Welcome to The
Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization
participates in meetings with key decision makers
and community leaders and our goal is to keep you
informed on the latest developments in the transportation
scene across Southern California.
Looking for relief from gas prices? Tough luck.
Officials from the Bush Administration revealed
to lower gas prices by halting purchase of oil
for the strategic petroleum reserve and softening
emissions standards. Even so, most concede that
it won't make a real dent and high
gas prices will last for years to come, largely
due to high demand outstripping supply.
Local and regional transit systems are benefiting
from the high prices with an increase in passengers.
Metro recorded record
increases on its bus and rail systems. Metrolink
ridership numbers for March, reaching 39,700
average daily boardings. Smaller systems, such as
the Burbank Bus, are also experiencing ridership
surges. The American Public Transportation Association
commuters to investigate their local transit systems,
use them, and ask their employers about transit
benefits. Failing that, take
The American Lung Association revealed that the
Los Angeles region has the
unhealthiest air in the nation. The Association
noted that the area has improved its air quality
significantly, but still
not enough to protect the health of residents.
Officials took stock of the results to advocate
for a redoubling of efforts to curb emissions, particularly
those coming from automobiles and diesel engines.
(A list of the Top 25 "cleanest" and "sootiest"
cities in the country can be found here.)
The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin praised
the California Air Resources Board for having a
plan to deal with air quality at the ports, which
are the source of much of the air pollution in the
Transit funds in the statewide bond proposal are
being threatened. Now is the time to inform your
state assemblymember and senator that you want these
funds protected and kept in the bond. We have provided
you with a sample
letter you can use as a template to send to
legislators, as well as bullet
points outlining the importance of funding transportation
projects to keep people and goods moving. A list
of state legislators representing Los Angeles
County constituents is also available.
Transportation Commission approved funds for
lanes on the I-5 between the 170 and 118 Freeways.
The same commission also allotted money to key highway
projects in the Inland Empire, including the
widening of I-215 through San Bernardino. Down at
the ports, an oversight policy committee in charge
of studying improvements for the I-710 completed
the first phase of the $3 billion project by releasing
their report detailing a "locally preferred
alternative" for the busy freeway.
Even with the good news for highways in the region,
Malibu continues to grapple with fatal
high-speed accidents on its stretch of the Pacific
Coast Highway (State Highway Route 1) 16 years after
incorporation. However, one phenomenon that has
somewhat stemmed the risk factor is the increase
in congestion along the scenic highway, which in
turn forces drivers to travel at slower speeds.
As if that wasn't enough, Malibu now must also deal
with the looming threat of a possible liquefied
natural gas terminal some 13 miles off its shores.
and vocally demonstrated their unhappiness at
the mere thought during a recent hearing on the
A year after last year's rains created havoc on
Santa Clarita Valley rivers, bicyclists remain
disappointed at the slow speed of progress on
rebuilding two washed-out bike paths. Also disappointed
are Placentia residents who must foot
the bill for the aborted OnTrac project, which
promised to build a trench for railroad tracks and
also revitalize its fledgling downtown area.
San Diego officials continue to search
for solutions to their airport dilemma. A wide
variety of solutions have been presented, and each
of them has their detractors. As far as the North
County Times is concerned, given the limited
options, there can be an airport only at either
Miramar or Lindbergh Field, since the other
proposed sites are too unreasonably far away. The
current tenants of Miramar, the US Marines, are
hotly contesting the option of sharing its facility
with commercial airlines. Lindbergh Field has limited
room for expansion since it is close to downtown
San Diego and next to the bay.
Meanwhile, the new LAX-Union Station FlyAway service
expectations, with over 16,000 boardings during
the first month of service.
Ferrari Crash Round-the-Clock Coverage: A
second arrest was made in the investigation
of the bizarre accident, this time revolving around
accusations that a companion of driver-at-the-wheel
Stefan Eriksson posed as a police officer to purchase
a gun. Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies recently
a gun found at Eriksson's Bel Air mansion but
registered under the name of an Orange County Sheriff
reserve deputy, who in turn received it as part
of a controversial program that is in its own world
of troubles. It was revealed
through court documents that Eriksson paid $1
million down for the Ferrari and two other luxury
vehicles, and financed the remaining two-thirds
of their cost. Eventually, he was unable to pay
the loans and tried to negotiate a new deal with
debtors with little success, as he was desperately
keen on keeping two of only 400 Enzos in existence.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
April 24: The Pasadena City Council approved
a resolution asking Metro to fund operating costs
for the Foothill Gold Line once it is completed.
Two of the eleven cities along the proposed light
rail line have also passed similar resolutions.
April 26: The Los Angeles Daily News
an op-ed by Metro CEO Roger Snoble lauding the success
of Metro in maintaining high customer satisfaction
and low operating costs, but also warned about the
looming deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.
April 27: The California Transportation Commission
the second of two funding packages for the Exposition
Light Rail Line. Metro requested a total of $523
million for the project; $315 million was approved
at this meeting with the initial $208 million approved
last month. The $640 million project is expected
to start construction this summer.
April 28: Transit Coalition Communications
Director Numan Parada attended the second annual
Ohio Rail/Transit Summit in Columbus, Ohio. Members
Aboard Ohio in attendance benefited from four
presentations (one of which is available
online thanks to presenter Carrie Makarewicz)
regarding the present challenges of bringing intercity
rail through the state (known as the Ohio Rail Hub
plan), as well as discussions with representatives
from gubernatorial candidates. Members were then
assigned to meet with staff from state legislators
to express the importance of establishing passenger
trains in the Buckeye State.
April 29: The Riverside Press-Enterprise
the results of a Public Policy Institute of California
study noting that Inland Empire residents have the
dubious honor of having the longest commute times.
The study also noted the great disparity in work
commute times, with some commuters able to travel
closer to their jobs whileothers must travel great
May 1: Immigrant workers and sympathizers
marched along Los Angeles streets to advocate for
their rights. Buses on some of the busiest lines
in the Metro system were affected
as they detoured around crowds.
celebrated its 35th anniversary with the usual and
of its future as the only national passenger
railroad. You can catch up on Amtrak history at
Historical Society website.
Upcoming Events: Metro
Board Meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 9:00 a.m.,
Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza
(adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday,
May 3, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent Center,
6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.
Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday,
May 4, 2:30 p.m., Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration,
500 W. Temple St., Board Hearing Room 381B, Los
Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee:
Thursday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter office,
3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320, Los Angeles.
FOLDED ONTO EXPO LINE COMMUNITY
OPEN HOUSE. See below.
Expo Line Community
Open House: Thur., May 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Dorsey
High School auditorium, 3537 Farmdale Av., Los Angeles
Railroad Days: Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May
7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Pancake breakfast served at 8
a.m.), Fullerton Train Station, 120 E. Santa Fe
California Transit Advocates: Saturday, May
13, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill
St., Los Angeles.
Westside/Central Governance Council:
May 2, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday,
May 10, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center,
Sunset Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
MagLev Task Force: Thursday, May 11, 11:00 a.m.
SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los
Goods Movement Task Force: Wednesday, May 17,
9 a.m., SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor,
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday,
May 18, Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway
Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
Consider attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, May 23
- 6:47 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!
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and comments on our new electronic newsletter. Please
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.
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