As the the cost of education has gone up and the economic fortunes of families have gone down, providing students with universal student transit passes — like Santa Monica College’s “Any Line Any Time” program — seems like a better and better idea. A UCLA study shows these passes can increase student ridership by 70% to 200% and reduce driving by a similar measure. There are empty seats on transit that students could fill. GHG emissions would go down. We could develop life-long transit riders. And the Legislature is deciding what to spend GHG Reduction Fund money on. We are asking the Legislature to set aside $25 million of the GGRF for student passes — which are an eligible expense. 15 LA County community colleges and 20 nonprofit groups have joined us in this “ask” of the Legislature. Read the letter here.
New CA Assembly Speaker will be Anthony Rendon from Lakewood! This means both houses of the CA Legislature will be controlled by Latinos from LA County. Rendon's key concerns are the environment, early childhood education, and he's good on transportation and affordable housing issues: http://www.sacbee.com/…/…/capitol-alert/article33841500.html
Check out the iTransit website and get involved! When Governor Brown convened the Extraordinary Session on Transportation and Infrastructure Development earlier this year, transit wasn't even part of the conversation. It was all about fixing roads -- with Cap & Trade funding! (A notion dismissed by Senate President pro Tem Kevin De Leon, who said "We need serious proposals.") The conversation has come around to including public transportation, and at a press conference in Sacramento this morning, state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) were among those who urged the state Senate to pass 2 bills: SBX1 7 (Allen) would triple the diesel sales tax and raise $300 million annually for transit, including about $85 million for Los Angeles. SBX1 8 (Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo) would triple the diesel sales tax. CLICK on the iTransit link above, add your name and address, and an email will be sent to the senators who represent you! ABX1 8 (Bloom and Asm. David Chiu, D-San Francisco) and ABX1 7 (Asm. Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys) will be considered by the Assembly soon.
Check it out on You Tube Be patient, as 9-year-old Joshua takes a while to wind up into his song. He is singing along with Gabriele Morgan's "LA's Got Lines," and the lyrics she wrote to the well-known spiritual "Dry Bones" -- but her version is about the build-out of LA County's rail system: "The Green Line's connected to the Blue Line/The Blue Line's connected to the Red Line/The Red Line's connected to the Gold Line . . . " What's amazing is that Joshua is singing about what's actually happening (the transit build-out) right before our eyes: Since 1990 we've built and opened the Blue, Red, Green, Gold and Expo lines. Extensions to Expo (Santa Monica) and the Gold Line (Azusa) open next year. And The Purple Line, Crenshaw and the Regional Connector are under construction. It's easy to see why Flor is so excited!
The growing number of seniors in LA County have very similar needs to people with disabilies: In LA County, for example, about a third of those aged 60 or more have at least one disability and may be using canes, walkers and wheelchairs because they have become less physically, cognitively or mentally robust and their hearing, vision or balance may be impaired. Many rely on Access paratransit services, but could use fixed route public transportation if it was more affordable, accessible and reliable. Move LA has been meeting with 150 disability advocates to generate a list priority issues, policies and processes and we have written a letter to LA Metro signed by all the organizations above. Below are 4 objectives that we and advocates believe would result in a more effective use of transportation system resources.Read more
Huge coalition of interests at LA Trade Tech College (LATTC) today to talk about the proposed South LA Transit Education/Empowerment Zone application with U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and LA City Councilmember Curran Price -- and to prep for a visit from HUD Secretary Julian Castro next week. Tough to convince Congress that LA should get a second empowerment zone but it's such a powerful way to bring economic development to neighborhoods that need some (with poverty rates as high as 45.48%)!Read more
Gloria Ohland from Move LA says the future is streets designed for people not just cars. Transportation planning consultant Ryan Snyder wants more and better bus service. Carla de Paz of East LA Community Corporation is worried about gentrification near rail stations. Nelson & Nygaard's Steve Boland calls for transformational change and the willingness to make tough decisions (lanes for cars or bus?). Richard France of ELP Advisors wants quantifiable metrics that prove what works. Sarah Catz of UC-Irvine and Brandman University wants driverless cars. And Hasan Ikhrata of the Southern California Association of Governments reminds us that 4 million more people are arriving in SoCal by 2040 so we'd better get on it right now!
New Metro CEO Phil Washington provides his view on Wednesday, at the Plaza on Olvera Street in DTLA.
CA Transit Running Out of Money When We Need It To Help Meet State's Ambitious GHG and Petroleum Use Reduction Goals
When Governor Brown called for a Special Session on Transportation a few weeks ago it was to find a way to increase the funding to repair streets, bridges and freeways – prompting transit advocates to call for a more balanced approach that would also consider the needs of transit. Transit remains woefully underfunded in California: One recent study found that by 2020 the revenue available for transit will cover just a third of the capital needs and fall 20% short of meeting operating needs. The state hasn’t done a dedicated transportation funding program since Proposition 111 in 1990 (which increased the gas tax to 18 cents/gallon), and the most recent temporary fix was Proposition 1B in 2006, a $20 billion bond that dedicated 25% to transit. At the same time the state has set ambitious goals for requiring reductions in GHG emissions and petroleum use – both of which require more transit since the majority of GHG emissions come from cars and trucks (40% of the statewide GHG total).Read more