Weekly Transit eNewsletter
Monday, December 19, 2005
Volume 1, Issue 2

Welcome to The Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization has participated in several meetings with key decision makers and community leaders over the past week and we want to inform you on the latest developments in the transportation scene across Southern California.

Note: If you are reading this for the first time, you can still read the prior edition.

Here is a list reviewing this week's developments:

December 8: Caltrans released the Final Environmental Impact Report and Statement (FEIS/EIR) of the Los Angeles Union Station Run-Through Project and is available for public review. This project would extend four of Union Station's existing tracks southward and provide a new connection into the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway tracks on the west side of the Los Angeles River. It would provide a faster and more efficient movement of Metrolink and Amtrak trains into and out of Union Station. ( Complete Report)

December 9: The Transit Coalition attended the monthly Southern California Regional Rail Authority meeting. CEO David Solow celebrated the increase in ridership on Metrolink trains with the announcement of Metrolink's highest one-day ridership of 43,000. However, Solow added that the lack of locomotives and cars might threaten this increase in ridership in the future. Metrolink staff recommended disposing certain locomotives originally intended as a source for parts to rebuild 3 Amtrak locomotives and, should they be sold, to use the funds to buy reconstructed locomotives for regular use. ( Complete Report) ( Meeting Agenda)

December 10: Bart Reed, Executive Director for The Transit Coalition, met with Barry Groveman, Mayor of the City of Calabasas, to discuss transportation needs in the area along the U.S. 101 Corridor. ( More)

December 12: Bart Reed met with Robert L. Rodine, transportation expert for The Polaris Group, in a wide ranging discussion of various transportation proposals stretching across Southern California. Reed also focused on a proposal to extend the Orange Line to Bob Hope Airport Metrolink / Amtrak Station. (More)

Later in the evening, The Transit Coalition participated in the Angeles Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee. The Committee expressed its intent to focus on several issues that will take center stage in 2006, including transportation funding, the update of Metro's Long Range Transportation Plan, ways to facilitate transit ridership, and the Orange County Toll Road and Tunnel proposals. Also, the Committee agreed to meet on the first Thursday of each month, starting January 5, 2006.

December 13: Special Master for the Consent Decree Donald Bliss released a second ruling, siding with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The ruling dismissed the demands of the Bus Riders Union to reinstate 10 of 13 bus lines that were cancelled between 2003 and 2005. Bliss previously sided with Metro in a November 30 ruling when Metro released its New Service Plan, which the agency plans to implement well past the end of the ten-year agreement. ( Complete Report)

The Transit Coalition attended the bimonthly City of Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting. The meeting focused on progress on new bike lanes and paths and evaluated the opening of the Orange Line bikeway. Staff also reported progress on installing equipment on streets and bikeways, including "Share The Road" warning signs and call boxes geared to bicycle users. ( Complete Report)

December 14: The Los Angeles City Council voted to suspend a portion of the Wilshire Boulevard bus-only lane demonstration project until the County of Los Angeles installs a similar bus lane in adjacent county territory. Should the County extend the bus lanes to the 405 Freeway, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation will restore the peak-only bus lanes. The Council also reaffirmed its commitment to keep the remaining bus lanes in West Los Angeles and extend them east to Western Avenue. The West LA Chamber is not pleased. ( Complete Report)

December 15: The Metro Board certified the Final EIS/EIR of the Exposition Light Rail Line. The line will run 9.6 miles from 7th Street/Metro Center to a temporary station east of Venice and Robertson Boulevards in Culver City. Ridership projections and attempts to receive additional federal funding delayed the Final Environmental Report from being sent to the Metro Board for approval. With this certification, Metro and the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority will move onto engineering and construction, which may begin as early as Spring 2006. ( Complete Report) ( LA Times, Daily News-1 & Daily News-2)

Earlier that day, Mayor Villaraigosa dropped in at Mariachi Plaza at First and Boyle streets to mark the start of tunnel boring for the Eastside light rail extension.

December 16: Congressmember Henry A. Waxman, (D-West L.A.) a long time powerful opponent of building a Westside subway along Wilshire Boulevard, reversed his position and is going to introduce legislation to lift a prohibition against tunneling. ( LA Times, Daily News)

Upcoming Events: 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. ( Map) See you there!

Southern California Transit Advocates, Saturday, January 14, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm 422, 255 S. Hill St., Los Angeles.

RailPAC Annual Meeting: Saturday, January 28, 2006

Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!

Get the Print Edition of Moving Southern California, our monthly newsletter. Send your contact information and complete mailing address to: Print Newsletter

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