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.
We Welcome You: The Transit Coalition invites
you to a special Metro Rail
Customer Conference on Tuesday, October 24.
This is your chance to voice your opinion on current
Metro Rail service. See Upcoming Events below
The U.S. population will hit 300 million in a matter
of days, which has made American families reconsider
the way they travel and the places they choose
to live. Some hope that smart
growth policies will help cities cope with the
Will smart growth come to San Bernardino? Would
it be appropriate? Urban planner expert Jim Mulvihill
believes so. To this effect, the Cal State San Bernardino
professor gave a description of what
smart growth is in a recent op-ed. Mulvihill
warned that existing smart growth projects have
shown mixed results and that further research would
be necessary to determine the practicality of such
Cities not known for public transportation continue
to explore and expand it. Irvine has launched a
study that would determine what
transit options would serve it best, be it streetcars,
monorails or bus rapid transit. Already there is
a proposal to bring
FlyAway service to the proposed Great Park just
east of Irvine.
UC Riverside and the Riverside Transit Agency launched
their no-cost bus and Metrolink pass program
for students. The San Bernardino-based Omnitrans
has grown a great deal since its inception in 1976
and will play a
prominent role in the growth of the region.
Humor columnist David Allen gave kudos
to Metrolink for changing the departure time
of its last train from Los Angeles Union Station
from 11:15 pm to 11:30 pm. The commuter rail service
is considering installing a grade-level
pedestrian crossing at the Camarillo station
to ward off complaints about the cumbersome overpass
currently in use.
is the Palm Springs SunLine Transit
Agency, which narrowly avoided a strike when
it recently reached
agreement with its bus drivers and mechanics
on a new labor contract. To the north, Caltrain
its support for the future Coast Daylight
train Capacity improvements are still needed to
make the Los Angeles-San Francisco train a reality.
The American Public Transportation Association held
its annual meeting in San Jose and celebrated continued
in nationwide mass transit ridership despite
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles transit experience grows
more aesthetically pleasant. Metro completed a remodeling
of its customer center on Wilshire and La Brea,
which at one time used to be a restaurant. The L.A.
the Green Line Aviation station for its whimsical
mix of quotes from poetry and suburban-style furniture.
The Beverly Hills Mass Transit Committee is studying
at least four different alignments for the proposed
Purple Line subway below Wilshire. A town hall meeting
is scheduled for Thursday, October 19.
For better or worse, transportation officials are
working to improve road travel in San Bernardino
County. The San Bernardino Associated Governments
are writing up a wish
list of road projects that could be funded with
money from Props 1A and 1B, which they concurrently
endorsed. Plans are in flux for a major
realignment of a particularly dangerous stretch
of U.S. Highway 395 near Adelanto. Construction
on State Highway Route 330 has begun, and the closure
affecting businesses in the mountaintop community
of Running Springs and increasing
traffic on nearby State Highway Route 18. The
San Bernardino County Sun editorially
lauded Inland Empire officials who are working
to mitigate the effects of the Alameda Corridor
East onto the area.
Nationwide, the U.S Department of Transportation
will explore allowing
trucks from Mexico to travel deeper into the
U.S. as part of a pilot program, much to the chagrin
of truck safety organizations. In Nevada, state
transportation officials showed support
for toll facilities in the state and recommending
a pilot project on I-15 between Nevada and California.
Even as LAX continues to lag in amenities, Chicago
will launch non-stop
rail service to its two airports in two years,
New York La Guardia will have a Borders book store
and Sacramento International Airport will build
a replacement terminal that will house a hotel and
people mover system.
Regarding the ports, a citizens advisory panel will
adopt a policy that would constrain
growth at the Port of Los Angeles. However,
new projects can be built if their benefits outweigh
the pollution they would contribute. Meanwhile,
a small California company is working on smokestack
scrubbers that aim to reduce pollution stemming
from idling cargo ships.
Are transit agencies able to handle the expected
in senior patronage of buses? Many agencies
already have trouble funding existing paratransit
services for the elderly, especially in suburban
areas, where the senior population is expected to
grow the most. The American Association of Retired
Persons reports that 60% of persons over 65 do not
have transit within a 10-minute walk of their homes.
Some agencies have had to cut paratransit service
due to budget constraints. One example is Santa
Clarita Transit, which is offering no-cost
rides for seniors on its fixed-route buses as
a way to divert passengers from its dial-a-ride
Four Weeks Until the Election: The Los
Angeles Daily News vouched
support for Prop 1B but stated opposition to
Prop 1C since the paper felt affordable housing
was a local issue. The San Jose Mercury News
its support for Prop 1B. Officials in San Diego
believe the bonds will give
a shot in the arm for much-delayed transportation
projects in the area. One particular highway that
will be greatly
upgraded with the bonds will be State Highway
Route 99 through the San Joaquin Valley. However,
there is concern that bond measures at state and
local levels have become the
only way to fund any sort of improvements.
Nevertheless, the transportation bonds are gaining
more opposition. The Transportation and Land Use
Coalition expressed its opposition to the bonds,
claiming that state programs would be starved
of funds to pay off the bonds. (The same article
quoted the Bus Riders Union, which claimed that
funds would be better spent on buses instead of
rail.) The Los Angeles Times came out against
Prop 1A, believing it would unnecessarily put a
straightjacket" on gas tax revenues. As
if that wasn't enough, legislators from the Democratic
party have abandoned
a tour to promote the bonds, which have received
modest support in voter surveys.
Regarding local measures, backers of Measure R in
Sonoma and Marin counties, which would install commuter
rail service between the two counties, are having
hard time selling the tax increase to the masses.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
October 3: The Glendale City Council discussed
proposals aimed at reducing traffic congestion
in its downtown area. Proposals include widening
streets like Colorado Street and Central and Glendale
Avenues; installing one-way streets and extending
certain streets to freeways.
October 7: The Port of Long Beach held its
second annual Green
Port Open House. Port officials provided families
and visitors information on technologies and programs
aimed at reducing pollution at the ports. Several
dignitaries were also on hand to speak about these
Transit Coalition Executive Director Bart Reed attended
the RailPAC Southern California Regional Meeting,
which featured LOSSAN and Metrolink Chair Art Brown.
Brown discussed current Metrolink projects, proposals
to expand parking at Metrolink stations, and the
possibility of creating a joint powers authority
between commuter rail lines and the Amtrak Pacific
Surfliner, in the same vein as the Capitol Corridor
JPA in Northern California. A report of this meeting
Upcoming Events: Metro
San Gabriel Valley Governance Council: Tuesday,
October 10, 5 p.m., 3369 Santa Anita Ave. (near
El Monte bus station), El Monte.
Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday,
October 11, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center, Sunset
Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
SCAG MagLev Task
Force: Thursday, October 12,
11:00 10 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th
floor, Los Angeles.
Gateway Cities Governance Council: Thursday,
October 12, 2 p.m., Gas Company ERC, 9240 Firestone
South Bay Governance Council: Friday, October
13, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson
Transit Advocates: Saturday, October 14, 1 p.m.,
Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill St., Los Angeles.
SCAG Goods Movement
Task Force: Wednesday, October 18, 9 a.m., SCAG
Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los Angeles.
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, October 18 and
Thursday, October 19 Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
and Programming Committee: Wednesday, October
18, 1 p.m.
and Budget Committee: Wednesday, October 18,
Management and Audit Committee: Thursday, October
19, 9 a.m.
Committee: Thursday, October 19, 10:30 a.m.
Committee: Thursday, October 19, 12 noon.
Rail Customer Conference: Tuesday, October 24,
6:45 p.m., Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza
(adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles. To participate,
this form and include your first & last
name, mailing address, birth date and gender, as
it would appear on your legal ID, since you will
enter a secure building. Also include your phone
number so we can inform you of any last minute changes.
Also submit any questions you might want to ask.
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting:
Monday, October 25, 9 a.m., Board Hearing Room,
600 Main St., Orange.
Meeting: Thursday, October 26, 9:30 a.m., Board
Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent
to Union Station), Los Angeles.
RailPAC Regional Meeting,
Northern California: Saturday, October 28, 1 to
3 p.m., SamTrans Headquarters, 1250 San Carlos Ave.,
San Carlos, one block from the San Carlos Caltrain
Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!
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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.
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