Angelinos every where they need to be so in return we stick to the freeways!

Even with the car, getting around L.A. is pathetic. You can't drive without major traffic for half of the day on a weekday in and around L.A., and parking is in such short supply that you waste tons of time finding parking in West and West Central L.A.

IMO, L.A.'s transportation problem is pretty severe, when traffic problems are big enough to really inhibit one's choices as to where to go and stay. I'm sure that L.A.'s traffic problems are a significant bottleneck on L.A.'s economy.

LosAngelesBeauty
Feb 19, 2007, 12:14 PM
The problem with Los Angeles is not that it doesnt have the right transprotaion its just that all of it doent go anywhere, the only transportaition system in los angeles county that is actually worth any thing is the blue line that runs from long beach to downtown L.A. But other than the blue line i think the green line, gold line, red line, and all the future planned ones are completely worthless, they dont go anywhere and no one is going to ride somthing that only takes them back to where they started which is now where. This is the reason why the car is still the dominant controller in L.A, the freeways take Angelinos every where they need to be so in return we stick to the freeways!


HAHA, the Red Line goes to "nowhere?" Are you kidding me? Besides the Pike, the Blue Line runs thru nothing but ghettos (places you wouldn't want to get off at). The Red Line on the other hand, there isn't a station that's dangerous and I think Hollywood, Los Feliz/Silverlake, Koreatown, North Hollywood are all SOMEWHERES and NOT NOWHERES.

Are you even from LA? And if you are, I'm very disappointed in your ignorance!

LosAngelesSportsFan
Feb 19, 2007, 11:34 PM
The problem with Los Angeles is not that it doesnt have the right transprotaion its just that all of it doent go anywhere, the only transportaition system in los angeles county that is actually worth any thing is the blue line that runs from long beach to downtown L.A. But other than the blue line i think the green line, gold line, red line, and all the future planned ones are completely worthless, they dont go anywhere and no one is going to ride somthing that only takes them back to where they started which is now where. This is the reason why the car is still the dominant controller in L.A, the freeways take Angelinos every where they need to be so in return we stick to the freeways!


Caligrad, i dont even know where to begin. what are you talking about? you must be 5 years old.

caligrad06
Feb 20, 2007, 5:42 AM
^oh man...

Let's make a list of where transit in the county DOES go.

"Nowhere":

Hollywood
Universal City/Universal Studios
NoHo Arts District
Koreatown
Thai Town/Little Armenia
Wilshire
Downtown
Chinatown
Highland Park
Pasadena (Old Town)/South Pasadena
Long Beach and all the communities between Downtown and Long Beach
Woodland Hills/Warner Center
Sepulveda Basin


Metro will soon reach:

Little Tokyo
Boyle Heights
East Los Angeles
USC/Exposition Park
Culver City

Toss in Metrolink and buses, and you can reach just about anywhere but the obscure reaches of the suburbs in the county on Metro.

But apparently that's a whole lot of nowhere.

HAHA, the Red Line goes to "nowhere?" Are you kidding me? Besides the Pike, the Blue Line runs thru nothing but ghettos (places you wouldn't want to get off at). The Red Line on the other hand, there isn't a station that's dangerous and I think Hollywood, Los Feliz/Silverlake, Koreatown, North Hollywood are all SOMEWHERES and NOT NOWHERES.

Are you even from LA? And if you are, I'm very disappointed in your ignorance!

Caligrad, i dont even know where to begin. what are you talking about? you must be 5 years old.

ok since you guys have your own opinions thats okay, however, ive lived in New York for 8 years, and Chicago for 3 years, so when i moved to L.A. 4 years ago i was excited to ride the subway system and the other light rail systems, but it was a big dissapointment. let me correct myself, im not saying that the transportation system is a big mess or that its completelly useless it just doesnt work in my opinion.When i first move to L.A. i had no car for about 6 months and it was horrible, my first day taking the system i thought was okay, i thought i could take the blue line to downtown from long beach and than transfer to the red line to west hollywood, i was laughed at. when i got to the hollywood and highland exit i found out that was basically the end of the road, i had no need to go to universal studios.
Everyone on the train laughed because majority of the people on their were tourists and the others were just out having fun with the family, i was told that no one uses the redline metro to go to work because the entire subway system is basically for toursits. The blue line i thought was useful even though some firgure that it only goes through " The Ghettos" of L.A, I guess "LosAngelesBeauty" is forgetting that the people of the "Ghettos" are the ones that need the train system to get to work and school, they are the ones who made the Blue Line the most used light rail system in the United States but i guess that doesnt matter,and as "LosAngelesBeauty" mentioned, the Red Line runs through Hollywood, Los Feliz,Silverlake, Koreatown, and north Hollywood...................those are all majority tourists destinations which i personally do not want to visit on a daily basis.
The green line i think is smart in terms of building it right down the middle of a freeway how ever at the end of the freeway is the Los Angeles airport but just so happens the Green Line turns away from the airport and goes the oppisite direction............Wow how helpful! so in return you are forced to spend more money to take the bus or a cab. The Gold Line runs from downtown to pasadena.....:???: uhm yeah i wonder how many people actually use that one, ive actually used it just to see where it goes and i had one whole train car to myself just to give you an idea on how many people use that one, and the time had nothing to do with it, it was 4 p.m on a wednesday, so untill there is a train system that runs straight down wilshire "ALL THE WAY ! " and untill there is a train system that follows the 405 freeway from long beach to UCLA, untill there is a train system that runs down the same path as the 10 freeway, and untill the redline goes all the way to santa monica are atleast to UCLA, i will reamain unimpressed, the only train system in Los Angeles county that has impressed me a Little is the BLue Line. but hey i guess we are able to have or own opinions ! :cool:

Wright Concept
Feb 20, 2007, 7:24 AM
ok since you guys have your own opinions thats okay, however, ive lived in New York for 8 years, and Chicago for 3 years, so when i moved to L.A. 4 years ago i was excited to ride the subway system and the other light rail systems, but it was a big dissapointment. let me correct myself, im not saying that the transportation system is a big mess or that its completelly useless it just doesnt work in my opinion.When i first move to L.A.

That's understandable to a point cause I think of it sometimes as the ultimate political clusterf*** because had they planned the same vehicle to operate through the entire system without putting these silly labels such as Light Rail or Heavy Rail and focused in on building the system as a whole I feel things will be a helluva of a lot different.

But cest le vie, some are fighting the good fight to make the best and improve upon what we have. We need some help, One project which I'll mention in advance of your mentioning of the empty Gold Line train is the Downtown Connector which will allow the Pasadena Gold Line DIRECTLY into Downtown LA without the transfers, it can allow the East LA branch DIRECTLY into the rail network without the transfers. It would increase capacity on the currently bustling Blue Line and future Expo Line. It will tie people and communities together that currently have no connection.

i had no car for about 6 months and it was horrible, my first day taking the system i thought was okay, i thought i could take the blue line to downtown from long beach and than transfer to the red line to west hollywood, i was laughed at. when i got to the hollywood and highland exit i found out that was basically the end of the road, i had no need to go to universal studios.
Everyone on the train laughed because majority of the people on their were tourists and the others were just out having fun with the family, i was told that no one uses the redline metro to go to work because the entire subway system is basically for toursits. The blue line i thought was useful even though some firgure that it only goes through " The Ghettos" of L.A, I guess "LosAngelesBeauty" is forgetting that the people of the "Ghettos" are the ones that need the train system to get to work and school, they are the ones who made the Blue Line the most used light rail system in the United States but i guess that doesnt matter,and as "LosAngelesBeauty" mentioned, the Red Line runs through Hollywood, Los Feliz,Silverlake, Koreatown, and north Hollywood...................those are all majority tourists destinations which i personally do not want to visit on a daily basis.


Well the Red Line doesn't just serve tourists, if you ride the line all the way or get off on a whim at one of the stations like Vermont/Santa Monica or Hollywood/Western you see a lot of working and middle class residents using this line on a daily basis. Also those areas aren't exactly the tourists traps that you have in mind.

The green line i think is smart in terms of building it right down the middle of a freeway how ever at the end of the freeway is the Los Angeles airport but just so happens the Green Line turns away from the airport and goes the oppisite direction............Wow how helpful! so in return you are forced to spend more money to take the bus or a cab.

That to me is the ultimate Clusterphuck of planning, transit and politics. I will not go there because I would take the whole forum post to explain it. PM me on that one and I can be a little more vocal. :tup:

The Gold Line runs from downtown to pasadena.....:???: uhm yeah i wonder how many people actually use that one, ive actually used it just to see where it goes and i had one whole train car to myself just to give you an idea on how many people use that one, and the time had nothing to do with it, it was 4 p.m on a wednesday.

See Downtown Connector mention

So untill there is a train system that runs straight down wilshire "ALL THE WAY ! " and untill there is a train system that follows the 405 freeway from long beach to UCLA, untill there is a train system that runs down the same path as the 10 freeway, and untill the redline goes all the way to santa monica are atleast to UCLA, i will reamain unimpressed, the only train system in Los Angeles county that has impressed me a Little is the BLue Line. but hey i guess we are able to have or own opinions ! :cool:

I agree with you wholeheartedly, but those things take a lot of PATIENT grassroots people support, not just political support AND most importantly a whole lot of Financial support so that the there is a consistent stream of $$$ to build a system. There are plenty of groups and organizations out there that ARE fighting the patient and long term good fight, it's just a matter of networking with them and helping them out. Again PM me on that one.

ChrisLA
Feb 20, 2007, 7:53 AM
[QUOTE=caligrad06;2641477]let me correct myself, im not saying that the transportation system is a big mess or that its completelly useless it just doesnt work in my opinion.


Everyone on the train laughed because majority of the people on their were tourists and the others were just out having fun with the family....i was told that no one uses the redline metro to go to work because the entire subway system is basically for toursits.

Well I used to ride the train (by choice, I owned a car) to work everyday from Long Beach to El Segundo. I don't think all of those folks (standing room only) was tourist at 6am in the morning, and 4pm in the evening. There sure was a lot of tourist wearing ties, slacks, and work attire. I guess LA tourist dress strange.



the Red Line runs through Hollywood, Los Feliz,Silverlake, Koreatown, and north Hollywood...................those are all majority tourists destinations which i personally do not want to visit on a daily basis.

They maybe tourist areas, but also places loke Hollywood, and Koreantown are big business districts. All of the times I taken the Red Line on weekdays, most of the people didn't look like tourist to me. I see a lot of business attire, and blue collar workers, along with lot of students. Now on the weekends there seems to be a number of tourist and families going for a outting.


The green line i think is smart in terms of building it right down the middle of a freeway how ever at the end of the freeway is the Los Angeles airport but just so happens the Green Line turns away from the airport and goes the oppisite direction............Wow how helpful! so in return you are forced to spend more money to take the bus or a cab.

Well you're wrong in a sense, you don't have to pay any more money to reach LAX. The Aviation station has a 'FREE' Green line shuttle to take you to the airport. To tell you the truth you probably wouldn't be able to take a cab that short of a distance. Most cab drivers won't take a fare because they can't make any money. I know because I worked across from the airport and our company couldn't get a cab for such short distance. We always had to use the airport shuttle service to go bascially across the street. Well the entrance into the airport was a mile or so away, but the runways and the airline cargo buildings was on the other side of the street from our office. Sure it would be nice to have the train go into the airport, but LA isn't the only big city without direct train service. Chicago is the only one of the big three that does this well. Atlanta MARTA has this too, and I think Cleveland, and perhaps a few others you can count on one hand.



The Gold Line runs from downtown to pasadena.....:???: uhm yeah i wonder how many people actually use that one, ive actually used it just to see where it goes and i had one whole train car to myself just to give you an idea on how many people use that one, and the time had nothing to do with it, it was 4 p.m on a wednesday

Somehow I questioned that, you said it was 4pm and a weekday. Was there a bomb threat, a Holiday or something? I like to see that because the countless times I've taken this line I've yet to see it empty. Granted the Gold Line could use a boost in ridership, I've never seen it empty and especially on a weeday during the beggining of rush hour. I don't know how you can say Old Town Pasadena isn't a destination. There are two stations one within a block, the other one two blocks from Colorado Blvd. I've taken it there, and I see lots of people get on and off at both these stations.

LosAngelesBeauty
Feb 20, 2007, 11:47 AM
Again, this caligrad06 guy doesn't know anything about LA.

Sodha
Mar 1, 2007, 6:49 PM
Have you all checked out this website: http://thetransitcoalition.us/index.htm? Their mission is to bring quality transit through Los Angeles with trains, buses, and roads. I try to make their monthly meetings. It's really cool to be with people who are passionate about the L.A. transit development. They were able to help push for the Expo Line construction and now they're advocating the Downtown Connector. Please check out the website to get more information on Los Angeles transit.

Sodha
Mar 14, 2007, 6:12 PM
The Transit Coalition has (finally!) gotten a great forum to post all LA transit related news. Check it out at: http://transittalk.proboards37.com/index.cgi? to get all the latest news.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Mar 14, 2007, 8:17 PM
they had that board up a couple of years ago and they abandoned it. glad its up again! that old board is a MESS!!

jlrobe
Mar 14, 2007, 11:33 PM
I am a newbie to the board.

I read many of the posts on this forum and love it. People here seem to know what is going on. Anyhow. I saw that people mentioned a bunch of transit blog sites. TTC is a very good one. They claim to have help spurred the expo line and seem to do a lot more action and a lot less talking (although I love talking). I have two other sites that I wanted to share.

Damien Goodmon's temporary site
http://glam.fminus.com/index.php

And the green linec oalition
http://www.greenlinecoalition.com/

Now I know most of you want the downtown connector and wilshire subway, but these sites are currently seeking action, as is TTC. I just thought I'd share. Now I think some of you think the green line is of least priority, however, I am favor of anything getting done. The green to LAX may be worhless, but the green to the expo would be great because people can go from LAX to Santa Monica. They can also go into culver and downtown and use buses to get all over the west side. It is a nice spur to a larger system and I am glad to see it is up and coming. Now if only a purple line coalition would form in the same way the green line did we would be in business.

Sodha
Mar 15, 2007, 5:23 PM
Extensions to the green line are important for the metro system, I don't think this is on the 'back burner'. Bill Rosenthal, great politician, has created the Green Line coalition and is seeking funding for the extension to LAX. I hope they further seek funding to Norwalk metrolink, South Bay Galleria, and the Expo connector in the westside. I think you'd see ridership significantly jump once connected to LAX, not just b/c of our metro system, but it would allow OC commuters (who use LAX more than John Wayne) to be dropped off at the I-605/I-105 station to take the train directly to LAX. This is where I believe most of your new ridership will come from.

A Purple Line coalition would be nice, but we already have the strongest political advocate for it, Antonio Villaraigosa. He's been recently talking to the Transportation chiefs in Washington to fund the subway, once the ban is overturned in the Senate and by the President. (http://www.icebase.com/go.shtml?20070306172532288148&m1628&http://www.thetransitcoalition.us/newspdf/dn20070227a.pdf)

And, if y'all haven't, please sign up for the Transit Coalition newsletter at http://thetransitcoalition.us/TTC_Signup.htm

They have great summaries of the weekly transportation news affecting L.A. More awareness = more advocates.

Sodha
Mar 26, 2007, 4:18 AM
Hello Southland Transit Supporters:

An Open Invitation from The Transit Coalition to join us...for our March 2007 Meeting.

At this gathering, we will discuss current MTA, Metrolink and Amtrak developments, including the latest actions by the Mayor, the recently funded road and HOV projects, the MTA Long Range Plan update, the latest rail extensions and Metro post Consent Decree.

The Gold Line to East Los Angeles continues to progress with the completion of the tunnels and removal of the forms over the 101 freeway.

The Expo Joint Powers Authority is into construction with Scoping Meetings for Phase 2. Two public hearings were scheduled this month: March 6th in Santa Monica and March 15 in West Los Angeles.

Join us Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at Philippe the Original for our meeting and Brain Storming Session @ 6:46 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. (or longer!)

Or go to our map.

Important step by step directions:
After you get your food, we will take over some tables in the second floor meeting room, BUT first....we gather at the table near the "front door" cash register and then decide to go upstairs only when we get enough folks.

Check near the cash register to see if we are
there or if not, enter the upstairs on the Alameda St. side of the restaurant, as the west side has a sign that says the upstairs is closed.

Beware of the trick by the restaurant. After we go up, they put the closed sign back up. We will be up there, but call 818-367-1661, if you can't figure out where we are! Join us, if you can.

Pass the word. If you or anyone is interested, get them there Tuesday the 27th.

Also, note: RSVP. If we know you are coming, we will look for you, so you don't stay lost from us.

Note: If you want to get the meeting e-mail directly, write bart.reed@thetransitcoalition.us and you can get on the list for future events.

To Make Reservations, write:
bart.reed@thetransitcoalition.us
Subject: Dinner Reservation
Just leave your first/last name, e-mail and phone number.

Upcoming Meetings:

Southern CA Transit Advocates: Sat., April 14 & May 12, 2007

SCAG Magnetic Levitation Mtg: Thurs., March 8, 2007. CANCELLED.

Next Transit Coalition Meeting: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Be sure to bring business cards for networking. Here is what we look like (scroll way down):

Please pass this e-mail along to anyone who might be interested in joining us. Call if you have any questions. Thanks, Bart Reed

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.

Þ--Þ--Þ

jzt83
Mar 29, 2007, 11:45 AM
Try catching the BART from OAK to San Francisco! I'd rather ride from LAX to Pasadena or Long Beach. It's cheaper and easier.

fflint
Mar 29, 2007, 9:21 PM
^It takes 20 minutes by train from San Francisco to Oakland International Airport station, and then another 20 minutes by shuttle to the terminals from the train station. LAX to Pasadena would take a lot longer than 40 minutes and require more transfers.

RAlossi
Mar 30, 2007, 2:40 PM
^ Yeah. FlyAway to Union Station then the Gold Line to Pasadena is 50 minutes to an hour. Green Line to Blue Line to Red Line to Gold Line .... I don't even want to imagine.

Buckeye Native 001
Mar 31, 2007, 1:49 AM
Jesus, and I thought Metrolink from Orange to Union Station and then Flyaway from Union Station to LAX took long enough...

ssiguy
Mar 31, 2007, 5:58 PM
I don't understand why people are bitching about LA.

Yes, it is car centred but they are trying to reverse that and seems to be a success. Certainly needs better service but Rome wasn't built in a day. I congradulate LA for seeing the errors of her ways and expanding rapid transit at a dizzing pace.

BTW, how frequently do the subways/LRTs run?

ChrisLA
Apr 8, 2007, 7:40 AM
BTW, how frequently do the subways/LRTs run?

Sorry no one answered your question, but it just depends on the time of day.

During rush hour, some trains run as frequent as every 5 mins. But on average during non peak times they usually run every 10 mins, and at night 15-20 mins. I remember after 7pm (I worked late every Friday) on the Green Line it ran every 20 mins, but that was several years ago. Today they have made a lot of improvments so I can't say if that is the case now days.

want2beaqui
Apr 10, 2007, 2:05 PM
Well I have been lucky enough to move to downtown Long Beach recently (about a block away from transit mall) and also have a weekend job off Vermont and Santa Monica. I ride the Blue line from start to finish every weekend then the red line for a couple stops, and i have to say despite what a lot of people are saying i really enjoy the ride. The trains are clean and surprsingly quiet. And also the ridership is a lot higher then i would expect. I feel asleep on the train and woke up a half hour later to a full train. Can't wait for someday where i could just sell my DAMN CAR!! that would be a dream come true!!! Plus i save about 40-50 bucks in gas a weekend!!!:banana:

ChrisLA
Apr 12, 2007, 1:15 AM
Well I have been lucky enough to move to downtown Long Beach recently (about a block away from transit mall) and also have a weekend job off Vermont and Santa Monica. I ride the Blue line from start to finish every weekend then the red line for a couple stops, and i have to say despite what a lot of people are saying i really enjoy the ride. The trains are clean and surprsingly quiet. And also the ridership is a lot higher then i would expect. I feel asleep on the train and woke up a half hour later to a full train. Can't wait for someday where i could just sell my DAMN CAR!! that would be a dream come true!!! Plus i save about 40-50 bucks in gas a weekend!!!:banana:

Welcome neighbor, I've been living downtown LB for 7 years now and I love it here, especially with all the new stuff happening around here.

I also used to take the Blue Line when I was working day shift over to El Segundo. Now if my hours ever change, I will be taking advantage of this again. The problem I have with this new job in Redondo Beach is I need to take a bus about a mile from the Green Line station and the bus only runs during rush hour. In the morning when I get off it would be no problem since its rush hour in the am when I get off. I just don't feel like walking a mile at night to work, even though the area is completly safe, but very dead since I would have to walk past a huge areospace complex.

LosAngelesBeauty
Apr 14, 2007, 10:38 PM
^ Yeah. FlyAway to Union Station then the Gold Line to Pasadena is 50 minutes to an hour. Green Line to Blue Line to Red Line to Gold Line .... I don't even want to imagine.


I actually left 7th/Metro Station in Downtown LA to LAX and it took me EXACTLY 1 hour. I'm not kidding, it was like to the dot. I left at 4PM and go to my United Terminal at 5PM.

I took the Blue Line and transferred to the Green Line, then got on the free shuttle at the Aviation Station and it takes you directly to the terminal.

It's really not SUPER BAD as people have to do the same thing at Oakland's airport (get on shuttle to get to BART).

It's just that the areas where the train stations are are like ghetto or nothing to do. If the Green Line went through areas as wonderful as the Westside, it wouldn't even be an issue.

BTW, to get from O'Hare to Downtown Chicago takes AT LEAST 45 min on the Blue Line. Not exactly the fastest trip IMO. :yuck:

Buckeye Native 001
Apr 15, 2007, 2:52 AM
BTW, to get from O'Hare to Downtown Chicago takes AT LEAST 45 min on the Blue Line. Not exactly the fastest trip IMO. :yuck:

Indeed, its agonizingly slow to get from ORD to the Loop.

Any recent news on plans to extend the Green Line all the way up to LAX?

ardecila
Apr 15, 2007, 5:37 AM
Indeed, its agonizingly slow to get from ORD to the Loop.

Mostly that is due to track maintenance issues which would would probably be taken care of if not for our inept Governor. It is, however, a one-seat ride from the Loop to both O'Hare and Midway, and plans are in the works to make it a one-seat ride from O'Hare TO Midway on an Airport Express service.

I feel kinda bad for LA losing the US Olympics nomination. You guys could seriously use the investment in transit that another Olympics would bring to improve connections and destinations in the metro.

Sodha
Apr 15, 2007, 5:44 AM
^ Unfortunately, I heard that L.A. was planning on widening more freeways for the Olympics, so in a way, I'm glad we didn't win the US bid. We don't need more reliance and convenience on our freeway system, we need to move this to transit.

DJM19
Apr 15, 2007, 6:05 AM
Yeah, LA would not have invested any more than it planned to regardless of olympics. Which is a good thing, because now that we dont have the olympics, we are still going to invest (except for these cuts in service metro has planned, a horrible idea)

fflint
Apr 17, 2007, 7:58 AM
Indeed, its agonizingly slow to get from ORD to the Loop.
It's a short trip between the Loop and Midway on the Orange Line. I budgeted an hour and a half for travel between the two on Easter morning, and ended up spending an hour of it in the terminal.

dlbritnot
Apr 17, 2007, 8:29 AM
Does anyone think it's likely that metro will extend it's hours later? I miss the DC Metro when it stayed open til 3am on the weekends.

alleystreetindustry
Apr 30, 2007, 1:20 AM
is it one of the most ridden systems because of the fact that more than 10 million people are in the area or is it the percentage of those people that happen to ride the buses and trains?

John F
May 1, 2007, 1:24 AM
I kept hoping someone would post stuff about the Expo line in here. I ended up doing a search for it and the news ain't that great:

Safety issues could delay Exposition Line (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/los_angeles_metro/la-me-expo17apr17,1,6812638.story?coll=la-commun-los_angeles_metro)
The state Public Utilities Commission raises concerns about vehicle and pedestrian crossings along the Exposition Line in Los Angeles.
By Jeffrey L. Rabin
Times Staff Writer

April 17, 2007

While debate simmers over whether the last segment of the Exposition light-rail line should run through upscale Westside neighborhoods, safety concerns raised by state officials and others threaten to delay the first phase of the $640-million project from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City.

Ground has been broken, contracts have been awarded and construction is getting underway on the nine-mile first phase, which is scheduled for completion in 2010. But the state agency that oversees rail safety in California is concerned that the trains may pose a risk to pedestrians and motorists at several locations.

Until additional safety precautions are incorporated into the project's design, the California Public Utilities Commission and the agency building the line remain at odds over 13 intersections near Los Angeles Trade Tech College, USC and Dorsey High School in the Crenshaw district.

"The commission's jurisdiction … does not include whether to build a transit line. All we are concerned with is the safety of the proposed rail line," said Patrick S. Berdge, the commission attorney.

Several residents along the former railroad right of way are formally protesting the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority's applications to put rails across 44 intersections along the route. In addition, a USC engineering professor and Los Angeles Unified School district officials have voiced safety concerns.

Builders of the rail line fear the issues raised by the utilities commission staff and others could delay construction for years and add millions of dollars to the project's cost. So they are fighting back, pushing legislation in Sacramento to cut in half the amount of time the commission has to act on the grade-crossing applications.

"We've still got a lot of folks talking about what we should do with this project," said Rick Thorpe, chief executive of the construction authority. "That discussion should have been done a long time ago…. When do you draw the line and say, 'We're done. Let's go build it.' "

Over the last three decades, Thorpe has built light-rail lines in San Diego, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. "I won't allow any design … that I don't think is absolutely safe to the public," he said.

Others aren't so sure. Najmedin Meshkati, a USC engineering professor, warns that fast-moving trains on the Exposition Line will pose a danger to "sensitive and vulnerable populations such as schoolchildren and elderly pedestrians."

Meshkati and graduate students in engineering at USC and Cal State Long Beach examined safety problems on the Metro Blue Line, which runs 22 miles from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach.

A total of 87 people have been killed by Blue Line trains since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened the heavily traveled light-rail route in 1990. Twenty of those fatalities were ruled to be suicides.

The latest fatality occurred Saturday, when a 24-year-old woman ran across the tracks on Washington Boulevard, south of downtown Los Angeles, and was struck by a train, according to Abdul Zohbi, the MTA's manager of system safety.

Based on accident data, Meshkati and his team found that at-grade rail crossings posed a high risk to pedestrians and motorists. To reduce those risks significantly, Meshkati said, human factors need to play a vital role in the design of rail crossings on the Exposition Line.

Meshkati said the MTA's grade-crossing policy, which guides the agency's decisions about whether to place a rail line over or under a street, needs "a great deal of improvement."

But Zohbi said lessons learned from accidents on the Blue Line were incorporated into the design of the Metro Gold Line, which runs from downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena. The 13-mile rail line has had just one fatality, a suicide, and no serious injuries since operations began in 2003.

Zohbi said engineering improvements, enforcement of traffic laws and education of residents and schoolchildren have made both the Blue and Gold lines safer.

To prevent motorists from driving around gates, the Gold Line was built with gates that cover all traffic lanes on both sides of the tracks. Other gates block pedestrians from crossing the tracks when a train is approaching.

The same methods will be used on the Exposition Line. "We are basically sealing off the intersections entirely," Thorpe said.

But the Public Utilities Commission's rail safety staff remains concerned about the potential risk to drivers and pedestrians where the Exposition Line will pass Los Angeles Trade Tech College, just south of the Santa Monica Freeway.

Eight driveways lead into or out of the campus in four blocks of Flower Street between Washington Boulevard and 23rd Street. The Public Utilities Commission and the Exposition construction authority have been unable to reach agreement about how to design those crossings.

Four pedestrian crossings near USC, where the tracks will run in the median of Exposition Boulevard, are also a concern.

In the Crenshaw district, there is disagreement over what to do about the rail crossing nearest Dorsey High School.

At a recent meeting, County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, chairwoman of the Exposition construction authority, said she was concerned about the potential risk that the trains may pose to students walking or driving across the tracks near the school. "They just seem to go in all directions [and are] not as easily controlled" as younger students, Burke said.

The supervisor urged project officials to consider building elevated tracks near Dorsey High, half a mile east of where they are slated to start. The above-ground section would carry passengers to an elevated station at La Brea Avenue.

Burke suggested that project officials contact local, state and federal representatives in an effort to find additional funds to build the elevated line at Dorsey.

Thorpe said examining the issue is one thing, but building the elevated section is another. In addition to the cost, which could exceed $10 million, such a change may require reopening the environmental impact report on the project. The original environmental study did not evaluate the effects of an elevated line at that location.

Officials at the Los Angeles Unified School District also have raised concerns about the Exposition project, including potential risks to the safety of students, teachers and staff. In a letter to the Public Utilities Commission last fall, environmental assessment coordinator Glenn Striegler said the district opposed the rail project as designed. He demanded that steps be taken to eliminate all rail-pedestrian conflicts on routes to schools in the area.

In addition to Dorsey High School, four other schools sit within 100 feet of the Exposition Line: Foshay Learning Center, Theodore Alexander Jr. Science Center, Adams Middle School and Central L.A. Area Middle School No. 4.

Mark Jolles, a member of a group called Expo Communities United, is protesting the Exposition construction authority's applications to construct at-grade crossings at numerous intersections. "I don't think safety is their primary concern," he said.

Jolles, a schoolteacher, said he was particularly concerned about locations where the trains would pass near schools.

Clint Simmons, who lives near the Exposition right of way, has joined Jolles in protesting the applications for at-grade crossings. "Nobody is against light rail, but do it right," he said.

Determined to get construction underway, the Exposition construction authority and the MTA have sought legislative help.

State Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) introduced legislation recently to limit to nine months the amount of time the Public Utilities Commission has to act on the grade-crossing applications.

Kuehl said she hopes the bill will encourage the commission "to be more collaborative" in working with the construction authority.

"We need to get the Expo line because half the time," Kuehl said, the Santa Monica Freeway "is a parking lot."

The second phase of the project is expected to link Culver City with Santa Monica, but the route remains undecided. Homeowner associations in upscale Westside neighborhoods object to using the old Exposition railroad right of way that runs through their area.

solongfullerton
May 1, 2007, 1:48 AM
this news passed here in LA quickly. i think this was a last minute effort by local NIMBYs to stop the expo from being built. also, i think its funny that people at USC are saying negative things about the line. USC stands to lose quite a bit of parking revenue once the new line opens and is evenutally extended to santa monica. hmmmmmmm???

Easy
May 1, 2007, 2:50 AM
Well it may have passed quickly in the press, but it's still not resolved. The good news is that the Expo Authority will start major construction this month as planned and deal with the PUCs concerns as they build.:D

LosAngelesBeauty
May 10, 2007, 10:13 AM
^ From my understanding, the only issue the CPUC has with the Expo Line is by the Trade Tech. I believe the Expo Authority and the CPUC are working cooperatively together to address this issue, and I don't think it's as bad as the media has painted. I think the Expo Line Phase 1 should continue as planned. Can anyone else provide insight to this problem? PV? Damien?

hereinvannuys
May 10, 2007, 8:50 PM
Trains and buses are to Angelenos what water is to someone who has hiked in the desert for three weeks.

LosAngelesBeauty
May 11, 2007, 10:31 AM
This is why "LA Luvs Villaraigosa!" :


USNews.com: Nation & World: Q&A: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vill... http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070429/29gridlock.villara...
1 of 2 5/8/2007 9:56 AM

Q&A: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
By Will Sullivan
Posted 4/29/07


Los Angelinos now spend about four full days a year trapped in traffic, more time than
residents of any other city. But Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is taking on gridlock,
and his sometimes-reluctant constituents, in promoting an aggressive slate of transportation
fixes. He sat down with U.S. News in the city's state-of-the-art Automated Traffic System and
Control Center to discuss whether his plans can break up the city's notorious congestion.


Has there been a change in the way Los Angeles residents see these issues?

I think people are realizing that every time you build a freeway, you fill it, and that you need to
invest more and more in public transit and create communities where people live, work, and
play. Right now, if you look at the city, most of the jobs are in the inner core, and the housing is
in the outer core.


Is it hard to convince people that building more housing downtown will alleviate
congestion? Isn't that counterintuitive?

Here's an example: In the campaign, when I talked about the subway to the sea, or investing in
public transportation, I'd get little applause. When I talked about smart growth, even less. When
I talked about ending construction during the rush hour, I'd get a standing ovation, and yet as
soon as we did it, people barely noticed, because that's really not the core of the problem. As long
as we've got so many people in single-passenger automobiles, we're going to have gridlock. We
have to change driving patterns.


Is building more roads an option?

Given the density of the city, it's not viable to build more freeways. If building a freeway involves
knocking down a neighborhood, it's not going to happen. It will be more cost effective to invest
in public transportation. It's where we've got to go, it's where great cities around the world have
gone, and we've just taken a little longer in realizing that.


Is there any real hope that congestion in the city will actually go down, or is success
defined by controlling the degree to which the problem gets worse?

The only way for us to reverse the pattern of more and more gridlock is to invest in public
transportation on a scale that has heretofore been unprecedented. I'm talking about billions and
billions and tens of billions of dollars and beyond.


Is that even possible?

I think the better question is, "Is there the political will?" and I think the answer is, "Not yet."
But there will have to be if we want to address gridlock and congestion in our cities.


You've talked about making it easier for people to live where they work. In
November, voters narrowly rejected Measure H, which would have pushed
developers to add more affordable housing. Why did it fail?

There's no question we're going to have to engage in an education effort. That's why everywhere I
go, I talk about public transportation, investing in smart growth, mixed-use development along
transportation corridors, really growing smarter, greener, growing in a way that creates
communities where people live and work.


What do you have to overcome to convince the citizens of Los Angeles that more
density is needed?

Here in Los Angeles, we think we have a God-given right to a 3,000-square-foot home with a
backyard and a front yard and a pool in the back. And you know, people live great lives in New
York, Chicago, London, Paris, Toronto, Tokyo, where they live in places where they work, they
live more vertical. And very importantly, they are investing in public transportation. If you go to
Tokyo, you see an investment in public transportation that should be the standard for all of us.


How optimistic are you about achieving your transportation agenda?

Very optimistic! I'm optimistic about life! Look, the role of leadership is to develop a vision and a
plan to accomplish that vision, at the same time, nurturing the community support to make that
vision a reality. So you're not deterred where people are today–you recognize your job as to help
bring them along.


What are the prospects for your proposed "subway to the sea" under Wilshire
Boulevard?

The prospects for that and other public transportation initiatives are great. This city will one day
have a world-class transportation system, period.

Copyright © 2007 U.S.News & World Report, L.P. All rights reserved.

LAMetroGuy
May 14, 2007, 5:17 PM
Not LA, but in LA County:

Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal Seeks Taxpayer-Paid Feasibility Study For East-West Streetcar Service Linking Downtown And "Vital Points of Interest"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(May 14, 2007) -- Following-through on her comments at the April 17 City Council meeting urging reduced parking requirements for new downtown density and developments coupled with city "investment" in public transit, 2nd district Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal has agendized a May 15 item seeking Council approval for spending taxpayer funds (a city manager contract) for an "independent study of the feasibility in developing a streetcar service with east-west linkage to downtown and vital points of interest in Long Beach that may include California State University Long Beach, Long Beach City College, East Village Arts District, Long Beach Memorial, St. Mary's Hospital and our small business corridors."

Councilwoman Lowenthal's agendizing memo specifies no maximum sum or budgeted source for the study, whose goals she says should include, but not be limited to, the following:


Complements other transportation options offered by Long Beach Transit.
Provides a green transportation alternative for moving people between City landmarks
Determines the physical and financial viability of establishing a streetcar line.
Fits the scale and traffic patterns of existing neighborhoods.
Reduces short inner-city auto trips, parking demand and traffic congestion.

During her April 17 Council remarks, reported at length at the time by LBReport.com, Councilwoman Lowenthal said in part:

So if we say we need higher density in the downtown, well, we need to actually invest in what would require [invite] a higher density to come. And so why is it that Vancouver can have their developments park at such a lower rate that we think ours must? Why is it that Portland [OR] does it? And why those cities now and not us today?...

...I want to live in a city where we can have a Manhattan of our own, or we can have a Vancouver or a Portland. What that may also mean is that we need to invest in other forms of transportation. I for one will be advocating for a light rail such as a streetcar that I saw in Portland. Nothing excited me more than that streetcar...

As background for her May 15 agendized request, Councilwoman Lowenthal tells the Council:

Throughout the nation, cities are rediscovering the benefits of streetcar systems linking emerging downtown business and residential districts with nearby points of interest such as universities, hospitals, retail corridors and tourist destinations. Streetcars are becoming the preferred mode of alternative transportation in dense urban centers, enabling people to park once then navigate a city's many sectors jumping on and off at will . The streetcar is serving as a catalyst for change and helping communities maximize their public/private investment . This is due in part to the fixed nature of the rail infrastructure, which implies permanence - generating confidence that it is going to be there for a long time . The rail system is also highly visible, with an easily understood route, and the quiet, pollution-free electric trolleys blend in well with the community.

Numerous cities, including Portland, Philadelphia, Little Rock, Tampa, Dallas and New Orleans have integrated streetcars into their existing transportation network using new low cost, low impact rail design and smaller cars that minimize changes to infrastructure and utilities.

As I mentioned during my travel report at our April 10th Council meeting, the City of Portland is emerging as a leader among U .S . cities by demonstrating its commitment to mobility through the implementation of alternative transportation options like the streetcar, which connects Portland State University with other parts of Portland, including its high-density residential and economic centers in downtown such as the Pearl District and South Waterfront . This innovative fusion of residential, arts, commercial and academic sectors attracts a creative class of individuals to the city's urban core and actively contributes to its longterm sustainability.

The Portland Streetcar is designed to fit the scale and traffic patterns of the neighborhoods through which it travels . Streetcar vehicles, manufactured by Skoda-Inekon in Plzen of the Czech Republic, are 2.46 meters (about 8 feet) wide and 20 meters long (about 66 feet) . They run in mixed traffic and, except at platform stops, accommodate existing curbside parking and loading . The Portland Streetcar is owned and operated by the City of Portland . A unique shallow 12-inch deep track slab design reduces the construction time and utility relocations . Maneuverability of the shorter and narrower Skoda vehicles has allowed the 8- foot wide track slab to be fitted to existing grades, limiting the scope of street and sidewalk reconstruction .



Long time residents of Long Beach will remember our own streetcars, which were fondly called "red cars" or "Blimps" due to their large size . Charles Rivers Drake, a new resident to Long Beach and a former employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad, petitioned the city council to consider a plan for the creation of an electric interurban transit line connecting Long Beach and Los Angeles . Reaching a top speed of ten miles per hour, this "high speed" system was considered a sure-fire means of enticing potential residents and supporting a growing tourist industry. With the first run of the red car in 1902, Long Beach solidified its place among visitors as the "Coney Island of the West" . More trolley lines followed so that by 1927, Long Beach had over 30 miles of streetcar tracks offering 30 all-steel, open air cars that seated up to 64 passengers . Combined with the development of the harbor and discovery of oil in Signal Hill, the streetcar helped make Long Beach one of the fastest growing cities in the country .

The streetcar's return on the national scene has been dramatic as an urban circulator and economic development catalyst . Projects across the country have delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in private development investment for the communities they serve . A streetcar system with east-west linkage will attract more people to our downtown and waterfront areas and serve ongoing residential and commercial development.

LAMetroGuy
May 14, 2007, 5:18 PM
Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal Seeks Taxpayer-Paid Feasibility Study For East-West Streetcar Service Linking Downtown And "Vital Points of Interest"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(May 14, 2007) -- Following-through on her comments at the April 17 City Council meeting urging reduced parking requirements for new downtown density and developments coupled with city "investment" in public transit, 2nd district Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal has agendized a May 15 item seeking Council approval for spending taxpayer funds (a city manager contract) for an "independent study of the feasibility in developing a streetcar service with east-west linkage to downtown and vital points of interest in Long Beach that may include California State University Long Beach, Long Beach City College, East Village Arts District, Long Beach Memorial, St. Mary's Hospital and our small business corridors."

Councilwoman Lowenthal's agendizing memo specifies no maximum sum or budgeted source for the study, whose goals she says should include, but not be limited to, the following:



Complements other transportation options offered by Long Beach Transit.
Provides a green transportation alternative for moving people between City landmarks
Determines the physical and financial viability of establishing a streetcar line.
Fits the scale and traffic patterns of existing neighborhoods.
Reduces short inner-city auto trips, parking demand and traffic congestion.


During her April 17 Council remarks, reported at length at the time by LBReport.com, Councilwoman Lowenthal said in part:

So if we say we need higher density in the downtown, well, we need to actually invest in what would require a higher density to come. And so why is it that Vancouver can have their developments park at such a lower rate that we think ours must? Why is it that Portland [OR] does it? And why those cities now and not us today?...

[I]...I want to live in a city where we can have a Manhattan of our own, or we can have a Vancouver or a Portland. What that may also mean is that we need to invest in other forms of transportation. I for one will be advocating for a light rail such as a streetcar that I saw in Portland. Nothing excited me more than that streetcar...

As background for her May 15 agendized request, Councilwoman Lowenthal tells the Council:

Throughout the nation, cities are rediscovering the benefits of streetcar systems linking emerging downtown business and residential districts with nearby points of interest such as universities, hospitals, retail corridors and tourist destinations. Streetcars are becoming the preferred mode of alternative transportation in dense urban centers, enabling people to park once then navigate a city's many sectors jumping on and off at will . The streetcar is serving as a catalyst for change and helping communities maximize their public/private investment . This is due in part to the fixed nature of the rail infrastructure, which implies permanence - generating confidence that it is going to be there for a long time . The rail system is also highly visible, with an easily understood route, and the quiet, pollution-free electric trolleys blend in well with the community.

Numerous cities, including Portland, Philadelphia, Little Rock, Tampa, Dallas and New Orleans have integrated streetcars into their existing transportation network using new low cost, low impact rail design and smaller cars that minimize changes to infrastructure and utilities.

As I mentioned during my travel report at our April 10th Council meeting, the City of Portland is emerging as a leader among U .S . cities by demonstrating its commitment to mobility through the implementation of alternative transportation options like the streetcar, which connects Portland State University with other parts of Portland, including its high-density residential and economic centers in downtown such as the Pearl District and South Waterfront . This innovative fusion of residential, arts, commercial and academic sectors attracts a creative class of individuals to the city's urban core and actively contributes to its longterm sustainability.

The Portland Streetcar is designed to fit the scale and traffic patterns of the neighborhoods through which it travels . Streetcar vehicles, manufactured by Skoda-Inekon in Plzen of the Czech Republic, are 2.46 meters (about 8 feet) wide and 20 meters long (about 66 feet) . They run in mixed traffic and, except at platform stops, accommodate existing curbside parking and loading . The Portland Streetcar is owned and operated by the City of Portland . A unique shallow 12-inch deep track slab design reduces the construction time and utility relocations . Maneuverability of the shorter and narrower Skoda vehicles has allowed the 8- foot wide track slab to be fitted to existing grades, limiting the scope of street and sidewalk reconstruction .

http://www.lightrailnow.org/images/por-lrt-stc-psu-stn-382-2003nov_lh.jpg

Long time residents of Long Beach will remember our own streetcars, which were fondly called "red cars" or "Blimps" due to their large size . Charles Rivers Drake, a new resident to Long Beach and a former employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad, petitioned the city council to consider a plan for the creation of an electric interurban transit line connecting Long Beach and Los Angeles . Reaching a top speed of ten miles per hour, this "high speed" system was considered a sure-fire means of enticing potential residents and supporting a growing tourist industry. With the first run of the red car in 1902, Long Beach solidified its place among visitors as the "Coney Island of the West" . More trolley lines followed so that by 1927, Long Beach had over 30 miles of streetcar tracks offering 30 all-steel, open air cars that seated up to 64 passengers . Combined with the development of the harbor and discovery of oil in Signal Hill, the streetcar helped make Long Beach one of the fastest growing cities in the country .

The streetcar's return on the national scene has been dramatic as an urban circulator and economic development catalyst . Projects across the country have delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in private development investment for the communities they serve . A streetcar system with east-west linkage will attract more people to our downtown and waterfront areas and serve ongoing residential and commercial development.

LosAngelesSportsFan
May 14, 2007, 7:06 PM
fantastic. hopefully the action will be approved and we can get a streetcar system for Downtown Long Beach. ive always believed that the MTA lines and Metrolink should be the backbones, and the major districts (Long Beach, Santa Monica, Downtown LA, Pasadena, Glendale, etc) should have streetcars linking to the system and to landmarks.

LosAngelesBeauty
May 16, 2007, 10:56 AM
Lining Up

Mid City/Expo Light Rail Line gets underway

By Joe Florkowski

Major work on a long anticipated light rail line from Los Angeles to Culver City is expected to begin this month.


A joint venture team comprised of FCI Constructors, Fluor and Parsons will build the Exposition Light Rail Line along an old railroad right-of-way. The area for the track is narrow and is in densely developed area, says Ray Hughes, project manager for FCI Constructors. DMJM Harris will also provide engineering design on the project.

"The laying of the track is the easy part," says Hughes. The more difficult aspects of the job are the grade crossings, station facilities and tying into the existing Blue Line, he adds.

The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority has departed from the typical light rail transit in the Exposition line design, says Tom Wilson, vice president with Parsons and design manager for the joint venture.

The authority wants to develop an attractive transit parkway with landscaping and other elements of urban design, Wilson adds, but making the rail line aesthetically pleasing in such an urban area will be a challenge.

"How do you fit this in and improve a corridor?" says Wilson. "It's a challenge to balance these interests and develop an attractive design."

Planned for more than 10 years, the Mid-City/Exposition Light Rail Transit line will start in downtown Los Angeles, curve near USC and then run on a parallel line with the 10 Freeway. The project is expected to alleviate some of the heavy traffic from the 10 Freeway and the Wilshire Corridor.

Eleven passenger stations are planned as well as park and ride lots.

The first phase of the Expo Line is about 9 mi long and is expected to be completed by February 2010. The cost of the project is anticipated at more than $600 million. When complete, the Expo Line is expected to deliver passengers from Los Angeles to Culver City in less than 30 minutes.

Design on a second phase which would travel to Santa Monica is expected to start this year.

Some construction work on Phase One began in October, but that work mostly involved putting utilities underground. Major projects are expected to start this month, including a grade separation and trench running near USC.

That section, near Flower Street and Exposition Boulevard, is expected to see some of the heaviest construction, says Hughes.

The design for that section is complete and the joint venture is negotiating construction costs with the authority, Wilson adds.

That grade separation and trench is a "critical path" for the project, says Wilson, adding that "we're looking at jumping right into it in June or July and then we'll be in some heavy construction."

ferneynism2
May 16, 2007, 7:38 PM
L.A.'s Transit...

Green Line*
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/fnee1901/S5030215.jpg

Orange Line*
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/fnee1901/NOHO3.jpg

Blue Line*
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/fnee1901/2f0f1dbe.jpg

San Pedro Red Car*
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/fnee1901/WoohooaTrain.jpg

Rapid Buses*
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/fnee1901/MetroRapid.jpg