Weekly Transit Newsletter
Monday, December 12, 2005

Volume 1, Issue #1

Welcome to the first edition of The Transit Coalition weekly e-mail newsletter! If you are concerned about the current state of transportation in Los Angeles and Southern California, then this newsletter will benefit you greatly. It will feature updates on important projects, advocacy efforts to expand transit and behind-the-scenes political and industry activities not reported elsewhere.

Here is a recent recap of what The Transit Coalition has done to bring awareness of transportation issues to community leaders and decision makers across Southern California.

December 1: The Transit Coalition met with both Carol Inge, interim Chief Planning Officer for the MTA, and the Rotary Club of Sun Valley to give presentations regarding Metrolink Regional Rail-The Missing Link, the introduction of the concept of expanding Metrolink service to LAX and the South Bay from Los Angeles Union Station, and a recent move to explore extending the Orange Line to Bob Hope Airport, which will soon be presented to the City of Burbank Transportation Committee. ( Full Report)

December 4: The Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, a group dedicated to protecting the environment, hosted a networking party which invited local elected officials and citizen activists to network with League members and other groups, including The Transit Coalition.

December 6: The Transit Coalition met with participants from the United Chambers of Commerce in a meet-and-greet networking session with staff members of local elected officials. Later, The Transit Coalition attended the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Annual Awards Dinner to recognize major achievements that benefited the bicycle community over the past year. Representing The Transit Coalition were Sandra Cattell and Bart Reed. Bicycle activist Kent Strumpell was our generous host.

December 7: The Transit Coalition made an early morning appearance at the Mobility 21 Executive Committee Meeting. The meeting focused on reviewing the events during the recent summit and preparing for next year. Of note were improvements in the State Budget condition and the possibility that Proposition 42 funds will be available in FY 2006-07.

The Transit Coalition next attended a meeting of the LOSSAN Corridor Joint Powers Board. This agency is responsible for improving rail service for passengers and freight between San Diego and San Luis Obispo via Los Angeles. Ridership on the Pacific Surfliner November was up 4.9% November 2005 versus 2004. Also, the Board voted to monitor State Senate Bill 1024 (D-Perata), a $10.25 billion transportation bond measure, and to work with Peralta on including LOSSAN projects with the measure.

A matter of great concern was the recent federal Amtrak appropriation of $1.3 billion, which included a provision to end discounts for many trains. The Board noted that many group discount programs offered in California would be affected and that this would lead to a drop in riders and revenue. The
Board voted to write a letter to parties involved regarding the matter and to encourage the State of California to do the same. ( Complete Report)

The Transit Coalition was also on the scene with a staff representative from the office of California State Assemblymember Cindy Montañez, 39th District. The Coalition presented its position on deficient bus service in the San Fernando Valley, the Metrolink Regional Rail plan, a proposal to build a light-rail line down Van Nuys Blvd. and under the Santa Monica Mountains towards UCLA., and a possible extension of the Orange Line to Bob Hope Airport.

December 8: The Transit Coalition attended a MagLev Task Force meeting at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) offices in Los Angeles. Bart Reed presented questions to Board members regarding expenses involving freight movement on MagLev lines, energy use, airport connections, compatibility with other rail technologies and provisions for its use by airport and airline employees. None of these questions were answered, but the Board committed that the Task Force will study these matters. Next, an outreach program with cities and counties along the Initial Operating Segment from LAX to Ontario was approved. Finally, two presentations were given: One focused on bringing the numerous disparate MagLev projects across Southern California into one cohesive project. The other focused on using MagLev to move freight and creating possible train designs to make this happen. ( Expanded Report) Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006

Upcoming Events:

Sierra Club Transportation Cmte: Mon., Dec. 12, 2005

The MTA Board will meet Thursday, December 15, 9:30 a.m., to certify the Final EIS/EIR of the Exposition Light Rail Line. You are encouraged to lend your support by attending this important milestone at Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, next to Union Station.

Don't forget our monthly Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Philippe The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles CA. 90012. ( View map.) See you there!

The Southern California Transit Advocates will meet Sat., January 14, 1 p.m., at the Angelus Plaza, Room 422, 255 South Hill Street, Downtown Los Angeles.

RailPAC Annual Meeting: Saturday, January 28, 2006

Contact Us:
We welcome your thoughts and comments on our new electronic newsletter. Please write us:
Bart Reed, Executive Director
Numan Parada, Communications Director

About The Transit Coalition:

The Transit Coalition is a 501[c](3) non-profit whose goal is to increase Transit Options and Mobility in Southern California by mobilizing citizens to press for sensible public policy to grow our bus and rail network.

As a grass roots group, we depend upon your contributions to allow us to pursue our important work, so please donate.

Visit our Discussion Board for the latest dialogue on transit.


bart.reed@thetransitcoalition.us • The Transit Coalition