The Federal DRIVE Act Is The Senate EPW's Proposed New Federal Transportation Bill

Despite it’s suspicious title — the DRIVE (Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy) Act — the new federal transportation bill proposed by the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee “is not as big a disaster as you might think” to quote Streetsblog. The story goes on to explain that the new 6-year bill is neither a step forward nor a step back, mainly continues existing policies related to streets and highways, and does not include the transit title, which will be drafted by the Banking Committee soon.

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Top of LA City Hall Thursday: Climate Resolve & Climate Change

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The 2nd in a blog series on what Move LA’s partners are saying about the investments needed to fix LA County’s notorious transportation problems -- and climate change.

JonathanParfrey.jpgJonathan Parfrey’s nonprofit Climate Resolve and the new Path to Positive campaign are mobilizing mainstream local support for climate action, and championing the leadership of Governor Brown and state leaders in setting bold climate goals for the state. Jonathan has called a meeting with 100 local leaders tomorrow at the top of LA City Hall, including LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl; LA City Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz, Mitch Englander, Joe Buscaino and Mitch O’Farrell; LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and Controller Ron Galperin; UCLA’s Richard Jackson, former director of the national Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Environmental Health, and many others. The goal is to mobilize constituents from public, private and nonprofit sectors around climate issues in a way that honors the LA region's progressive tradition of bold action.

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U.S. House Rejects Amendment To Ban Federal Dollars From Being Used for Sidewalks, Bike Racks and Lighting At New Transit Stations

This just in from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership:

An amendment to prevent federal New Starts funding from being used to install sidewalks, bike racks, and lighting as part of new transit projects — essentially making it much more difficult to create safe, cost-effective and affordable ways for people to get to new lines and stations  — was narrowly defeated, 214 to 212, this week. Please thank your Congressmember!

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A Discussion: What's Right and Not-Yet-Right About The New Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities Program

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The Strategic Growth Council green-lighted 54 projects to prepare full proposals for the new Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program in March -- a big new pot of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund money (from the Cap & Trade program) for all kinds of good projects, including infill and compact housing, transit, active transportation, complete streets, and other GHG and air pollution reduction projects and programs. Since then a lot of people have been trying to figure out why the Bay Area was given the go-ahead to apply for 40% of the AHSC pie, when Southern California was invited to apply for only 20%, even though SoCal has twice the population and significantly greater need: 50% of AHSC funding is to go to "disadvantaged communities" -- defined as "areas disproportionately burdened by and vulnerable to multiple sources of pollution" -- 67% of which are located in SoCal.

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Transit Matters If You Want To Climb The Income Ladder

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As Los Angeles County gears up its transit construction program and contemplates another county sales tax measure to help build even more transit, advocates, elected officials and neighborhoods continue to debate which transportation investments to make, and whether the beneficiaries will be the rich or the poor. This makes a recent post on The New York Times "Upshot" website particularly interesting: It refers to an ongoing Harvard study on the factors that predict whether a low-income family will escape from poverty, which has found that commute time is the single strongest factor – the longer the average commute, the worse the chances that a family will be able to move up the economic ladder.

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Governor & Legislature Postpone Decision on Funding Student Transit Passes

California Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are postponing the decision on whether to spend $25 million in Cap & Trade revenues on student transit passes until after adopting the state’s budget on June 15. The decision is to be made by September 11.

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LA Driving Psychology 101 & Possible Redemption

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I have been in Los Angeles since September of 2001. My first week included a minor earthquake and September 11th. Quite the welcome wagon.

Needless to say, things got better. I was in the sun-soaked land of Hollywood and infinite beach days. It generally felt more pleasant outside at any given moment than it did inside my apartment. I tried Thai food and Indian food for the first time without having to travel to either country, and during my inaugural In-N-Out visit, The Fonz placed an order right ahead of me (true story).

Then I had to meet someone in Sherman Oaks, coming from West LA, at 6 pm. Running the gauntlet that was the 405 between the 10 and the 101 at rush hour -- just one time -- made me question everything that had been joyous about my East Coast relocation . . . at least momentarily. 

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Spotlight on the San Gabriel Valley: Metrolink Upgrades

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Metrolink upgrades: This is the 3rd in a series on San Gabriel Valley transit corridor projects under discussion as contenders for funding from a transportation sales tax measure that could be put on the ballot in November 2016.

Metrolink Board Member and LA City Planning Commissioner Richard Katz told the audience at Move LA’s 7th Annual Transportation Conversation that he believes Metrolink is Southern California’s most undervalued and underutilized transit asset. At Move LA we believe that with just modest investments in improvements – including more frequent headways and lower fares -- the regional rail system could significantly expand ridership and help reduce traffic congestion.

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What People Were Saying At TC7: Mike Eng & LaMont Jackson On Student Transit Passes

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This is the first in a blog series on “What people Were Saying” at Move LA’s 7th Annual Transportation Conversation last April 22 at Union Station. There were no less than 50 speakers on really big panels – “the biggest at any gathering in America,” Mayor Garcetti said – all making compelling cases for what another sales tax for transportation could/should fund.

MikeEg_Border.jpgLA Community College District Trustees Mike Eng and LaMont Jackson discussed the benefits of universal student transit passes, like the “Any Line Any Time” partnership between Santa Monica Community College and the Big Blue Bus – students pay a fixed amount of about $6-$7 a month as part of their registration fees (or they can opt out), and can use their student cards on any line at any time! Mike Eng made this impassioned case for the need to provide transit passes to community college students in particular:

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Call Or Email Budget Conference Committee If You Want Student Transit Passes & $$$ For Active Transportation

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This week the state Legislature's Budget Conference Committee is considering including student transit passes in the 2015-2016 budget, to be funded with $25 million from the state's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, with another $25 million for the state's Active Transportation Program. A decision could be made as early as today. Conference committee phone numbers are listed below.

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