In other news, Brazil is set to become the top global oil producer by 2035, producing as much as a third of all oil annually thanks to deep oil fields below Atlantic waters. Letters to the LA Timesexpress a mix of opinions on efforts by Metro to accelerate construction of new transportation projects through a proposed sales tax increase, apart from Measure R. Also, the New York subway system is working to provide wireless reception at all of its underground stations by 2017. Just a little south of that, Maryland is moving forward with an extension of the Purple Line light rail service (pictured at left), which would ring Washington, DC to the north and become one the largest transit projects to be built through a private-public partnership.
Things were relatively quiet in terms of public transportation in the Inland Empire during the Thanksgiving weekend. However some private sector bus carriers stood out in the news.
Greyhound for example reported growing popularity of its new bus fleet over the holiday. ThePress Enterprise interviewed waiting passengers at the Riverside Downtown bus terminal and found that they find convenience in taking the bus for their holiday travel needs. Such passengers do not want to put up with the airport madness and expensive fares for short-haul trips. If this growth pattern continues, we may be seeing more robust marketplace competition for intercity bus travel very soon. We advocate for public officials to make both streetside and open bus bays at exiting public transit centers available for the private sector coaches which would considerably improve express bus transit options for riders at minimal public costs.
On a more local level, a free shuttle put together by Lake Elsinore businesses launched on Black Friday to ferry passengers between major destinations in the city. Unfortunately, rainy weather made the opening day not so grand as ridership was light. In the public transit field, it is typical for local city bus routes to experience lighter ridership in the rain. So, there is hope in expanding the city’s local transit services through the private sector. The shuttle does provide additional bus transit options in a transit-dependent region paid for entirely with private capital. So, we hope that this bus does become a success.
In order to collect real-time traffic data, highway maintenance agencies install loops on roads that tally how many cars are passing through a given section of road and at what speed are they traveling. California has 27,000 such sensors installed on the surface of state highways. However, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that 9,000 of these (about a third of the total) do not work. The loops in theory should work for decades if properly maintained. However, repeated resurfacing work on highways, copper theft and general wear and tear are cutting down the life span of these devices. Several apps and websites use data received from these loops to properly inform drivers of traffic snarls and help them choose alternate routes so as to not make things worse for themselves and the traveling public.