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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Dan Weikel
Imposing the first penalty of its type, the federal government has fined Asiana Airlines $500,000 for failing to promptly help passengers and their families after last year's crash in San Francisco. A U.S. Department of Transportation investigation found that the South Korean airline violated the Foreign Air Carrier Family Support Act by taking up to five days to notify family members and failing to provide other basic assistance. In a statement issued Tuesday, federal officials said Asiana did not "adhere to the assurances in its family assistance plan," a federally mandated set of procedures foreign airlines must follow to promptly assist passengers and their families after major aircraft incidents.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
The Metrolink passenger railroad Thursday will become the first commuter service in the nation to roll out a sophisticated collision avoidance system designed to overcome human error. Had so-called positive train control been in place five years ago, experts say, it would have prevented Metrolink's deadly Chatsworth crash. In that accident, an engineer missed a red stop signal while text-messaging on his cellphone and struck a Union Pacific freight train head-on. Twenty-five people died and 135 were injured.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2014 | By Brittany Levine
Transportation officials are considering several options that would pave the way for closing a dangerous street-level rail crossing on the Los Angeles-Glendale border. For years, the two cities have butted heads over the Doran Street crossing, which rail officials have said has the highest potential for disaster out of 312 crossings because of an adjacent propane facility, tanker truck traffic and vehicles that regularly stop on the tracks. Glendale has been pushing to close the crossing, but Los Angeles has argued it needs to remain open for emergency access.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2014 | By Dan Weikel and Jack Dolan
Northbound traffic moved steadily on the 405 Freeway over Sepulveda Pass during the first day of "Jamzilla" on Saturday, but motorists encountered some delays as they merged from five lanes to two lanes through the highway's construction zone. Although things went well, transportation officials are still warning travelers to avoid the northbound 405 between Sunset and Ventura boulevards, where extensive paving and striping is being done over the President's Day weekend for a new carpool lane.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Cars of the future will know when they're about to get hit - and how to speak up about it. U.S. auto safety regulators on Monday took the first steps toward mandating that automakers build cars that talk to one another. They would speak in short-range radio signals, trading messages that would prevent accidents on a broad scale, according to the Transportation Department. The most advanced cars today can already spot trouble ahead. They use sensors to detect cars or fixed objects ahead, and alert drivers - or, in some cases, even slam on the brakes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Under a little-noticed item in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, the state would lend California's bullet train agency $29 million to keep the project moving ahead amid increased uncertainty about the availability of future funding for the massive project. The proposed loan follows a similar $26-million advance last year from general government revenues that prompted some lawmakers to voice concern about the possibility that such lending would take money away from other high-priority projects.
TRAVEL
January 19, 2014 | By Jen Leo
There is no question that smartphone and tablet apps can improve your travel experience - whether it's for business or pleasure - by helping to inspire, plan, organize and save time and money. The travel apps below are either new, recently launched or have made significant improvements in the last year. AFAR Media : AFAR Media (you might have heard of its AFAR travel magazine) has released a stunning travel app by the same name. Find guides, highlights and individual travel hot spots in more than 7,000 cities and towns in 239 countries that will appeal to culture seekers, foodies and wanderers alike.
TRAVEL
January 19, 2014 | By Jen Leo
There is no shortage of travel websites to make your life easier or your travels cheaper. But who has the time to keep track of all of them? Here's a short list of travel websites that are worth bookmarking and using for pre-trip research. All the Rooms : Would you rather stay in a four-star hotel or a private cottage with views and a hot tub? How about a B&B versus a budget-minded hostel? You might not think about all your options unless they were right in front of you. That's why the addition of All the Rooms to the accommodations booking game was so exciting last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The California bullet train agency is continuing to meet its financial obligations under federal grants that are providing $3.2 billion to the project, but the state has not indicated how it will pay $180 million in required matching funds by April 1, a senior federal official told a congressional panel Wednesday. Karen Hedlund, deputy chief at the Federal Railroad Administration, said her agency has a legal obligation to continue funding the project because the state hasn't defaulted on its financial agreements with Washington.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Laura J. Nelson
Citing the high cost and risk of tunneling under Los Angeles International Airport, county transportation officials said Wednesday that it did not make sense to build a light-rail line directly under the airport's terminal area. Their recommendation to discard four possible LAX alternatives, although preliminary, could permanently change a decades-long discussion on how to connect light rail to the nation's third-busiest airport. Three of the alternatives would require tunneling under terminals and runways.
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