to some here, optimism = glass 1/8th full
if we start building the pyramids now, we'll be finished in a half a century. that's not bad in pyramid building terms. ten years ago, the construction of pyramids was a political dead end, but now look :rolleyes:
take lemon and make lemonade. really sour lemonade. i just love this sort of rationalization. it's tragically sad to witness.
whatever makes your decision to stay in la bearable. if you're in your late teens and up, you'll need this kind of self-consoling. you'll still be married with kids before la's
metro can respectably be considered an urban "system" (on account of what is still a scant red line, expo, blue, and gold). plastic trolleys to monrovia and montebello don't count. sorry.
if facts matter, then la's mass transit timeline is pathetic. even if you've got the youth to be optimistic about it. how about that for perspective? i'm not going to waste my energy on this "city". i'll just accept it for what it won't ever be and enjoy it for what it is. and go elsewhere for my fix. la seriously sucks ass for my lifetime. luckily we have good people here laying a foundation for their grandkids.
^ Edluva, look how far we've come in the last 20 or so years. Even though the rail system today is D+ at best, it was still a start.
Personally I don't get excited about mass transit in Los Angeles anymore. I've been hearing this story since I was a kid in the early 70's. Granted L.A. has made some progress, but its been roughly 40 years, and there isn't a lot to show for all of the talk.
Right now I only get excited when new light rail route is about to open, and or currently under construction. Other than that I'll let the younger folks (I'm 45 now) get excited and have hope we will get a mass transit system that everyone can be proud of.
On that note, I will take public transportation when I can. If I worked during the day, I would also take it to work. But going in for the graveyard shift. Its not worth spending an hour and 15 mins to get there when I can drive it in 15-20 mins tops. Now let me go to days, and there is no way I will tackle the 405, and public transporation is certainly the better option.
I take the Foothill Transit Bus system. Once in a while, I take the Silver Streak to Downtown.
Any word on when the Gold Line eastern extension is open for business? Last I heard is that it was going to be open to the public in June and now that we're more than half way thru July I still can't find info on the web site as to its planned grand opening...
You should see the new ones Long Beach has now. I haven't taken a ride, but see them everyday passing in front of my condo. I read they cost $550,000 a piece.
From Curbed LA:
:previous: Great thanks!
ThreeHundred- I took a bus the other day much like the second photo you posted. Although it was more comfortable, a newer, shinier bus does not make it faster or more reliable. These new, cleaner, buses are important but operational improvements are just as important. Improvements such as consolidating stops, a payment system allowing passengers to pay before they board, dedicated lanes, and signal preemption are some steps that can be taken to increase the speed and reliability of buses
According to some web blogs dated July 14, I've learned that the MTA should have fare gates installed on the Purple Line's Wilshire/Normandie by the end of this week---which would mean today, no?
Has anyone encountered them yet? Photos would be nice too, of course.
Also, the order of the rail lines that the MTA is installing the gates is Purple, Red, Green, Blue and finally Gold. Also, the MTA being the MTA, these gates won't be operational yet.
^ Fare gates waiting to be installed at Wilshire/Normandie...
From Flickr, by LA Wad
From Flickr, by LA Wad
Ah interesting. Like I said in my previous post, knowing the MTA, I wouldn't doubt that these won't be operational for a long time, just like TAP.
Metro to Hold Five Community Meetings in August for Westside Subway Extension Project
July 20, 2009
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will hold five community meetings on the Westside Subway Extension Project to provide an update on Metro’s continued progress with this project.
In April, Metro held six public scoping meetings to obtain community input to help shape the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (DEIS/R) process that is currently underway.
Metro now will present a summary of what was heard during the scoping period, provide an update as Metro continues to refine the alternatives, and discuss the potential subway construction process.
A complete listing of meetings is as follows:
All meetings are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and are easily accessible by public transit. Parking is also available at all the locations.
The scoping meetings held in April initiate the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) process that was authorized by the Metro Board of Directors last January. The Westside Subway Extension is slated to receive partial funding from Measure R the half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters last November.
In January 2009, the Metro Board approved the two Build alternatives for further environmental review and preliminary engineering. At the conclusion of this phase of evaluation for the project the Metro Board of Directors will be asked to select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). Selection of an LPA precedes final environmental review final engineering and construction.
Content presented at these meetings will be identical so members of the public can attend on the day and location most convenient for them.
MTA chief recommends against Italian firm's rail cars (LA Times)
MTA chief recommends against Italian firm's rail cars
Los Angeles Times
MTA chief recommends against Italian firm's rail cars
Agency staffers report that the cars being built by AnsaldoBreda under an existing contract are too heavy and years behind schedule.
By Maeve Reston
July 21, 2009
Negotiations heated up Monday between Los Angeles County transportation officials and an Italian firm seeking to extend its contract so it can build 100 light-rail cars, a deal worth $300 million.
With a decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board expected Thursday, agency CEO Art Leahy released a memo recommending against exercising AnsaldoBreda's contract options for the 100 cars.
Hours later, the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor countered by urging board members to back the Italian firm because of the potential for hundreds of new jobs in the Los Angeles-area in the midst of a recession.
Leahy said he was continuing to negotiate with the firm, but he favored seeking proposals from other light-rail companies for 113 new rail cars. At least one, a subsidiary of the German conglomerate Siemens with a headquarters and manufacturing facility in Sacramento, is actively lobbying the agency and has expressed interest in competing for the work.
AnsaldoBreda, which is midway through a base contract to build 50 light-rail cars for the agency, has pledged to provide hundreds of direct and indirect local jobs by building a manufacturing plant in Los Angeles if the firm lands the extended deal.
But since early this year agency staff advised seeking other bids because they say the firm's first round of cars were 6,000 pounds too heavy and incompatible with others in the fleet -- a requirement that has since been waived by an MTA official -- and that delivery of the last of AnsaldoBreda's 50 base cars will be three years behind schedule.
Executives attribute the delays to changes requested by the agency and to the time it has taken to test the cars, and they note that agency officials have publicly praised the cars in their promotional materials.
Outlining the status of negotiations in a letter to board members Monday, AnsaldoBreda's lawyer and lead negotiator Jeffrey M. Capaccio said the firm has offered an "unprecedented financial guaranty" of a $50-million irrevocable letter of credit with an automatic replenishment of $25 million should it fail to perform. That is in addition to a $300-million performance bond -- insurance that the company will deliver what is promised -- and $30 million in potential damages should it fail to meet certain criteria, which are still being defined.
However, Leahy told board members in his memo that performance bonds and damages were already required under the contract.
The additional guaranty of up to $75 million, Leahy said, is "subject to a number of risks." Those risks include "a work plan that has yet to be agreed to, AnsaldoBreda's ability to replenish the letter of credit, uncertain and undefined draw-down triggers, and given the conditions imposed, the funds are not readily available," he said.
The chief executive said AnsaldoBreda also had not "provided sufficient assurances that they will be able to remedy the base cars."
Earlier this year, the L.A. County Federation of Labor, which is backing the Italian firm, commissioned a study on the number of jobs that could be created if AnsaldoBreda were to build a plant in L.A.
Assuming a brisk pace of building 75 cars annually and refurbishing 36 over the same period, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation found the firm would employ 535 full-time manufacturing employees and 126 at its corporate headquarters, with hundreds of additional indirect jobs throughout the county.
The development corporation estimated construction of the proposed $70-million, energy-efficient plant in an industrial stretch of downtown Los Angeles could employ 970 people full time for a year. AnsaldoBreda has pledged to hire union workers to build the plant and the cars.
The head of the union coalition, Maria Elena Durazo, urged board members Monday afternoon to exercise AnsaldoBreda's contract options. And she accused Siemens of trying to scramble the potential deal.
Durazo urged scrutiny of Siemens' performance in other cities, adding that AnsaldoBreda has "gone above and beyond in demonstrating in every way possible its commitment to Los Angeles County."
Oliver Hauck, the president of Siemens Transportation Systems Inc., said the company has "no intent to scuttle anybody's deal, we're just trying to make ourselves known to the customer so the customer knows there are alternative bidders interested."
MTA changes course, opening carpool lanes to solo drivers -- for a fee
I think this is interesting, considering NYC rejected congestion pricing. Yes, LA needs better public transportation, but it also needs to do something about its traffic.
From the Los Angeles Times:
MTA changes course, opening carpool lanes to solo drivers -- for a fee
Tolls will range from 25 cents to $1.40 a mile -- depending on traffic -- on the 10 and 110 freeways. The change is due in late 2010 or early 2011.
By Dan Weikel
July 24, 2009
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday set the tolls that for the first time will allow solo motorists to drive in carpool lanes on two of the region's most congested freeways.
Los Angeles' first experiment with so-called congestion-based pricing is slated to begin in late 2010 or early 2011.
The introduction of tolls on the 10 Freeway east of downtown Los Angeles and 110 Freeway south of downtown will mark a major departure for roads that generations of Californians have clung to as "freeways," even though toll roads already exist in several parts of the state. It is also a significant expansion of congestion pricing into the heart of the most freeway-crossed -- and traffic-jammed -- region of the nation.
Under the pricing schedule, solo motorists will pay 25 cents to $1.40 per mile to travel 14 miles of high-occupancy lanes on the east-west San Bernardino Freeway and 11 miles on the north-south Harbor Freeway.
As they do on tollways in neighboring Orange County, the MTA's tolls are designed to rise and fall in direct relation to traffic volume, so individual motorists, carpools, van pools and buses in the high-occupancy lanes can move at a minimum of 45 mph, even during rush hour.
According to the plan, 25 cents per mile would be charged when demand is lowest, while the maximum toll would be in effect during rush hour. If speed in the lanes falls below 45 mph, highway signs will warn other solo motorists not to enter the lanes until the flow of traffic accelerates.
Motorcycles and vehicles carrying more than one person will be able to continue using the lanes at no cost.
"There are something like a half dozen projects like this in the U.S. and about a dozen in the world," said Martin Wachs, a transportation expert at Rand Corp., a think tank based in Santa Monica. "We can virtually say this has worked 100% of the time.
The experience to date shows that this is one strategy for relieving congestion and raising revenue."
During public hearings on the plan, opponents argued that tolls were unfair to the poor, low-wage earners and people struggling financially because of the recession. But MTA officials decided to press ahead with the toll plan.
"Residents have raised concerns that freeways should be free," said Stephanie Wiggins, the executive officer of the project.
"We know freeways aren't free because the state gas tax pays for them. But this project is not about paying for freeways. It is about better managing congestion, improving transit service and offering better travel choices."
The project, which will be evaluated to see if congestion is indeed reduced on both highways, has received a $210-million federal grant, the largest of its type awarded to any city to date, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Some of the money will also go to improve bus service along the two freeways.
The California Department of Transportation and the MTA will convert existing carpool lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes on the 10 from Alameda Street to the 605 Freeway and on the 110 between Adams Boulevard and the Artesia Transit Center at 182nd Street.
A second high-occupancy toll lane will be added in each direction to the 10 Freeway. Plans also call for automated toll plazas, road improvements and additional transit services, including 57 clean-fuel buses that will operate along both highway corridors. The work is expected to be completed in December 2010. Wachs said the movement of solo motorists into the high-occupancy lanes should provide modest congestion relief in the other highway lanes. Brian Taylor, a UCLA urban planning professor who has studied congestion pricing, agrees that high-occupancy toll lanes can work.
If the carpool lanes are underused and have extra capacity, they can draw traffic from the other highway lanes, Taylor said. But, he added, if the lanes are already congested -- a regular occurrence in Los Angeles County -- a high-occupancy toll lane would not have much effect.
A solo motorist who wants to use the high-occupancy lanes must enroll in MTA's "ExpressLanes" program and be given a transponder, an electronic device that attaches to windshields and dashboards. When a car uses a toll lane, overhead sensors read the transponder's coding and the motorist is automatically billed.
MTA officials say they are working out the details so motorists can shut off their transponders if they want to carpool.
For a while, it appeared that the MTA had missed an opportunity to obtain federal funding earmarked for tollway proposals across the country. In 2007, the agency was eliminated in a nationwide competition for federal assistance because it wanted only to study congestion-based pricing, not to build a tollway.
Local officials reapplied for the money in December 2007 and qualified for help after a congestion pricing plan proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was scuttled by the New York Legislature.
how innovative :rolleyes:
Metro Moves to Support Development of California High-Speed Rail
Support for first L.A. to Anaheim segment could create 75,000 jobs. Construction could begin in 2012, open in 2018.
July 23, 2009
In a move that brings high speed train service one step closer to reality in Southern California and the state, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors today approved the agency’s support for the development of the California High Speed Rail initiative, as well as a first segment that would connect Los Angeles to Anaheim in under 20 minutes.
The decision officially brings Metro on board as a strategic partner in a broad-based coalition of transportation and other agencies statewide that are committed to building an 800-mile network of trains whose maximum speeds can reach up to 220 mph. The high-speed train network would connect Southern, Central and Northern California as proposed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) (www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov). Under a Memorandum of Understanding, both Metro and CHSRA would work together to establish high-speed train service in the Los Angeles Corridor utilizing, among others, Metro-owned facilities and rights-of-way. Metro will ensure full integration of all of its public transit services serving Union Station, which include the Metro Red Line, Metro Gold Line and ubiquitous Metro Local and Metro Rapid bus lines.
Metro has put its weight behind the very first proposed segment that would begin at L.A. Union Station and end at the proposed Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) Station in Anaheim. End to end, the trip would take under 20 minutes, its stations resembling airports without airplanes.
The proposed segment has already undergone preliminary environmental reviews and is now considered one of the most “construction ready” projects of its type in the country. CHSRA has completed an Alternatives Analysis and is expected to issue a draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Study for the L.A. to Anaheim segment at the end of 2009.
Construction could begin as early as 2012 and open in 2018. The five-year construction period and ongoing operation of the service would create 75,000 regional jobs while establishing a new centralized high speed transportation alternative that is also safe, reliable and environmentally friendly.
"High speed rail is just the kind of sustainable economic stimulus we need during this recession,” Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Director Antonio Villaraigosa said. “It will help reduce traffic, improve air quality, and create direct construction and service jobs for the Los Angeles region.”
Transportation agencies throughout California are encouraged by recent developments at the state and national levels that will potentially accelerate the L.A. to Anaheim segment. California’s high-speed rail line efforts, for example, are funded in part by $9.95 billion in voter-approved Proposition 1A — the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act of November 2008. Additionally, the project also is eligible for $8 billion in funding under the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
In its action today, the Board also voted to support the preparation of a statewide application to receive ARRA funds for the project. The deadline to submit the state’s application is August 1, a deadline all parties are now actively preparing to meet.
The Board also voted to support general improvements to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor for more efficient and coordinated service.
“Metro Bus and Rail lines will provide the connections that will help feed this new high speed train service here at Union Station,” said Art Leahy, Metro CEO. “Union Station will become transformed into a world-class, 21st Century intermodal transit hub that will serve the County of Los Angeles in ways that are very exciting to imagine.”
A statewide high-speed train system will offset the need to spend nearly $100 billion to build up to 3,000 miles of new freeway lanes, five airport runways and 90 departure gates over the next 20 years – all for less than half the cost. The effort also will be an important step forward in building “Livable Cities.”
Am I reading this right....$271 Billion?
Transit planners delay vote on 30-year blueprint for L.A.
July 24, 2009
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board on Thursday postponed a decision on whether to approve a $271-billion spending plan for the next 30 years that will emphasize the development of mass transit but still provide substantial funding for highway projects.
Board members said they delayed consideration of the MTA's long-range transportation plan because more time was needed to firm up funding and construction schedules for proposed highway projects -- a desire expressed by 75 of the county's 88 cities.
In other action, the board voted to support the California high-speed rail project and its first segment, which would connect L.A. with Anaheim.
-- Dan Weikel
I don't come over here much, but 2 comments:
1. I would definitely ride on the red and black double-decker bus, especially if it had laser cannons.
2. How exactly does paying to use the toll lane help traffic? Either the rich stay where they are, in which case it doesn't change anything, or it moves them into a lane formerly used by carpools and sort-of-green vehicles which improves traffic for the non-payers and presumably slows down the carpools. So what we are really saying is that if you're rich you can pay extra and keep your good car and if you're poor you have to buy a green car or drive with a group? Sort of like buying your way out of the war. But how is traffic improved? All it really is is another tax by the back door.
The good news is that it is only likely to keep new businesses from coming DT; it won't really hit DT residents much.
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