Weekly Transit eNewsletter
Monday, December 26, 2005
Volume 1, Issue 3

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.

Event: Tuesday, December 27, 2005--Plan on joining us for our monthly Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting Tuesday - 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Philippe The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles CA. 90012. ( View map) ( Meeting Details) See you there!

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

Here is a list reviewing this week's developments:

December 16: Transit Coalition Vice-President Jerard Wright met with City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for a special late afternoon meeting. While details of the meet are not public yet, watch for a possible further announcement in mid-January.

December 19: Transit Coalition friend and RailPAC Director and City of Burbank Transportation Commissioner Paul Dyson has proposed extending the Orange Line busway from North Hollywood to Burbank's Bob Hope Airport at a meeting of the seven-member commission. This proposal was recently given to the Sun Valley Rotary Club. (More about the Dyson presentation and a map of the proposal). ( Daily News Editorial)

December 20: The Transit Coalition was on the scene at the Economic Alliance of San Fernando Valley Livable Communities Meeting. An open discussion was held on "Think Macro Act Micro" on reinventing Land Use / Reuse in the San Fernando Valley Region. (Full Report next week)

December 21: Full Time Bus and Rail Rider Bart Reed was quoted in a Front Page LA Times analysis " Crime in L.A. Drops for 3rd Year in a Row" on his perceptions on neighborhood safety.

Plans to kick-start a regional airport system took a step back this week when both the Times and Daily News reported that the only carrier at Palmdale Regional Airport will end service in March. The Transit Coalition continues to press its campaign to extend Metrolink service from LA Union Station to Los Angeles International Airport and the South Bay to create a Regional Rail Road to connect Southland Airports.

December 22: New York City Transit Workers ended their three-day strike and returned to work. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says area businesses lost $1 billion in revenue during the transit strike.

December 23: Bicycle advocates, including members of LA County Bicycle Coalition, Velo Club La Grange, City of Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and The Transit Coalition met with Doug Failing, Caltrans District 7 Director and his staff. The meeting was called to explore ways that the agency can work more closely with cycling advocates and other road users to find collaborative solutions to long-standing concerns. (Full Report next week)

Thoughts of a Red Line extension west along Wilshire Blvd. remain a major buzz around Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times ran a thoughtful editorial examining the complete financial challenges. Then supportive Letters to the Editor followed in the Times and Daily News responding to these subway tunneling ( APTA Report to MTA Board) stories in the Times-1, Times-2 and Daily News. The Times looks at funding source possibilities: either SB-314 or the proposed infrastructure bonds.

Reflections: Let us look back on this year's major transportation milestones:

Orange Line: The Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley opened on October 29 to great praise and some serious concerns. The lusciously landscaped busway, complete with a parallel bikeway, lured over 16,000 daily riders in November. However, numerous accidents with wayward cross vehicles have soured the mood, to the point where Orange Line buses must now slow at intersections, thus increasing travel time. A lack of frequent bus connections at its stations is also problematic. ( Infrequent Bus Connections to Orange Line Map)

Expo Line: With the certification of the Final EIS/EIR of the Exposition Light Rail Line on Thursday, Dec. 15, Metro and the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority will move onto engineering and construction of this long-awaited line. Construction may begin as early as Spring 2006, and its grand opening is scheduled for 2010. ( Times, Daily News)

ELA Gold Line: And finally, the Eastside Gold Line Extension ( Report to Metro Construction Committee) moves at a steady pace despite setbacks. Several columns that will support the light rail bridge over the 101 Freeway are complete, as well as the assembly of the tunnel boring machines. Just last week, Mayor Villaraigosa dropped in at Mariachi Plaza at First and Boyle streets to mark the start of tunnel boring under First Street. However, there were issues regarding the discovery of graves along the construction path, as well as an ongoing dispute with the LAUSD over the Ramona School property.

Want to know our goals for next year? What transportation enhancements should you expect in 2006? Find out in next week's newsletter!

Upcoming Events: Don't forget our monthly Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 and Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 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