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Tuesday, September 29, 2015 | Volume 11, Issue 39

Welcome to  The Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization participates in meetings with key decision makers and community leaders. Our goal is to keep you informed on the latest developments in the transportation scene across Southern California.

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Please join us! The Transit Coalition dinner meeting will take place on a Thursday, October, 2015, 6:00 p.m., at Metro Headquarters, Gateway Conference Room, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles. No unregistered guests! To attend, you are required to register, so that we can properly accommodate all guests beforehand. Otherwise, a $30 cash fee will be charged at the door. The event will sell out, so register as soon as possible.

Transit is in big trouble and we need your help to get it:
Many Metro projects have adopted a successful process to gain Community Acceptance. You are probably aware that the Purple Line Extension, the Downtown Regional Connector and the Crenshaw Line are pushing forward. The Expo Line and the Foothill Gold Line will open in 2016.

However, there are a series of Orphan Projects that need attention to survive or be saved: The projects under threat include the Palmdale to Burbank CA High-Speed Rail Segment, the Santa Clarita to Los Angeles Bookends Projects, the Chatsworth to Van Nuys Double Track Project, the Downtown Streetcar Project and Angels Flight. One project, the San Pedro Streetcar has already been shut down due to political inaction and others can follow, due to lack of broad public and political support.

However, The Transit Coalition has been actively meeting with elected officials and their staff members to educate that choices and alternatives are necessary. We attend public meetings and provide a counter-balance to the enemies of transit that attempt to shut projects down. We communicate with industry and the building trades to show support.

Our organization has a great deal of work ahead, which we ask you to help us reach our goals in protecting projects for rail and bus passengers in Southern California.

Projects In Danger: For example, the Raymer to Bernson Double Track Project is under heavy attack and State Funding may be lost. Working behind the scenes with elected officials and the building trades is key to solidify support. To do this, we need your immediate support.

Non-Stop Attack: Several times, thousands of opponents gather at public Palmdale to Burbank CA High Speed Rail meetings to block the project and distort the truth. Working with other Transit Advocates, we have started Friends 4 High Speed Rail Southern California to get the truth out and to organize supporters. To get to goal, your donations are needed!

However, we cannot pursue our efforts without the support of our caring readers. Please act now to make a contribution so that we can protect public transportation every day. Once again, thank you for your continued support.

High-Speed Rail Proposes Test Drilling in the National Forest for Tunnel

Burbank HSR Opponents.

The California High Speed Rail Authority has requested permission to test-drill beneath the Angeles National Forest to determine the feasibility of digging a rail tunnel between Palmdale and Burbank. The constant anti-HSR forces are already moving to attempt to block any testing. There is an opportunity to comment in support of the drilling. Also, the  HSR Authority is holding community meetings to look at the Los Angeles to Anaheim segments for environmental scoping.

The City of Burbank voted to accept grant funds which total $1.2 million to work on planning activities related to development of a high-speed rail station at Bob Hope Airport. HSR opponents attempted to stop the Council from taking the funds unsuccessfully. The Burbank Airport Authority has put up the property for sale, near the airport, where the HSR Authority has indicated they want to build a potential rail station.

San Pedro Red Car Derailed and Shut Down by Mayoral Political Inaction

Red Car Termination.

Los Angeles has a current batch of Orphan Transit Projects that aren't being developed as part of Metro. The Red Car in San Pedro has been part of the revitalization of San Pedro, hosted by the Port of Los Angeles. With a new administration at the Port and the refusal of Mayor Eric Garcetti to order  his Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners to save the Red Car, the plug was pulled Monday, Sept. 28. Not everyone was happy about the outcome, as Times letters pointed out. Now that the first Los Angeles transit project has died, be watchful that other projects could follow this hit.

Measure R.2 Appears to Seriously Short Projects for San Fernando Valley

Orange Line Bus
Measure R.2 is prop osed as a new half-cent sales tax that could appear on the ballot in November 2016. Who gets what across the county is still to be figured out within the local regions by the various Councils of Governments. Folks from the San Fernando Valley have realized that there was a major shortchange in the area based on population and the sales tax base.
Therefore, Valley leaders want a bigger share to make up for the shortfall. The San Fernando Valley runs Part-Time Bus Service which causes difficulty for bus riders to access jobs which in turn causes the economy to suffer

Governor Rejects Assemblymember Mike Gatto's Carpool Lane Measure


Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Glendale), a proponent of increased freeway congestion, has had
Gov. Jerry Brown put the breaks on his latest idea to destroy the carpool lanes rather than help convert the excess capacity to HOT Lanes for those that might want to pay to use them.  Gatto should think about ways to fund mass transit rather than cause traffic jams. A number of old school Los Angeles Times letter writers, who are mostly clueless about how to  increase vehicle occupancy, wrote to micromanage what they see is road space they should be free to use at any time they want. 

San Diego Planners are Creating Ways to Increase Mobility in the Region

San Diego Trolley
San Diego planners are working on new ways to increase mobility in the region with their new 35-year long-term blueprint for expanded light-rail and some skyways (overhead gondolas carried by a wire cable) to cover some of the more challenging terrain in the San Diego area. This is part of the long range vision framework going before the SANDAG board soon. The vision for land use and transportation is built on the assumption that suburban sprawl will be curtailed and many more people will live close to where they work and along transportation corridors.

Columnist Believes Taxing all Bicyclists Can Get California Roads Repaired

Bike Riders Riding.
Many motorists can't comprehend the space taken up by their personal cars versus smaller transportation modes such as bikes and bicyclists. While cars and trucks actually don't pay their fair share for road repair and maintenance,
politically it is difficult to increase taxes to pay for such.

Times Columnist George Skelton has deduced that bike riders are freeloading off motorists and riders should pay for their damage to the roads. While his logic is fuzzy, it probably makes sense to the anti-road tax crowd. The free ride given the trucking industry only pays for a fraction of the damage they cause. LA Times readers also shared their thoughts.

Torrance Exxon Mobil Refinery Gets Sold and Repairs Will Finally be Made

Exxon Mobil Refinery01.
For a minute, some thought there would be an interim fix to the Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance that lost a modern pollution-control system in a plant explosion in February.

However, retail price relief and increased supplies will have to wait until winter, as air quality regulators can't accept the short-term fix proposals from Exxon. Now, in a new twist, Exxon has sold the damaged refinery for over a half-billion dollars to a New Jersey-based firm, which will take over after repairs are made in Spring of 2016.

Port News: New Technology to Sort Containers; SCIG Project Heads to Trial

Port Stack Crane.
A new technology application designed for containers allows for stacks of containers to be sorted more easily and in a better sequence allowing freight to move faster with the new Free Flow program. A new rail project at the Port of Long Beach has been completed which will enable more containers onto rail and will reduce truck trips.

The Southern California International Gateway railyard (SCIG) project in Wilmington is now headed to trial, as settlement efforts failed with Long Beach. Rather than putting containers directly on rail cars at the Ports, this proposal calls for hauling containers 4 miles away creating health and traffic issues.

Airport Briefs: TSA Finds Guns; Cuba Flights; On-Time Performance Credit

Cuba Airline Routes. Got a gun? Head for the airport. TSA is on pace to break the records of firearms uncovered at domestic airports. It seems some might figure out the rules, but not many are.

US airlines are eager to begin regular flights to Cuba. The US and Cuba are meeting to figure out how to start service.

Delta Air Lines is offering credit toward future flights to guarantee improved on-time performance for corporate business travelers. Delta has now gone 100 straight days without a flight cancellation and hopes to keep on-time.

The Transit Coalition now has its own blog. Please come by, read about transit developments and post a comment.

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If you have not done so yet, we invite you to donate and join The Transit Coalition. A monthly subscription to Moving Southern California comes with your membership. You can donate now via PayPal or with check or money order via our Donations page. If you want to see what our newsletter is about, view our archive of past issues and video coverage of our meetings.

Upcoming Events

Consider attending our monthly Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting on soon, October, 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at Metro Gateway Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles. We hope to see you there!

Los Angeles City Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting: Tuesday, October 6, 7 p.m., Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles.

Metro San Fernando Valley Service Council Meeting: Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys.

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Joint Powers Authority Board Meeting: Thursday,  October 8 , 11:30 a.m. GLFE Offices, 406 E. Huntington Dr., Ste. 202, Monrovia.

Metro Gateway Cities Service Council Meeting: Thursday,  October 8 , 6 p.m., Salt Lake Park Community Center, Lounge Room, 3401 E. Florence Ave., Huntington Park.

Metro  South Bay Service Council Meeting: Friday, October 9, 9:30 a.m., Inglewood City Hall, One Manchester Blvd., City Hall Conference Room A, Inglewood.

SCRRA (Metrolink) Board: Friday, October 9, 10 a.m., Metro Headquarters, Board Room, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

OCTA Board Meeting: Monday,  October 12 , 9 a.m., OCTA Headquarters, 600 S. Main St., Orange.

Metro San Gabriel Valley Service Council Meeting: Monday, October 12, 5:00 p.m., 3449 Santa Anita Ave., El Monte.

Metro Westside/Central Service Council Meeting: Wednesday, October 14, 5:00 p.m., Metro Headquarters, Union Station Conference Room, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles

Eco-Rapid Transit (formerly Orangeline Development Authority) Board of Directors Meeting: Wednesday, October 14, 6:30 p.m., City of Artesia, 18747 Clarkdale Avenue, Artesia, CA 90701.

Metro Committee Meetings: Wednesday,  October 14 , and Thursday,  October 15 , Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

  • Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee: Wednesday, October 14 , 10:00 a.m.
  • Finance, Budget, and Audit Committee: Wednesday, October 14 , 1 p.m.
  • Planning & Programming Committee: Wednesday, October 14 , 2:00 p.m.
  • Ad Hoc Congestion Reduction Committee: Wednesday, October 14 , 3:30 p.m.
  • Construction Committee: Thursday, October 15 , 9:00 a.m.
  • System Safety, Security & Operations Committee: Thursday,  October 15 , 10:15 a.m.
  • Executive Management and Audit Committee: Thursday, October 15 , 11:30 a.m.

Foothill Transit Governing Board: Friday, October 16, 7:45 a.m., 100 S. Vincent Ave., 2nd floor, West Covina.

LOSSAN Board of Directors: Monday,  October 19 , 12:30 p.m., Metro Headquarters, Board Room, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

Metro Board: SAFE Meeting: Thursday, October 22, 9:00 a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.

Metro Board Meeting: Thursday, October 22, 9:00 a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.  

SCRRA (Metrolink) Board: Friday, October 23, 10 a.m., Metro Headquarters, Board Room, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles. 

OCTA Board Meeting: Friday, October 28, 9 a.m., OCTA Headquarters, 600 S. Main St., Orange.

Foothill Transit Executive: Friday, October 30, 8:00 a.m., 100 S. Vincent Ave., 2nd floor, West Covina.

Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board Meeting: Thursday,  November 5 , 2:30 p.m., Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple, 3rd floor, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room 381B, Los Angeles.

Angeles Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee: Thursday,  November 5 , 7 p.m., Angeles Chapter Office, 3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 660, Los Angeles.

Ventura County Transportation Commission: Friday, November 6 , 9 a.m., Camarillo City Hall, 601 Carmen Dr., Camarillo.

SCRRA (Metrolink) Committee/Board: Friday, November 13, 9 a.m., Metro Headquarters, Board Room, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles. 

LOSSAN Board of Directors: Monday,  November 16 , 12:30 p.m., Metro Headquarters, Board Room, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles. 

Eco-Rapid Transit (formerly Orangeline Development Authority) Transportation Summit: Wednesday, November 18, 8:30 a.m., City of Artesia, D.E.S. Portuguese Hall, 11903 Ashworth Street, Artesia, CA 90701.

Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!

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Contact Us:
We welcome your thoughts and comments on our new electronic newsletter. Please write us:
Bart Reed, Executive Director

Donna Gooley, Calendar Editor / Circulation Manager

Kevin Kay, Planning Director

Manuel Araujo, Intern Director

Damien Newton, Editor LA Streetsblog

About The Transit Coalition:
The Transit Coalition is a non-profit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501[c](3) of the Internal Revenue Service. Our goal is to increase Transit Options and Mobility in Southern California by mobilizing citizens to press for sensible public policy to grow our bus and rail network.

As a grass roots group, we depend upon your contributions to allow us to pursue our important work. Add yourself to our mailing list and please donate to help us grow.

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