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.
Come To These Events: The Institute for Transportation
& Development Policy will host a conference
featuring Enrique Peñalosa, the former Mayor of
Bogotá who embraced "smart growth" concepts
his city. Also, the Beverly Hills Mass Transit
Committee will hold a meeting regarding the proposed
subway extension. See Upcoming Events below
And So It Has Happened: On Sunday, October
29, the Consent Decree was no more. U.S. District
Court Judge Terry Hatter, who supervised the implementation
of the Decree during its ten years of existence,
ordered on Wednesday, October 25, that the Decree
served its purpose and will not be extended."
Metro CEO Roger Snoble
noted that the agency no longer has to go to court
to bring bus improvements. The Los Angeles Daily
News celebrated the development with an editorial
expressing a more efficient future for Metro. One
letter to the editor believed
that the end of the Decree would signal even more
bus improvements. The Bus Riders Union, which got
the Decree through its parent group the Labor/Community
Strategy Center, warned that fare
hikes and service reductions are imminent. However,
Hatter said that he would continue to monitor a
four-year plan to increase bus service.
Officials sang praises for the Orange Line busway,
which celebrated its first year of service. The
"train on rubber wheels" currently logs
daily boardings, contrary to Metro projections
suggesting it would board only 7,000 daily in the
first year. The success is quite
apparent when one visits the North Hollywood
station, where throngs of passengers get off the
sleek Metro Liners and transfer to the Red Line
subway. The celebration comes as some are downplaying
a recent accident that injured 17 passengers. The
Daily News also celebrated with an editorial
praising its cost-effectiveness and improved safety
To augment this celebration, the Metro Board moved
forward with a plan to rehabilitate the Lankershim
Depot at the eastern end of the Orange Line. The
City of Los Angeles will transfer the project to
Metro and provide the necessary funds to complete
it. Metro hopes to turn the historic site into a
customer service center.
Metro Investment Report came out with several
articles regarding transportation issues. LA Deputy
Mayor of Transportation Jaime de la Vega lauded
developments regarding the LAX Master Plan and the
resurrection of the Southern California Regional
Airport Authority. (Also mentioned is a short quip
about a possible Green Line extension, though de
la Vega also envisions an Expo Line extension using
the Harbor Subdivision.) Gloria Molina wrote an
article describing the
successes and challenges Metro faces today.
Congressmember Adam Schiff expressed that tough
times still lie ahead before California gets
the federal transportation funding it deserves.
In other developments, the City of Los Angeles calculated
that as much as $164
million in parking tickets remains uncollected.
Ventura County officials unveiled new
gates and signals at two deadly railroad crossings
in Somis. To the north, BART is testing "near
field communications" technology that could
one day allow passengers to bypass ticket machines
and have their fares debited through
a wave of their cell phones over the fare gates.
Planetizen columnist Steven E. Polzin provides
connection between transportation use and the
obesity epidemic. Recent studies in Britain showed
that its citizens are increasingly obese, despite
living in historically compact cities with ample
transit, throwing a wrench in the belief that such
compact development aids in health.
An update on Eastside Gold Line construction as
well as the future Canoga Park Orange Line station
Shameless Plug Redux: A research team will
conduct a focus group on pedestrian issues in Los
Angeles. The 90-minute session will be held on one
evening during the week of November 6. If you are
a pedestrian in LA, this is an opportunity to have
your views and perspectives heard on the topic of
pedestrian safety around transit buses. Participants
will earn $40 for their time. If you are interested
in participating, and are a pedestrian and bus rider,
please contact Jennifer Rephlo at email@example.com
or 703-676-2407. Space is limited, so those who
respond will be screened on a first-come first-served
One Week Until the Election: Transportation
officials in the San Gabriel Valley expressed
hope that the bonds will pass. Foothill Transit
in particular could reap $49.2 million in bond funds.
Others believe that the
bonds could build the Foothill Gold Line, the
Purple Line subway to Santa Monica and improvements
on the 710 Freeway, just to name a few wish-list
projects. Attendees at the recent Mobility21 summit
also hoped that voters
approve the transportation bonds.
The Ventura County Star came out in support
of Proposition 1A, while the Los Angeles Times
four of the five bond measures on the ballot, including
Proposition 1B. The Odyssey organization
provided its endorsement
for the two bonds. Meanwhile, guest columnist Maria
a plug for the two transportation bond measures
while elaborating her experiences on Metro and LADOT buses.
The Transit Coalition has a short
summary of Props 1A and 1B, and you can visit
The REBUILD California
Plan for more information.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
October 24: Long Beach Transit
birth of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up
her seat to a white man 51 years ago and is often
considered the mother of the civil rights movement.
To celebrate, the front seats of 220 buses were
adorned with a black ribbon and a placard memorializing
Rosa Parks, as well as cards telling her story.
Metro held a Rail Customer Conference to discuss
various improvements completed and in progress.
Rail Operations representatives discussed the new
2550 train cars that are capable of running on all
three light rail lines, major communications upgrades,
safety issues on the Blue Line, speed issues on
the Gold Line and connectivity with the Red Line.
October 25: The California Air Resources
Board and the California Highway Patrol joined forces
down on trucks emerging from the ports. The
team set up three checkpoints around the ports and
inspected 128 trucks for emissions control compliance.
20 of those trucks were cited for emissions and
mechanical violations and their drivers could be
subject to fines.
October 26: To celebrate its 14th anniversary,
Metrolink identified Van Nuys resident Andrew Sanchez
as its 100
millionth rider. Sanchez was bestowed with prizes
including a four-night cruise to Baja California
at the Anaheim station. Other riders had a chance
to win one of seven Metrolink monthly passes at
no cost. The commuter rail agency expected to reach
the milestone next year, but ridership increases
pulled the anticipated event closer.
October 27: Two Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU)
on the track of the future Sprinter line for
the first time. Veolia Inc., which will operate
the Sprinter trains, performed compatibility tests
along a half-mile of track to ensure that its computer
systems would accurately record train movements.
The DMUs were specifically designed to meet California
emission standards and are narrower in gauge than
their European counterparts.
October 28: Transit Coalition Executive Director
Bart Reed attended the RailPAC regional meeting
in San Carlos. The meeting mainly discussed Caltrain
electrification but also referred to plans for the
Coast Daylight train between Los Angeles
and San Francisco, which could launch as early as
2008. A complete report of the event is now
available courtesy of RailPAC secretary Russ
Jackson. (A report of an earlier meeting between
RailPAC President Paul Dyson and new Amtrak President Alex
Kummant is also
Upcoming Events: Metro
San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday,
November 1, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent
Center, 6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.
Angeles Chapter Sierra
Club Transportation Committee:
Thursday, November 2, 7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter
office, 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320, Los Angeles.
Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday,
November 2, 2:30 p.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
Hills Mass Transit Committee Town Hall Meeting:
Thursday, November 2, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Hills City
Hall, Council Chambers, 455 N Rexford Drive, Beverly
Hills. The Mass Transit Committee will present its
findings and seek public input before developing
a final recommendation for City Council consideration.
Support for the subway at this meeting is critical,
so those who wish voice their support should attend.
Annual Conference: November 5-8, Marriott Magnificent
Mile Hotel, 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago,
Transit Vehicle Consortium Meeting: Monday,
November 6, 12 noon, Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
Speed Rail Authority Public Meeting: Wednesday,
November 8, 10:30 a.m., State Capitol Building,
Senate Hearing Room 3191, Sacramento.
Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday,
November 8, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center, Sunset
Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
SCAG MagLev Task
Force: Thursday, November 9, 10:00 a.m. SCAG
Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los Angeles.
Gateway Cities Governance Council: Thursday,
November 9, 2 p.m., Gas Company ERC, 9240 Firestone
South Bay Governance Council: Friday, November
10, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson
Transit Advocates: Saturday, November 11, 1
p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill St., Los
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting:
Monday, November 13 and 27, 9 a.m., Board Hearing
Room, 600 Main St., Orange.
An Evening With
Enrique Peñalosa: Monday, November 13, 5:00
p.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway
Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
As Mayor of Bogotá, Peñalosa built the world's premiere
Bus Rapid Transit system and hundreds of kilometers
of sidewalks, bicycle paths, pedestrian streets,
greenways, and parks. Neighborhood residents, business
owners, policy-makers, students, advocates fighting
childhood obesity, and anyone else who wants a more
livable Los Angeles is welcomed to attend. Tickets:
$15 - 50 suggested donation per person; $10 per
SCAG Goods Movement
Task Force: Wednesday, November 15, 9 a.m.,
SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, November 15 and
Thursday, November 16, Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
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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
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