LA is experiencing one the worst housing crises in our history, and the combination of rising rents and falling incomes is wreaking havoc on low-income people. In January, more than 15,000 families getting CalWORKs and 53,000 individuals getting General Relief were homeless — that’s more homeless people in the county than the entire population of Inglewood, or Burbank, or Santa Monica. LA County has the highest poverty rate in California at 26%, according to the Public Policy Institute of California), and incomes and rents are so out of whack that we have a shortage of over a half million affordable rentals, just in LA County. And 3 out of 4 Metro riders have incomes of less than $25,000/year.Read more
Spent Friday evening with a friend and we started pulling up videos about Los Angeles and then reminiscing about “The Californians,” that soap opera parody in 3 acts with Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, all in blonde wigs. (And photographed here with Mick Jagger in pink.) These friends are enmeshed in a melodrama in which much of the dialogue consists of descriptions of the routes they advise taking to get around traffic in the city, always using a definite article to precede freeways — as in “the 405,” “the 10,” etc. — described in Wikipedia as “characteristic of Southern California English.”Read more
Voting has begun on the LA2050 2015 GRANTS CHALLENGE. VOTE for MOVE LA’S “ANY LINE ANY TIME” student transit pass proposal we could win $100 THOUSAND DOLLARS to mobilize LA County college students to win UNIVERSAL STUDENT TRANSIT PASSES. Here's the LINK. PLEASE VOTE!
Want to know more? Watch our very short video of LA Trade Tech students (at the link above) explaining the benefits (for all of us!) and read our proposal to the Goldhirsh Foundation (same location)!
You can vote for one proposal in each of 5 categories (that’s 5 votes total*): AGAIN, WE ARE IN THE “LEARN” CATEGORY. The others are “LIVE,” “CONNECT,” “PLAY,” and “CREATE.” The goal is to help make Los Angeles a better place in which to live, learn, connect, play and create!
Student transit pass program benefits include:
*Big increases in student transit ridership;
*Big reductions in traffic around colleges and universities;
*Students can save $2,000/year on cost of getting to school;
*Reduced GHG emissions;
*Reduced demand for parking at/around schools;
*Students can also take transit to work and all destinations;
*LA County builds a transit-responsive culture!
THANK YOU in advance FOR YOUR VOTE!
(*Your 5 votes will help 10 organizations win $100,000 each because in addition to the 5 organizations that win the popular crowd-sourced vote a jury will pick another 5 organizations from among the Top 10 vote-getters in each category.)
When Damien Newton called to ask “What’s the best or worse news out of the 2015 Legislative session?” for his #DamienTalks Streetsblog podcast, we told him that it was discovering that Senate President pro Tem Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) is a progressive and effective leader who is both substantive and passionate: We applaud his SB 350 for building on the legacy of AB 32, SB 375 and SB 535 — the 3 bills that made California a climate leader — and SB 767 for giving LA County the opportunity to fund a clean and sustainable public transportation system. THANK YOU SENATOR DE LEON! (Refresher course below.) (Photo is DeLeon at the Griffith Observatory for the signing of SB 350.)
- AB 32 (Pavley) gave the Air Resources Board (ARB) the right to regulate sources of GHG emissions including cars and light trucks (transportation emits 40% of GHGs)
- SB 375 (Steinberg) directed the ARB to set regional GHG reduction targets
- SB 535 (DeLeon) directs at least 25% of GHG Reduction Fund money into projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.
- SB 767 (DeLeon) authorizes Metro to put a sales tax measure for transportation on the 2016 ballot.
The Taxi Fare Finder and Ride Guru app helps locals and visitors who are looking for a ride find out how much it will cost to travel from one location to another by taxi or by rideshare in 2,000 cities around the world, and also posts news about the 2 competing industries. The results from this search, for the price of a ride on a Sunday morning from Move LA's downtown office to LAX is pretty interesting . . .Read more
We were hugely honored to be chosen by the Goldhirsh Foundation and LA 2050 to be a part of a 72-hour “ProduceAthon” hosted by Jasmine Youssefzadeh and her Impact Rising “cultural movement” company. She brought together 15 “creatives”—producers, directors, camerapeople, etc.—5 “tastemakers” and 5 nonprofits under 1 roof in a small house in West Hollywood to make 5 videos that tell stories that “inspire, activate and unite people in support of brands and causes that matter.” In the room were Move LA, CicLAvia, Chrysalis, Spark Los Angeles, and Lift Los Angeles.Read more
Many U.S. cities have implemented robust universal student transit pass programs that reduce student costs and dramatically increase ridership—71% to 200%, according to studies by Donald Shoup and other UCLA researchers. There are several successful programs in LA County, most notably at Cal State Long Beach, Santa Monica College and Mount San Antonio College. In this Streetsblog story Joe Linton writes that while most transit agencies in LA County are seeing ridership decline, Foothill Transit's ridership has increased 3.6%. The reason is the agency's Class Pass program at Mount Sac, which was expanded to the University of LaVerne, and may be implemented at Cal Poly Pomona and Citrus College. Move LA ED Denny Zane helped develop the Santa Monica College program and we are working with LA Metro now to determine the feasibility of a countywide universal pass program.
The LA Times published this story by reporter Kerry Cavanaugh on Tuesday. Sure do like that new Metro CEO.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Phil Washington wants his agency to do more to prepare for gentrification around new transit lines and help prevent the displacement of longtime residents. Washington, who has been on the job for seven months, said too many transportation officials believe their sole responsibility is the transit line and that they have no interest in the development that occurs around the stations. The result is that low-income residents and businesses are often displaced shortly after new transit lines open. “I should care about gentrification,” Washington told the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum on Friday. “I should care about displacement of what, most of the time, ends up being communities of color.” Read more in the LA Times.
This is the latest Move LA Strawman up and in the running for the next transportation sales tax measure. How many people do you think Denny has spoken with by now to get this synthesis of ideas? 500? 1,000? A lot of good ideas in here. And it looks good too! This Strawman was our letter to LA Metro.
Steve Hymon posts another interesting blog on the Source today about a Metro staff report just made public that provides more detail on the possible new “augment and extend” sales tax measure that could raise $120 billion over 40 years if it's put on the ballot in 2016. It would augment 3 existing half-cent sales taxes for transportation with a fourth measure, and “extend” one of the existing sales taxes from a current end date of 2039 to 2057. The 3 existing sales taxes brought in about $2.3 billion this year—40% of Metro’s annual budget—indicating how important local sales taxes are in an era of declining and inconsistent transportation funding from the state and federal governments. Metro has 5 lines under construction now. The story includes links to several other documents: on performance metrics that will be used to help select projects, stakeholder input, subregional project priorities, a roadmap for the LRTP process and more!
Steve notes that LA County’s 9 subregions have already submitted a list of 2,300 "priority projects" that would cost up to $273 billion (!) and that about half the revenues would be distributed to the subregions using a formula based on population and employment. The rest of the money would divvied up among 88 cities and unincorporated parts of the county, and used for transit operations and state-of-good-repair projects, with hopefully enough money left over for the big icononic projects that help sales tax funding measures win: An LA Times story last week called out these 5 iconic projects: extending the subway to Santa Monica and the Crenshaw Line north to Hollywood, building the People Mover to LAX, converting the Orange Line to light rail, and linking the Westside with the San Fernando Valley via a rail line through the Sepulveda Pass.
Metro has scheduled public meetings and focus groups through March, when a draft expenditure plan will have been released, and plans to decide whether to put the measure on the ballot before July.