Make urban buses fare-free. Only then will urban planning make any sense.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Climate change could cut Western water runoff by 10% -

Climate change could cut Western water runoff by 10% - "Another climate change study is projecting declines in runoff in many parts of the West, a scenario that would put more pressure on the region’s water supplies.

Using new model simulations, scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory expanded on 2007 research that predicted a drier future for the Southwest."

'via Blog this'

When are we going to admit that the private auto is just a bad idea?

$1 billion deal major step in Toyota legal trouble - Houston Chronicle: "The courtroom claims began with a highway tragedy. A California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members were killed in suburban San Diego in 2009 after their car, a Toyota-built Lexus, reached speeds of more than 120 mph, hit an SUV, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames.

Investigators determined that a wrong-size floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MTA: There is Such Thing as a Free Ride! - South Pasadena, CA Patch

MTA: There is Such Thing as a Free Ride! - South Pasadena, CA Patch: "The county's transportation agency on Monday announced free rides on the county's buses and trains on two of the year's worst nights for drinking and driving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will offer the free rides from 9 p.m-2 a.m. both nights."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Phoenix Valley Metro transit bus and light rail services see record-breaking increase in passengers

Phoenix Valley Metro transit bus and light rail services see record-breaking increase in passengers: "PHOENIX - Phoenix transit users have broken the record for the highest-ever recorded number of riders since spring 2009.

According to Valley Metro, there were 7,080,564 monthly boardings among the Valley Metro Bus and Lightrail. That number breaks the record of 6,649,206 passengers in April 2009."

'via Blog this'

Friday, November 9, 2012

Free transit advocate elected mayor of San Diego

Mayor-elect Filner: Everyone should be heard: "After a bruising campaign filled with negative advertising, San Diego mayor-elect Bob Filner said Wednesday he would be bringing a divided city together by opening the doors of City Hall to all and ensuring everyone has a say in civic happenings."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Reason to Welcome Out the Age of Oil…

Another Reason to Welcome Out the Age of Oil…: "A new study by UCLA scientists has shown that even brief exposure to ultra-fine particles found near freeways is enough to boost the tissue inflammation that exacerbates asthma. Air pollution particles one-thousandth the width of a human hair incited inflammation deep in the lungs."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wall Street was major driver behind real-estate get-rich-quick scam

Project S.H.A.M.E.: Recovered History: How Wall Street-Funded Self Help Propaganda Greased the Real Estate Bubble « naked capitalism: "Why would anyone think that buying a $500,000 house in a desert 100 miles away from Los Angeles be good idea, no matter what kind of loan deal you got or how booming the market. What kind of propaganda were these people subjected to?

Well, this book provides a part of the answer: people were explicitly instructed to do so.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner hit the front bookcase displays at Barnes and Noble in March 2006, at the very top of the real estate market and just a few months before the whole thing crashed and burned. Its main message was simple: If you take out a mortgage to buy a home, you will always make money. There is no way you can lose—no matter when you buy, how much you pay or what type of loan you get. And the kicker is: both the book and finance expert who wrote it were bankrolled by Wells Fargo and Bank of America."

'via Blog this'

Friday, October 5, 2012

California Gas Stations Shut as Oil Refiners Ration Supplies - SFGate

California Gas Stations Shut as Oil Refiners Ration Supplies - SFGate: "Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. are beginning to shut pumps as the state’s oil refiners started rationing supplies and spot prices surged to a record."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This Election Season, Americans Pony Up for Public Transpo | Transportation Nation

This Election Season, Americans Pony Up for Public Transpo | Transportation Nation: "The big kahuna of proposals is in Los Angeles, where four years ago voters approved Measure R, a sales tax increase that is expected to raise $40 billion over 30 years for transit, highway, and bus projects. Measure J, which will appear on the ballot this year, would extend the transportation tax another 30 years."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Southern California freeway system a parking lot

PSR-LA | Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles: "I would like Caltrans to analyze and design the project from a health, community and sustainability framework, not just a goods movement framework. Traditional frameworks of building and expanding freeways and roads to move people and goods through the region have gotten us where we are today: with a Southern California freeway system that serves as a parking lot instead of a “freeway.” Our region’s population is expected to grow in the next 20 years. Will the two additional proposed general purpose lanes in the I-710 Corridor Project, sufficiently meet the goals of the project by 2035? More people mean more cars on our freeways, unless we change the framework of our transportation and goods movement planning. "

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 1, 2012

More proof that the auto-system does not work. Public transit should be fare-free.

A 100-Year-Old-Driver Crashes into School Kids. Time to Take Grandpa’s Car Keys? - The Daily Beast: "A 100-year-old driver in South Central Los Angeles allegedly backed his Cadillac into a group of children leaving Main Street Elementary School Wednesday, injuring 11 kids and three adults. After the incident, the driver, Preston Carter, who is cooperating with police and wasn’t injured, told KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, "My brakes failed. It was out of control.” Meanwhile, Carter's 78-year-old daughter Ella Fleming said that her father would not be driving anymore. “I’m so sorry that it happened,” she told the Los Angeles Times, “and I’m thanking God none of them died.”"

'via Blog this'

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fare Play: Transit Rights Are Civil Rights for L.A.’s Bus Riders by Eric Mann — YES! Magazine

Photo by Waltarrrrr
Fare Play: Transit Rights Are Civil Rights for L.A.’s Bus Riders by Eric Mann — YES! Magazine: "So when the city takes money away from the buses, it’s mostly poor people of color who get hurt. That's why we at the Bus Riders Union (BRU), a transit advocacy group with 3,000 dues-paying members and 50,000 supporters, believe it is a violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits government agencies that receive federal funds from using them in a racially discriminatory manner.

We have made that case in court before, and won. Now we’re calling on the president to order the MTA to restore 1 million hours of bus service or risk the loss of federal funds."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The 1% is terrified of peaceful protest - #anaheim

Response in Anaheim, CA, to nonviolent, unarmed, men, women, and children protesting police killings.

Bus Riders Union calls on Obama to restore service hours in L.A. -

Bus Riders Union calls on Obama to restore service hours in L.A. - "Saying that both federal and local officials have mostly ignored their calls for transportation reform in Los Angeles, the Bus Riders Union on Wednesday called on President Obama to help restore about 1 million hours in bus service cuts made over the last several years.

Hundreds of people led by the group rallied outside City Hall and loudly chanted: "President Obama, enforce, restore, expand our civil rights.""

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buses are booming in Hawaii

MAUI TO RECEIVE $800,000 TO BUILD AND REFURBISH BUS SHELTERS | Press Releases | United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye: "“Maui’s bus system is one of the fastest growing public transit systems in the nation and I would like to thank the administration for investing in its’ upkeep and accessibility. These funds will also add sustainable sources of energy to bus shelters while promoting recycling, bicycle use and increased access for those living with disabilities,” said Senator Inouye.

“This important investment will help improve public transportation access for many more people on Maui. I’m especially pleased to see the focus on sustainability, as this proves once again Hawaii can build energy independence and protect our natural beauty while improving our critical transportation needs,” said Congresswoman Hirono, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Runaway Climate Change » Of Our Own Design

Runaway Climate Change » Of Our Own Design: "Each of these feedback mechanisms (and others not mentioned here) would have dire consequences for life on this planet. Taken together, they would reinforce each other and magnify the change in climate. But the gravest concern is that rising temperatures on this planet will lead to a venting of methane from the oceans. It is this possibility which is lamented in the above quotation from Stephen Hawking.

Methane is stored in the deep ocean along the continental margins, in the form of clathrates. These are massive deposits of carbonated slush, where the methane is trapped under pressure in the crystal lattices of frozen water (i.e., ice). Though the oceans hold much more methane than does the tundra, taken together they contain an estimated 2 trillion tons of methane in the form of clathrates.15"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Car dependency is a heavy weight on the backs of the working poor

Riding in Riverside: Cars, Costs, and the Working Poor: "Why do I bring this up? It's about transportation, of course. Back then, what really killed us was unpredictable expenses. We could keep a roof over our head, food on the table, and the lights on, but a large and unexpected bill would really hurt. And, at the time, we were relatively car-dependent. So probably the most frequent large, unexpected bill we received was the bill from the mechanic. We mitigated this to an extent by trading favors with car-handy relatives, but car parts are still expensive. As anyone who has suffered through driving an old, failing car, every strange noise under your hood sounds eerily similar to the sound of money draining from your bank account.

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 2, 2012

Metro to offer free transit to young adults emerging from foster system - LA Daily News

Metro to offer free transit to young adults emerging from foster system - LA Daily News: "LOS ANGELES - Young adults who gain legal independence from the foster care system in Los Angeles County will be offered free public transportation under a new program starting today."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Opponents Of SD Transportation Plan File Legal Arguments |

Opponents Of SD Transportation Plan File Legal Arguments | "Kevin Bundy is an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. He said the plan does nothing to reduce global warming or vehicle-miles traveled. In fact, it allows an increase. It also pushes most transit projects into the last two decades of the plan, which extends out to the year 2050.

"So there's a real conflict between what the SANDAG plan allows, and what the science says is necessary to avoid the worst impacts," said Bundy."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fires hit 9 states as resources strained

Fires hit 9 states as resources strained: "Colo. - A massive wildfire in Colorado burned nearly 120 structures and sent smoke as far as neighboring Nebraska and Texas on Monday as crews in New Mexico also ramped up efforts against a large out-of-control blaze."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Denver - Reduce SOV mileage by 1 million

SOUTHEASTconnections: "The Million Mile Challenge is a program that was developed to increase transit ridership and multi-modal travel usage within the Southeast Corridor of Denver. By working as a community and encouraging one another, we hope to decrease travel in single-occupancy vehicles by 1 Million Miles!"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Students spark uprising in Mexico

Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for World Revolution: "Thanks to that, we organized and set up a march last Friday, attended not only by students from the Ibero, but also from universities such as ITAM and Anahuac. We marched on the sidewalk, without affecting traffic, and shouted slogans to Televisa and other mass media, demanding truthful information and the democratization of the media. We called, this time from many more colleges (public and private), to demand an end to media manipulation and the imposition of a candidate.

Then, we took to the streets, without party, without color, without violence.

#YoSoy132 is no longer a movement of students. Today we are a movement of ALL Mexicans."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oceans in Distress Foreshadow Mass Extinction

Oceans in Distress Foreshadow Mass Extinction: "PARIS – Pollution and global warming are pushing the world’s oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for tens of millions of years, a consortium of scientists warned Monday."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Free Beach Shuttle Service Returning to Marina Del Rey - Marina del Rey, CA Patch

Free Beach Shuttle Service Returning to Marina Del Rey - Marina del Rey, CA Patch: "The Beach Shuttle is back.

Starting May 25, Memorial Day weekend, the free public transportation service will resume ferrying locals from Venice Pier to Playa Vista and back with stops in Marina Del Rey.

Through Sept. 30, the shuttle will run 10 a.m to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and holidays."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 17, 2012

L.A. real-time bus info on your smart phone.

Tailored Pedestrian Ads in WeHo, New Bus-Only Metro App - CurbedWire - Curbed LA: "LOS ANGELES: Sure, Metro has a new app covering its whole system, but if you're looking for the heavy duty bus action, there's a new app called Transit LA "that gives you down-to-the-second wait times for any Los Angeles Metro bus stop. It can show where the bus is in real time, find the stop closest to you, and remember all your favorite stops." The app was created by a local freelance developer who "rode the Metro 40 miles a day" in high school, so he knows of that which he programs. And it's free at the iTunes store. [Curbed Inbox]"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

San Diego candidate for mayor Bob Filner Wants Students To Ride City Transit For Free |

Filner Wants Students To Ride City Transit For Free | "SAN DIEGO — Mayoral candidate and Congressman Bob Filner believes San Diego Unified students should be able to ride the bus or trolley to school for free. He joined other candidates in offering some specifics on what he would do to improve city schools as mayor."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Which climate tipping point will end the human race?

Global Warming is Doubling Bark Beetle Mating, Boosting Tree Attacks Up To 60-Fold, Study Finds | ThinkProgress: "The current MPB epidemic is the largest in history, extending from the Yukon Territory, Canada, to southern California and New Mexico…. To date, more than 13 million ha [hectares] of trees have been killed in British Columbia. The MPB-killed trees in British Columbia alone will release 990 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, an amount equal to five times the annual emissions from all forms of transportation in the country. Forests affected by bark beetles also have altered hydrology and biogeochemical cycles. Thus, extensive beetle kill is altering forest ecology and tipping conifer forests from regional carbon sinks to carbon sources, thereby creating positive feedback for climate-change factors."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Colorado bus system decides that fare-free transit is best

Public calls for transit connections to Blue River, Vail | "A pay-to-ride model won't work for the Summit Stage because fee-collection hardware is expensive to install and would likely hurt ridership in a county where transit users are accustomed to free public transportation, transit officials said.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An experiment in free public transportation worth watching - LA Daily News

An experiment in free public transportation worth watching - LA Daily News: "Would it ease the threat of school-bus funding cuts here? Could encouraging kids to use public transportation break the region's car addiction? Would a loss of revenue in the short run be good business for the Metropolitan Transit Authority in the long run?"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Santa Barbara, an elixir to cure car-itis

Get to Earth Day – Alameda Park Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival: "Alameda Park, where the Earth Day Festival is held, is easily reached on foot or by bike, bus, shuttle or train. Cars are a major source of smog pollution and greenhouses gases contributing to global climate change. Get in the spirit and enjoy car ‘free-dom’ on Earth Day!"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mark Dorosin lists #transit first of 3 biggest issues in Orange County

Mark Dorosin for County Commissioner: "Developing a coordinated strategy and providing active leadership on critical emerging issues: the commissioners must adopt policies that highlight the interconnected nature of key issues and recognize that decisions regarding one directly implicate others.  The three biggest issues facing the county–transit, economic development, and solid waste– require smart, intentional strategies that will work synergistically to ensure that all communities benefit from the decisions that shape the county’s future.  That will require better coordination and leadership both within the county government itself, as well as with other governments in and around the county."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Two weeks a year stuck in traffic. Had enough yet?

Life Without Cars: The New Un-American Dream: "Public transportation doesn’t have to be a squalid affair, he insists. “Done right, [it] can be faster, more comfortable, and cheaper than the private automobile.” He’s convinced this should be playing out across America and indeed across the globe because cars, he says, have imprisoned us.

We spend on average, 16 weeks of our lives stuck in traffic. In Los Angeles, drivers spend an average of 72 hours delayed in traffic every year – equal to almost two full weeks of work. And since the demand for oil is outstripping the world’s supply, he says we’re nuts if we don’t envision a life beyond the automobile."

'via Blog this'

Friday, April 6, 2012

Riverside - Transportation NOW

Transportation NOW: "To advocate for the support of public transportation as an essential component to communities; to support and lobby for funding; to raise awareness of the benefits to businesses and communities of environmentally sound, safe, and energy-efficient transportation alternatives; and to encourage the use of public transportation in Western Riverside County."

'via Blog this'

Friday, March 30, 2012

Senate declines to cut welfare for billionaires

Senate blocks effort to end oil industry tax breaks - "WASHINGTON — The Senate blocked an effort to end billions of dollars in tax breaks for the oil industry, brushing aside President Obama's argument that the five big oil companies were doing "just fine" while consumers were struggling with painfully high gasoline prices."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Colleges prove fare-free transit saves money, trouble

Unlimited Access: "Universities and public transit agencies have together invented an arrangement—called Unlimited Access—that provides fare-free transit service for over 825,000 people at more than fifty colleges and universities throughout the United States. The university typically pays the transit agency an annual lump sum based on expected student ridership, and students simply show their university identification to board the bus. "

  • University officials reported that Unlimited Access reduces parking demand, increases students’ access to the campus, helps to recruit and retain students, and reduces the cost of attending college.
  • Transit agencies reported that Unlimited Access increases ridership, fills empty seats, improves transit service, and reduces the operating cost per rider.
  • The universities’ average cost for Unlimited Access was $30 per student per year.
  • Student transit ridership increased between 71 percent and 200 percent during the first year of Unlimited Access, and continued to increase between 2 percent and 10 percent per year in subsequent years.

Read whole article here:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The MPGe Scam - Death by Car

  The MPGe Scam - Death by Car: "The way in which the MPGe rating is calculated is battery-to-wheels only, meaning that it excludes from consideration the very large losses to heat and resistance in the generation and transmission of electricity. "

'via Blog this'

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gas sends Angelenos flocking to mass transit |

Gas sends Angelenos flocking to mass transit | "Baker says he spends about $18 roundtrip on trains every day, but that it's cheaper than gas.
For other passengers, mass transit isn't only cheaper, it's just more convenient."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

San Diego Reader | "Fletcher Pledges to Make Transit, Cyclist Access a Priority" by Dave_Rice

San Diego Reader | "Fletcher Pledges to Make Transit, Cyclist Access a Priority" by Dave_Rice: "San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher met with cycling advocates on Saturday, February 18, to discuss ways the city could become more hospitable to bicycle commuters. Fletcher told Bike San Diego that he envisions changing San Diego’s motto from “America’s Finest City” to the “World’s Most Innovative City” and that moving away from a car-centric culture to one that embraces multiple modes of transportation, including cycling, plays a part in that evolution."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Too hard to get around here - L.A.

Event examines how to make LA a mobile city again | Kristin Eberhard's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC: "This fall I taught a class at UCLA Law school, and was surprised to hear that many of the students did not plan to stay in LA after graduating. When asked why, the big answer was jobs, but another common answer was “It’s too hard to get around here.” This illustrates something we all know: we can not have a thriving economy that attracts talent and creates jobs if we are choked in gridlock and have no real options for getting around beyond sitting in a car by ourselves, stopped in traffic."

'via Blog this'

Friday, February 17, 2012

Situation normal, all backed up

Westbound traffic crawls on a frontage road next to Interstate 10 east of Cabazon on Sunday. Cars were backed up on the interstate for miles. (Guy McCarthy, Banning-Beaumont Patch / February12, 2012)

Massive 10 Freeway traffic jam evolves into Caltrans scandal - "backed up traffic for about 25 miles Sunday, forcing drivers to endure delays of five hours or more"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bus Ridership Reaches All-Time High in Region - Murrieta, CA Patch

Bus Ridership Reaches All-Time High in Region - Murrieta, CA Patch: "More people are riding the bus than ever before, according to a report released by Riverside Transit Agency, which provides bus services to the Murrieta and Temecula Valley.

Ridership records have been smashed in eight of the last 12 months, adding up to an unprecedented number of RTA bus boardings in 2011, according to a news release from RTA Spokesperson Bradley Weaver."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 26, 2012

SANDAG sprawl plan draws more fire

Harris Files Suit Against SANDAG | NBC San Diego: "Harris said in a statement that the environmental impact report did not adequately address some climate concerns such as pollution.

"The 3.2 million residents of the San Diego region already suffer from the seventh worst ozone pollution in the country,” she said.

Harris is joined in her efforts by Cleveland National Forrest Foundation and Sierra Club, who filed a separate lawsuit last year."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 13, 2012

One parking space costs $140,000

Between the Lines - Features - Los Angeles magazine: "Yet before an auditorium could be raised on K, a six-floor subterranean garage capable of holding 2,188 cars needed to be sunk below it at a cost of $110 million—money raised from county bonds. Parking spaces can be amazingly expensive to fabricate. In aboveground structures they cost as much as $40,000 apiece. Belowground, all that excavating and shoring may run a developer $140,000 per space. "

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 9, 2012

California bill would accelerate transit projects

California bill would accelerate transit projects: "Touted as a way to reduce congestion, a California state lawmaker wants to make sure funding for Los Angeles area transit projects does not dry up anytime in the foreseeable future.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill Wednesday, Jan. 4, to help pay for local transit projects more quickly. If approved by lawmakers, voters in Los Angeles County could soon decide whether to extend the length of the Measure R sales tax authorization."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Epic Five Day #Transit Journey from S.F. to Pasadena

SF Weekly
Reader Mail: Blog Inspires Epic Five Day Transit Journey from S.F. to Pasadena: "Adrienne traveled from San Francisco to Pasadena in five days using only local transit – she made a vacation out of the journey, spending time in Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and Solvang. She arrived the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in her sister’s driveway, just as she planned. Adrienne’s letter is below – Joe also interviewed her for his SF Weekly blog. Now, which of you is going to one-up Adrienne and Joe and go even further using only local buses and trains?"

'via Blog this'

INLAND: Trains and buses leap ahead this year | Breaking News | - Press-Enterprise

INLAND: Trains and buses leap ahead this year | Breaking News | - Press-Enterprise: "Long-discussed transit projects in San Bernardino and Riverside counties will be more than just talk this year — transportation agencies are committed to spend millions either designing or building expansions to local bus and rail systems.
The work will tap funds approved years ago, before the economic recession, as well as recently secured federal dollars."

'via Blog this'