Tag: los angeles

LA gets late night rail transit

This announcement surprised me, but it’s great to see. When I was in LA earlier this year for a concert, I was able to enjoy a new policy that had recently been implemented (trains every ten minutes until midnight) but had to worry about not missing the last train.

That’s no longer the case. LA obviously has a whole lot of nightlife, and while buses that run 24 hours have been available, there’s an extra comfort in knowing the subway is there for you too.

From the official Metro blog:

All Metro Rail lines will run until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. That includes the Red/Purple Line subway, the Blue Line, Expo Line, Green Line and Gold Line. Click to read more!

Reaction to LA bag ban shows same old story

Just a couple of days ago, the city of LA decided to implement a ban of disposable plastic bags over the course of the next year. The news caught me by surprise, as I try and follow developments regarding movements to ban or tax plastic bags.

What didn’t catch me by surprise are the comments that followed the decision. I’d seen them all before.

The reason is, it’s just another example of how in the internet age, ideas still travel slowly. When I wrote that just a week ago, I focused on transportation projects, but the bag ban is the exact same deal.

Banning or taxing plastic bags isn’t a new idea, not even in the US. According to a 2010 article, when LA County (this time it’s the city) banned the bags… Click to read more!

One more post about Reason and Expo

I know I said any time spent discussing the Reason article proclaiming terrible Expo Light Rail ridership is time wasted, and yet here I am, typing away. They’ve gone out of their way to link to me, so I might as well point out a couple more problems I have with their critique of the Expo line. But then no more, I’ve got too much of a backlog of stuff I’ve been wanting to talk about.

Here is their response to my previous post on the subject, which Streetsblog picked up on.

The too-early-to-judge complaint is one you hear all the time about rail, but curiously never about cars, movies, burgers, condominiums, software, new fashion lines, tech gadgets, or pretty much any other product that is brought to market. For all the palaver about “soft launches,” “slow rollouts” and the like, your opening sales figure is almost always a good indicator of how you’re going to do over the Long Tail. That’s why they call it the “Long Tail” and not the “Long Trunk” or the “Long Opposable Thumb.” Click to read more!

Reason Foundation makes a hilarious claim about the Expo line

Does intellectual dishonesty make you mad? Then sit down and enjoy a hearty laugh instead, this* article is so bad it deserves nothing more than an extended chuckle.

*(that’s where the hyperlink would usually be)

The article starts with grand claims, claims that any reporter can latch onto quickly to create a firestorm. Make no mistake, the following paragraph was carefully written to create as much outrage as possible in one easily digestible scan.

Los Angeles’ brand new $930 million Exposition light rail line is carrying so few riders and bringing in so little revenue that it will, at best, take 65 years for the train to earn back its capital investment (not including ongoing operating costs). If the project completes its next phase and establishes an at-grade train that runs through heavy street traffic from Downtown L.A. to the city of Santa Monica, it will not pay for its construction for 170 years. Click to read more!

Can it really be? Expo line finally opens

It finally happened. After delayed and more delays, the Exposition Light Rail line in Los Angeles has finally opened.

The first public Expo Line passenger train was a sweep train departing from 7th/Metro at 4:54 am on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

I’ve written about the line three times before, and it was always about the never-ending delays.

9/19/2011 Expo line delays should not be tolerated
11/26/2001 Expo line to miss 2011 opening
3/24/2012 Endless Expo delays coming to an end…?

See a theme?

Originally scheduled for a summer 2010 opening, the line was delayed and delayed and delayed again. The mayor finally set in stone an April 29th opening, and it looks like that official announcement was enough to motivate the contractors to finally do their jobs. Click to read more!

Endless Expo delays coming to an end…?

I’ve written about construction progress on the Expo line in LA twice before. Both times it was to complain about the amazing continuous delays faced by the line. The expo line is a new light rail line that will connect downtown LA, USC, Century City and (eventually) Santa Monica. The line was supposed to open in 2010 but hasn’t yet.

Now a date has finally been announced, but Metro is keeping with the theme of treating their shiny new rail line as some kind of Disney attraction, and not a critical piece of transportation. They’ve chosen a launch date that actually minimizes the lines use. Click to read more!

A transit trip to LA – Amtrak, Metro, Universal

Some thought from my weekend trip to LA to see a concert at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal.

Including thoughts on Amtrak’s San Joaquin, the LA subway and the infrastructure around Universal City.

Note: My D key is not always working, I’ve done my best to find errors, but I may have missed one or two.

I’ve ridden the San Joaquin many times before, but I was surprised to see something I hadn’t seen – a train car that wasn’t the standard California Car I’m used to. It was made fairly obvious by the fact that there was only one boarding door, and it was baggage only. Click to read more!

Rail fares are worth it for the safety benefits alone

This past weekend, I attended a college football game at the LA Coliseum with family to watch USC beat UCLA by an enormous margin. With a kickoff at 7:15pm, the game didn’t end until around 10:30pm. That means we did not hit the highway to leave LA until 11:30pm, for the 4 hour drive back to Fresno.

During that drive, a realization hit me like a wall. A wall of fog. Bad fog. Those who think it gets foggy in San Francisco or London have no idea what it’s like to experience the Central Valley’s Tule fog, which can decrease visibility to zero.

The visibility in Tule fog is often less than 1/8th of a mile, about 600 feet, but can be less than 10 feet. Visibility can vary rapidly in any area, with sudden decreases to near zero in only a few feet. It is situations like these that often lead to multi-car accidents where one car follows another into a fog bank. Click to read more!

Expo line to miss 2011 opening

I’ve been following construction progress on the Exposition Light Rail line in Los Angeles for a couple of reasons. One, is because it’s one of the most exciting transit extension projects happening in this country, hitting a very dense, under-served, and populated area that deserves fast rail access. Two, is because my sister goes to USC, and the line will serve the campus at multiple points, offering students a quick and cheap ride to downtown This will allow students to comfortably live further from campus…never mind the enormous benefits to faculty and staff who will see better commuting options. Click to read more!