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September 9, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
Building a proposed streetcar line in downtown Los Angeles may cost more than twice the original estimate, an adjustment that raises serious questions about the project's funding and future. The original estimate to build the Broadway streetcar line, about $125 million, did not include the cost of utility work, such as moving power lines. That could add up to $166 million, according to a recent city report, and other costs could rise by $28 million to $37 million. The funding gap of almost $200 million must be resolved before officials apply for federal transportation grants, which could total up to $75 million.
September 4, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - Thousands of public transportation workers around the state would be exempt from new pension restrictions under a plan announced Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor's proposal, in response to a federal threat to withhold transit money, would keep $4.3 billion in funds flowing while the state files legal action to determine whether the new public-pension law applies to the workers. U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez wrote to Brown this year saying the state could miss out on the federal money if it insisted on subjecting transportation workers to the tighter pension rules.
August 5, 2013 | By Marina Villeneuve
WASHINGTON -- After decades of fewer pedestrians being killed in traffic crashes, the number has risen in the past several years, leading the Department of Transportation to warn of the dangers of walking while on drugs, drinking alcohol, or using a cellphone.   "Everyone in America is a pedestrian," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "Every pedestrian death is one too many. "   New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have the highest percentages of pedestrian fatalities of total motor vehicle deaths in the country, according to the department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
July 10, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
The remains of two Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters killed in an Arizona blaze were being flown back to California on Wednesday. The bodies of Christopher MacKenzie and Kevin Woyjeck will be transported to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, where they will be met by family and firefighters wishing to pay respects. “There are various traditions associated with the fire service. One of them is when they lose someone in the line of duty, everybody gathers around," said Carroll Wills, communications director for the California Fire Foundation.
July 4, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Without a proposed $2.2-billion bond sale to refinance its debt, a major Orange County tollway could eventually default on its bond payments, according to a report released Wednesday. The analysis by the state treasurer's office supports plans by the Transportation Corridor Agencies to restructure the debt at lower interest on the Foothill-Eastern toll road, which is failing to live up to ridership and revenue projections. "We are pleased with the outcome of the study," said Lisa Telles, communications director for the corridor agency.
June 27, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to confirm Anthony Foxx as transportation secretary, leaving two controversial choices pending to fill President Obama's second-term Cabinet. Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., won a vote of 100-0, the third nominee this year to be confirmed without a dissenting vote, but the first to have the support of the full Senate. He will replace Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman and the lone Republican still serving in the Cabinet.
June 26, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The chief taxi regulator in Los Angeles tried to put his boot to the throat of upstart Web-based transportation services Uber, Sidecar and Lyft this week, directing them to stop picking up passengers in the city. The problem is, he doesn't have the authority to do so. Rather than operating conventional taxis, the three companies offer innovative ride-for-hire services that the state Public Utilities Commission oversees. In fact, the PUC has signed agreements with all three that govern their operations.
June 16, 2013 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County bus drivers say they are regularly becoming ill - sometimes while behind the wheel - from pesticides sprayed inside their vehicles by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. At least 14 Metro drivers are pursuing workers' compensation claims, and more than 110 have signed a petition that demands a halt to the spraying, according to their attorney. Some operators are on medical leave, and a few say they have left Metro because of repeated exposure. "You can be driving your bus and get hit with the symptoms," said Frank Portillo, a 23-year coach operator who retired in March, sooner than planned, because of medical issues he believes are pesticide related.
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