Public transit

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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How the Democrats’ Supermajority Can Improve California’s Downtowns

Now that Democrats in California have achieved the Pete Wilson Supermajority in the legislature, they should focus on two key reforms to revitalize the state’s downtowns and ensure more efficient land use. First, the supermajority should put on the ballot a constitutional initiative to lower the threshold for passing local tax measures to fund transit. …

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Election Day Shows the Need for Transit Tax Reform in California

Tuesday seems not have been a great day for local transit advocates in California.  Measures to increase or extend tax measures for public transit failed in Los Angeles County (Measure J) and currently trail in Alameda County (Measure B1), with mail-in ballots still being counted.  But when I say “failed,” what I mean is they …

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Saving Public Transit: The Role of Technology

New technologies are quickly changing how we provide and interact with public transit. From Smart Phone applications that chart transit trips, new software that enables ride and bike sharing, or stations that function as “mobility hubs” with new ways to provide rider access, these technologies hold the promise to greatly enhance our existing transit systems. …

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Saving Public Transit: Neighborhoods Matter

Public transit depends on neighborhood design to be successful. Without convenient neighborhoods that orient housing and jobs around transit, buses and trains will waste scarce public dollars by failing to attract sufficient riders and offering poorer quality service to those who do ride. Mott Smith, a Los Angeles-based real estate developer and advocate who focuses …

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