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Everybody Into the Subway!

April 29, 2011 in Biking in LA, Mass Transit

Did you know there was a bike ban on Metro Rail during rush hour? That ban is gone, effective immediately. The Source wants to know how you feel about that.

With gas prices surging, the city’s renewed interest in a viable bike network, and increasingly popular events like CicLAvia, this can only be a good thing.

But, exactly how will Metro handle the possible flood of fixies? There has been some talk of removing seats from rail cars.  Instead of simply placating cyclists, why not encourage them by going a step further?

What Metro needs now is a multimodal rail car with bike storage. Sound far fetched? Plans were drawn up in 1976.

Archiving Angeles (AA): Wilshire & Crenshaw

March 12, 2010 in History

A subway station? Here? Such a debate would have been absurd at a sleepy little corner like Wilshire & Crenshaw.

The year was 1934.

Photo from the USC Digital Library

Cell Phone Service Coming to Red & Purple Lines

December 30, 2009 in Mass Transit, Technology

more bars

If Metro gets its way, you may soon be playing @foursquare deep in the bowels of the L.A. subway.

The Source is reporting that the agency is moving forward on the development of a request for proposal that will be sent out to private firms to outline the agency’s requirements.

I cannot wait until the day when I can tweet about meth-induced stupidity on the Red Line.

Metro Has Voted to Vote to Study Downtown Subway Connector

January 15, 2009 in Mass Transit, Twitter

Metro Facebooked me again.

This time, it was about the Regional Connector project for Downtown Los Angeles. It will connect the Blue Line from Long Beach to the Gold Line – wherever and whenever it ends. It will also connect to the Expo Line that may or may not reach Culver City, and the Purple Line, which is slated to reach Westwood 20 years after the end of the world.

From the inbox:

We invite anyone who is interested to let the Board know how they feel about moving the Regional Connector project into the next phase — a Draft EIR/EIS.

Hmm. How do I feel about Metro moving forward? On better public transit for L.A.? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s not that urgent. Let me take a vote around the office and get back to you.

L.A. County Asks For Beach Restroom Bailout

January 14, 2009 in Mass Transit, Politics, Twitter

President-Elect Obama has a big stimulus package. Los Angeles County Supervisors want a piece of it.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles County officials are proposing projects that include more than $25 million to create renewable solar energy sources for county operations, $8 million to computerize some medical records at county health facilities and $186 million to pave roads.

You can download the entire list of proposals (.pdf) here.

In their request for federal funding, L.A. Supervisors included a eyebrow-raising variety of “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects for the region, such as:

  • $8,000,000 for solar power projects in various parks
  • $350,000,000 for new female detention facilities
  • $90,000,000 for a new data center
  • $4,083,000 for the replacement of large park lights with induction lights
  • And $220,000 for a beach restroom solar powered lighting program

And that, friend, is why is takes 23 years to build 10 miles of subway.

Photo from silatix’s photostream

Archiving Angeles (AA): Hollywood Subway Opens

January 9, 2009 in History, Mass Transit, Twitter

The first interurban rail line ran from Los Angeles to Pasadena. It opened in 1895.

33 years later, The Pacific Electric Railway was operating over 1000 miles of track and 2700 trains daily.

It was another milestone. It was the opening of the Hollywood Subway. The year was 1928.

Photo from the USC Digital Archive

Metro: Whoops. Nevermind.

January 8, 2009 in Mass Transit

The LA Times’ Steve Hymon is reporting that Metro’s board has decided to postpone their vote on that long range plan with timetables that only Buck Rogers could relate to. They’re hoping that. in the next few weeks, a newly inaugurated President Obama will write us a check to pay for a bunch of new rail lines, which will speed things up.

Good save, Metro.

Metro Irritated; Facebooking Us Events We Cannot Attend

January 8, 2009 in Mass Transit, Twitter

How dare you. You have no right to be upset that 10 miles of subway were going to take 23 years to build.

After calling Metro out for lack of vision, urgency, and ability to communicate in a timely manner, they have retaliated by… Facebook-inviting me to meetings held at inconvenient times for the average working individual. Oscar Robert sent me two FB invites to meetings of the Metro Board of Directors. Of course. I would love to attend.

The first meeting is Wednesday, January 14 at 1:00pm.
The second is Thursday, January 22 at 9:30am.

Really? C’mon, Metro. Some of us still have jobs. If you genuinely wanted participation from the tax-paying citizens of LA, you would have meetings that are convenient for us to attend. Not ones that you schedule during your own office hours.

I know there are some really good people at Metro that are probably as frustrated as the rest of us by this ongoing cycle of foot-dragging and general stupidity. The question is, when is someone going to be held accountable for this agency’s failures to serve the public that is paying for Measure R?

We want answers, Metro. Not more questions.

Metro Explains Why Subway Will Take Forever

January 8, 2009 in Mass Transit, Twitter

Yesterday, I asked Metro a few questions regarding their new timetables for several projects, including the Subway to the Sea. Today, Rick Jager from their Media Relations department answered:

1. Besides funding issues, why is the completion of the Purple Line to Santa Monica expected to take so long?

The next steps before subway construction could start are estimated to take 2 to 3 years. This includes full environmental review, approvals, engineering and design. We then estimate that construction could take about 7 years (1) depending on what the final project ends up being & (2) if all funding is available.

The funding generated by Measure R will come in over a 30 year period and therefore the schedules are based on an allocation of these revenues to many projects over the life of the sales tax. The schedule for the Westside project which identifies completion to Westwood by 2032 is driven more by the availability of funding than the time needed to construct. The actual time needed to construct the Purple Line Extension to Westwood would be considerably less than 23 years.

2. Does the projected completion date of 2032 to Westwood include the Pink Line extension from Hollywood/Highland (Alternative 11)? If not, how would that affect the Westside timetable?

Read the rest of this entry →

Metro: Um… We’ll Get Back To You

January 7, 2009 in Mass Transit

There has been quite a reaction to yesterday’s news regarding Metro’s construction timetables for new rail lines in Los Angeles. One of the biggest outcries comes at word that the Subway to the Sea – the Purple Line that currently terminates at Wilshire & Western – won’t even reach Westwood until the year 2032. Naturally, a lot of us had questions.

Jody Litvak of the Metro Westside Extension Study Team joined in on the comment section to update us on the Subway to the Sea’s progess. I shot her an email with a few questions:

1. Besides funding issues, why is the completion of the Purple Line to Santa Monica expected to take so long?

2. Does the projected completion date of 2032 to Westwood include the Pink Line extension from Hollywood/Highland (Alternative 11)? If not, how would that affect the Westside timetable?

3. With the city’s population expected to increase dramatically in the next 30 years, why aren’t there more projects on the drawing board, such as a possible SGV-SFV line connecting Pasadena-Glendale-Burbank-Universal-Sherman Oaks to connect with the 405 corridor?

Jody responded by referring me to Rick Jager at Metro’s Media Relations Department. I repeated my questions to Rick, which elicited the following response at 2:39 this afternoon:

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Bus-Only Wilshire Lanes: Time For Meetings

November 7, 2008 in Mass Transit

Who needs to wait 20 years for a Wilshire subway when you can go by … bus?

@ginnycase reminds us of the upcoming Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit Project Community Meetings.

Los Angeles, Metro, and LA County are looking at dedicated curbside bus lanes during the morning and evening rush hours. Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles facing the Wilshire project is the fact it does not include the City of Beverly Hills. Ack!

Photo from LA Wad’s photostream

Meeting info. after the jump.
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NBC Needs Ventura Boulevard Subway

October 9, 2008 in Mass Transit, Politics

There is growing opposition to the NBC West Coast Headquarters project planned for the lot above Metro’s Universal Station. Some say it will be too big and create a traffic nightmare. That is why NBC needs to push for expanding rail transit in the Valley. Rail that goes in more directions, to more places.

That is why NBC needs to push for a Ventura Boulevard subway.

Just last year, both Tom LaBonge and Zev Yaroslavsky started to complain that this project was too big for Universal/Studio City/North Hollywood or whatever city your post office calls the area. They claim that this quaint little neighborhood of amusement parks, freeway interchanges and car dealerships cannot withstand such a massive development. It will be traffic hell. Read the rest of this entry →