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December 16, 2013 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
People living near the new Expo Line started taking transit more and driving significantly less, a University of Southern California study has found. This study, apparently the first of its kind for a major California transportation project, should be footnoted in any future ballot measure asking people to vote to raise taxes to pay for transit. Even though we all kind of know, intuitively, that some people will ditch their cars in favor of convenient, fast public transit, behavioral studies like this offer proof: If you build it, people will ride.
December 16, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
The Metro Expo Line was already under construction when Ryan Vincent started house-hunting. His goal: to live within walking distance of a light-rail station. "Every house I looked at, I was doing the mental calculus," Vincent, 39, said. "Would I be willing to walk from that address to the train?" He settled with his girlfriend and his dog in a Spanish-style home in West Adams, two blocks from the Farmdale Station. Since then, his Honda Civic hybrid has mostly sat unused. The small changes Vincent made in his daily life, including finding a doctor and a dentist with offices near a train stop, mirror the behavior of many households living near the Expo Line, according to a USC study released Monday.
December 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The state's strategy of tapping $3.2 billion in federal money to begin construction of an ambitious bullet train project may be legally flawed and could put the state in financial jeopardy, key lawmakers say. After recent legal rulings that bar the use of state money for the project, legislators from both political parties say that even the use of federal funds is questionable and the entire project needs to be reassessed. U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), the chairman of the House rail subcommittee, and Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa)
December 12, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Orange County's largest toll road network on Thursday sold $2.3 billion in bonds to shore up the finances of several highways that have failed to meet revenue and ridership projections. The Irvine-based Transportation Corridor Agencies will use the borrowing to refinance the Foothill-Eastern system, which includes the 133 tollway in central Orange County as well as the 241 and 261 that run from Yorba Linda to Rancho Santa Margarita. The bond issue will extend the time that motorists must pay tolls on the Foothill-Eastern's highways by 13 years - from 2040 to 2053 - and add upward of $1.75 billion to the corridor's total interest payments by the time the bonds mature in 2053.
December 9, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Federal safety officials will hold an investigative hearing starting Tuesday to explore the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco that killed three passengers and injured more than 180 in July. On Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, the National Transportation Safety Board will address issues related to the crash, including pilot training, the effect of highly automated flight systems on pilot awareness, aircraft cabin safety and the emergency response of public safety agencies.
December 6, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Something bad has been in the water at Los Angeles International Airport for the last several weeks. With the city in the midst of a sweeping $2-billion transformation of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, airlines that use the facility's old and new gates have been unable to replenish their aircraft with drinking water because of contamination in the building's plumbing. According to airport emails obtained by The Times, the water is brown and contains high levels of bacteria and particles of copper, brass and rust.
December 4, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In another key setback to the California bullet train project, federal regulators have rejected the state's request to exempt a large Central Valley segment of proposed track from a lengthy planning review. The action affects part of a 29-mile rail section to be built near Fresno, where state officials have already awarded a construction contract. The decision is likely to complicate, delay and substantially drive up the cost on that initial $1-billion package of work. The ruling marks the second time in nine days that the rail agency's planning process has been rejected by authorities.
November 24, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The half-cent sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2008 has already changed the landscape of Los Angeles. The Orange Line busway extension to Chatsworth opened three years ahead of schedule. Construction is underway on two light-rail lines - the Expo Line to Santa Monica and the Gold Line to Azusa - and will soon begin on the Crenshaw Line. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is also extending the Purple Line to Westwood and the Green Line to Torrance. These projects would be in slow motion - or stalled - if Measure R had not passed.
November 1, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Part of the Bay Area will transform itself into Victorian London for five weekends in November and December with the return of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party. This 35-year Bay Area tradition gets underway Nov. 23 at the Cow Palace in Daly City. It continues from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. It's also open Nov. 29, the Friday after Thanksgiving. More than 3 acres will be transformed into London circa 1865. As visitors make their way down narrow streets and alleys, they'll encounter carolers and street performers, perhaps seeing chimney sweeps or Charles Dickens' Tiny Tim and even Queen Victoria.
November 1, 2013 | By Dan Weikel, Scott Gold, Richard Winton, Brian Bennett, Joel Rubin, Joseph Serna, Ari Bloomkatz, Samantha Schaefer, Kate Mather, Matt Stevens, Jill Cowan, Alicia Banks and Laura J. Nelson
LAX shooting: The latest A composed, solitary gunman shot his way into Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning, killing a transit security screener and injuring at least one more before being wounded by police and taken into custody. The incident was over in less than 10 minutes, but caused chaos at the world's sixth-busiest airport and disrupted thousands of flights across the nation. The gunman was identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia, a 23-year-old New Jersey native who lived most recently in Los Angeles.
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