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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.
June 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
California's bullet train agency won a key legal ruling Thursday, obtaining an exemption from regulatory oversight by the federal Surface Transportation Board for construction of the first segment of the rail system that would run 220 mph trains from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The ruling is among several barriers it has successfully navigated in the long-sought start of construction, though the state still must secure a deal with powerful freight railroads, obtain a key permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and prevail in a lawsuit that alleges the rail plan violates a 2008 voter-approved bond measure.
June 7, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein, Martha Groves and Rosanna Xia
At least six people were transported to hospitals in the wake of the shooting and crime spree in the Santa Monica College area. Two bodies were found inside a home near campus that the gunman allegedly set on fire, law enforcement source said. The sources said the gunman allegedly set the home on fire, opened fire on several cars and appeared to try to carjack two vehicles. One of the carjackings occurred near the campus library and college police station. The suspect fled to the library, where he was wounded by police, the sources added.
May 26, 2013 | By Daniel Seigel, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to spend $1.7 million to assist Bob Hope Airport's efforts for an ambitious train connection project. The money - a local match for a decades-old $4.3-million federal grant - will help accelerate construction of an airport Metrolink station along the Antelope Valley Line, among other improvement projects, airport officials said. The funds will come from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by county voters in 2008 to pay for transportation projects.
May 26, 2013 | By Matt Stevens and Marisa Gerber, Los Angeles Times
The capital of car culture is increasingly making room for bicycles. A neon-green pathway runs down downtown's Spring Street, begging drivers to pay attention to cyclists. Hundreds of miles of less-flashy lanes are spreading across the region. And in April, about 150,000 bikers swarmed Venice Boulevard for the largest-ever CicLAvia. Now the next big thing in bikes is slowly riding in on three wheels. Pedicabs will hit the streets of Santa Monica this summer, and city officials hope the service will offer people on bustling Main Street a way to get around without their cars.
May 18, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
During eight years in office, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa staked much of his legacy on transportation. He lobbied Washington for millions of dollars in federal funding. He oversaw the addition of 150 miles of bike lanes. And, five years ago, he won voter approval of Measure R, the countywide half-cent sales tax expected to raise more than $30 billion over 30 years for a dozen new transportation projects. The challenge for the next mayor, experts say, will be the nuts and bolts: repaving the city's broken streets and sidewalks, completing a surge of bus and rail projects and securing more transportation funding.
May 17, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: A few years ago I finished paying off my debt and now am in the very low-risk credit category. I have savings equal to about three months' worth of bills and am working to get that to six months' worth. I'm wondering, though, about an emergency that may require me to pay in cash (such as a major power outage that disables debit or credit card systems, or the more likely event that I forget the ATM or credit card at home). How much cash should a person have on hand? Is there a magic number?
May 15, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Millennials are possibly the first generation who could sing the Beatles classic "(Baby You Can) Drive My Car" and really mean it. Millennials are the children of baby boomers and Generation X, and they are radically altering the way the nation connects, warns a new report by U.S. PIRG, the national office of the Public Interest Research Group. The driving miles logged by those ages 16 to 34 in 2009, for example, was 23% lower than it was for the same age group in 2001, according to the report.
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