CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2012 |
As Los Angeles County pumps billions of dollars into its expanding commuter rail network, a different kind of mass transit has become an unlikely hero of the San Fernando Valley. The 7-year-old Orange Line, a 14-mile east-west busway connecting North Hollywood to Warner Center, has been a less-flashy workhorse of success for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Less than a year after its opening, the Orange Line busway's projected ridership more than tripled to 22,000 a day, and a study by UC Berkeley researchers found it even slightly helped relieve morning traffic on the 101 Freeway, which parallels the busway.
May 2, 2012
Wouldn't it be great if we could move public transportation across the city of Los Angeles as easily as the avenging thieves of the film "The Italian Job" moved their fleet of get-away Mini Coopers by hacking into the transit authority's computers and making all the lights turn green at the right moment? Unfortunately, there is no magical solution to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's need to cut costs without raising fares and still get bus and train passengers everywhere on time as often as possible.
April 6, 2012 |
The death of a 7-year-old Iowa girl, hit by a driver whizzing past a stopped school bus, has triggered an effort in Congress to strengthen the penalties for ignoring the flashing red lights. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) has introduced Kadyn's Act, named after Kadyn Halverson, who was struck and killed by a pickup truck last year while crossing a street to board her stopped school bus. Court records say that the driver was traveling 61 miles per hour. The measure seeks to press states into enacting a fine of least $250 -- with the possibility of up to 30 days in jail and driver's license suspension -- for a driver who fails to brake for a stopped school bus. That would be for a first offense.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2012 |
The Metrolink commuter railroad held a safety workshop Tuesday for officials responsible for overseeing transportation agencies that operate buses, trains, subways and light rail lines throughout the region. The one-day program at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles brought together federal and state safety experts, transportation agency executives and members of transportation commissions in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The program included presentations by National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt and former Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mortimer Downey, who now serves on the Washington Metro board of directors.
March 1, 2012 |
London wouldn't be London without its red double-decker buses. Icons on wheels, they're as much a part of the city's history as the landmarks and monuments they roll past, usually at excruciatingly slow speed. But a bit of London's soul was lost six years ago when the last of the classic Routemaster buses, which came with a conductor and an open back platform for passengers to hop on and off at will, were retired from service after half a century's hard work. Like old-fashioned phone boxes (also bright red)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2012 |
School buses are likely to keep rolling for now, as the Legislature on Thursday restored $248 million for home-to-school transportation that was particularly crucial for small and rural school districts that need to take students across long distances. Gov. Jerry Brown, who eliminated the school busing money as of January after state revenues fell short of projections, has indicated that he supports the move. Educators throughout California had mobilized against the midyear elimination of all busing money, arguing that it would hit hardest remote districts such as Death Valley, which spends about $3,400 per student, compared to $26 or less for many suburban districts.
December 22, 2011 |
Gunmen opened fire Thursday on three passenger buses in the violence-racked state of Veracruz, killing at least seven people, Mexican authorities said. All five attackers were killed in a shootout with federal security forces after the attack, which took place on a rural highway near Panuco in the northern part of the coastal state. State spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said the gunmen were suspected in a separate attack earlier Thursday in El Higo, another town not far from the border with Tamaulipas state.
December 20, 2011 |
A 45-foot-high artificial Christmas tree towers over Manger Square, and downtown Bethlehem is festooned with sparkling decorations. There's even a picture of a saxophone-playing Santa Claus. But Nabil Giacaman, co-owner of a souvenir shop called Christmas House, isn't feeling the holiday spirit. The third-generation woodcarver, who sells handmade likenesses of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary, sees as many as 200 tour buses arrive every day from Israel to visit the Church of the Nativity, just a few steps from his store.
December 14, 2011 |
This is the kind of story that just smacks of urban myth, and yet ... InventorSpot , a website that says it's dedicated to inventions and innovations, reports that a bus company in China -- the Harbin Public Transport Co. in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang -- has outfitted buses with bright yellow bricks emblazoned with red characters that say "for emergency use. " Why? Here's the part of the story I love: "In case of emergency, brick glass? Goodbye, yellow brick, road?
December 9, 2011 |
You throw your hand in the air, and the groaning beast, resembling a banged-up bread box, slows to let you board, but never really stops. You press coins into the driver's palm and grab quickly for a hold before he guns the motor to continue his breakneck run across Mexico City. Hang on - you are passenger, and captive. Life in this hive of 20 million people is much about movement. There are subways, fast-lane buses, light-rail trains, far too many cars and taxis and a small but encouraging number of publicly lent bicycles for the stout-hearted.