Weekly Transit eNewsletter
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Volume 2, Issue 1

Welcome to The Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization participates in meetings with key decision makers and community leaders and we want to keep you informed on the latest developments in the transportation scene across Southern California.

In the past two weeks, several articles regarding the Orange Line appeared in both the Los Angeles Times and the LA Daily News. One story dealt with the proposal by Burbank transportation commissioner Paul Dyson to extend the Orange Line to Bob Hope Airport. (See the Dyson presentation and a map of the proposal). Transit advocate Dana Gabbard sent a letter opposing the proposal. A rebuttal by Dyson soon followed. The Daily News threw editorial support for the idea. A second LA Times article reported on a study that showed promising, if meager, reductions in traffic on the 101 due to the Orange Line. Community activists wrote letters to share their opinions on this development.

Here is a list reviewing other recent developments:

December 24: The LA Times featured a possible mixed-used development at the El Monte Busway Station. Officials from the City of El Monte are working with a local developer, MTA and Caltrans, all of whom own property at the station. The bus station, located at I-10 and Santa Anita Avenue, serves several MTA and Foothill Transit bus lines, in particular express bus services to Los Angeles.

January 1: With Metrolink reaching an all-time ridership high of 43,000 passengers, the LA Times reports that Metrolink has asked rail car manufacturers worldwide to submit bids to build 80 to 100 coach and cab cars, which could arrive in 2-1/2 years. What surprises officials even more is ridership has not tapered off even as gas prices have fallen.

January 3: In the LA Times Opinion section was an op-ed by Rick Cole warning about the dangers of the infrastructure bond recently proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger. Of concern was the lack of vision in choosing which projects would move forward and how funds for more highways may further fuel "dumb growth" policies in the state. A letter by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) responds to an editorial supporting the Red Line.

Goals for 2006: The Transit Coalition plans to promote several transportation projects to key stakeholders and decision makers across Southern California during 2006.

One of the most promising projects is the Metrolink Regional Rail concept, a major upgrade of Metrolink service which includes increased number of trains, expanded service hours into the night and weekends, implementation of through service to points other than Los Angeles Union Station and initialization of service between Union Station and LAX/South Bay.

The Transit Coalition plans to get community and political support for an extension of the Orange Line to the Bob Hope Airport Metrolink/Amtrak Station. Additionally, The Transit Coalition will work with local stakeholders to get the MTA improve currently deficient bus service connecting with the Orange Line and promote high-quality feeder bus service from regions west of Warner Center to connect with the Orange Line.

For a more peculiar vision of 2006, please read the annual Year In Transit by Chris "Criswell", a famous transit advocate and futurist.

Upcoming Events: Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday, January 11, 2006, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.

SCAG MagLev Task Force: Thursday, January 12, 11:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los Angeles.

Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday, January 12, 2:30 p.m. Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple St., Board Hearing Room 381B, Los Angeles.

SCRRA (Metrolink) Committee Meetings: Friday, January 13, 10 a.m., SCRRA Offices, 700 S. Flower St., 26th floor, Los Angeles.

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

SFV Economic Alliance Livable Communities Council: Tuesday, January 17, 8 a.m., Economic Alliance Office, Boeckmann-Fleming-Gelb Board Room, 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403. Guest speaker: Bud Ovrom, City of LA Deputy Mayor for the Dept. of Economic Development.

Metro Committee Meetings: Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19, Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

Consider attending our monthly Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, January 24 - 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Philippe The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles CA 90012. ( Map) We hope to see you there!

Metro Board Meeting: Thursday, January 26, 9:30 a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

SCRRA (Metrolink) Board Meeting: Friday, January 27, 10 a.m. SCAG Conference Room, 12th Floor, 818 W. Seventh St., Los Angeles.

RailPAC Annual Meeting: Saturday, January 28, State Rail Museum, Sacramento, CA. Call 888-508-2640 for information.

Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!

Get the Print Edition of Moving Southern California, our monthly newsletter. Request a sample copy.

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. Add yourself to our mailing list and please donate to help us grow.

Visit our Discussion Board for the latest dialogue on transit.

bart.reed@thetransitcoalition.us  The Transit Coalition