Public transit

Income-targeted environmental policies, Episode 2

Affordable housing and the Transit-Oriented Communities program

This is the second post in a short series on income-targeted environmental policies. You can read the first post, introducing the concept of “Area Median Income,” here. In this second part of my series on income-targeted environmental programs, I want to talk about affordable housing, and one particular housing program, Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC). TOC has …

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New Report: How to Reduce Rail Transit Construction Costs and Timelines

New CLEE study recommends options for better project delivery in California and beyond + expert webinar January 27

A new study from the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley School of Law released today identifies the primary factors underlying cost and schedule overruns for rail transit construction and presents policy recommendations to overcome key barriers. Improving rail transit delivery is critical for meeting climate and equity goals, given …

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The Climate Bill inside the Infrastructure Bill

The US takes a major step forward on the path to carbon neutrality.

Late Friday, the House passed Biden’s infrastructure bill. As the Washington Post aptly observed, the bill is the biggest climate legislation to ever move through Congress. It also attracted key support from some Republicans, which was essential to passing it in both houses of Congress. Biden is pushing for an even bigger companion bill, but …

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Transit-Oriented Development Shouldn’t Be A Coronavirus Casualty

California still needs more housing close to transit.

In recent weeks, California has emerged as one center of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it continues to face challenges that existed long before the disease reached the state.  Two serious ones: how California will meet its ever more stringent greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and how the state will manage to provide affordable housing for …

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LA’s Trying to Build Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing

But could we make it easier?

My colleague Jonathan Zasloff rightly points out that one way to harness the benefits of upzoning to alleviate our housing crisis is to promote inclusionary requirements for transit-oriented development.  Los Angeles has adopted just such a program through its Transit-Oriented Communities ordinance, which I’ve written about here. Per the City of Los Angeles’ initial assessment, …

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Are Buses the Silver Bullet to Reduce Declines in Transit Ridership?

Reversing plummeting transit ridership is key to counteracting rising VMT

In my first deep dive into strategies to reduce vehicle miles travelled (VMT), I’m looking at declining transit ridership using Los Angeles as a case study since its ridership numbers drive the overall statewide trends. Investing in public transit is one of the most time-tested strategies for reducing personal VMT, since every car-owner we can …

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California’s Proposition 6: Bad Policy & Nefarious Politics

Proposed Repeal of California’s Landmark “Gas Tax” Legislation Would Be Disastrous for State

Politicians don’t like to focus on infrastructure maintenance.  It’s not sexy, doesn’t command media headlines, and captures little public attention.  But maintaining a functioning, safe public infrastructure system is vital to ensuring a strong economy, protecting public safety and promoting long-term environmental goals. That’s why Proposition 6, a measure on California’s November 6th general election …

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Land Use Planning, Transit, and the Dodgers: The Legal Planet World Series Special

Stop the Myths About Evil Walter O’Malley

Since the World Series starts in a few hours, I fully expect the standard kvetchers to come out of the woodwork and complain about Los Angeles stealing the Dodgers from Brooklyn, etc. Peter Golenbock, in Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, compares O’Malley to Hitler and Stalin. Nonsense. It is time to set …

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Back in the Fast Lane

New Pritzker Brief from UCLA Law on Making Public Transit Work

Fellow blogger Ethan Elkind has spent a lot of time researching the history, politics, and future of transit in California.  Earlier this year he published Railtown, a fascinating portrait of the fight over development of the L.A. Metro rail system, revealing the degree to which that development has been driven by good old-fashioned politics and even intrigue …

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Are Transit Strikes Bad for the Environment?

Banning public transit strikes might help the environment

Even if you’re not from the Bay Area, you’ve probably heard about the labor troubles at the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) – the rail system that is one of the largest public transit providers here in the Bay Area in terms of passengers.  Hundreds of thousands of commuters use the BART system on …

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