Public transit

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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Conference on Saving Public Transit, Friday November 2nd at UCLA Law (Simulcast Available)

Please join us on Friday, November 2nd, for a free (with registration) conference on strategies to save public transit during a time of shrinking budgets.  The conference will feature experts on transit finance, real estate development around transit, and new technologies that may revolutionize transit in the coming years. Art Leahy, Chief Executive Officer of …

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Does Public Transit Improve Air Quality?

Yihsu Chen and Alexander Whalley of UC Merced think they know.  They have analyzed some useful data from the opening of Taipei’s new subway, in a recent article in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: The transportation sector is a major source of air pollution worldwide, yet little is known about the effects of transportation infrastructure …

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Will Expanded Federal Transit Financing Result In More Toll Roads?

In a time of infrastructure needs and scaled-back public sector budgets, finding dollars for public transit projects can be a challenge.  Transit advocates hit on a great formula, however, starting in Los Angeles with the “30/10” Plan.  30/10 would allow Los Angeles to build 30 years worth of sales tax-funded transit projects in 10 years, …

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How Cities and Counties Can Improve Public Transit

Flashy and expensive new transit projects, such as the Los Angeles subway or San Francisco’s proposed Central Subway, get a lot of media attention. But cities and counties have a lot of discretion to improve their existing public transit systems in sometimes relatively low-cost ways. The benefits, as we discuss in a UCLA / Berkeley …

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Stop the Presses: Los Angeles is Public-Transit Friendly (well, sort of)

The Brookings Institute has a new study out (and a really nifty interactive website) that ranks cities around the country on their public transit friendliness.  Los Angeles comes out near the top of the list by one important measure:  resident access to public transit, defined as living close to a transit stop.  96% of LA …

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Bolstering Public Transit in California: A New White Paper from UCLA / Berkeley Law

Public transit in California, while historically underfunded compared to roads and freeways, has suffered even worse as the state’s economy has tanked and Sacramento legislators have raided transit funds to pay their general fund bills.  But the buses and trains that comprise the state’s transit system provide badly needed economic benefits for Californians.  These benefits …

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How About 30/15? Maybe 30/20?

A couple of weeks ago I referenced Mayor Villaraigosa’s 30/10 plan, which seeks to take the $30-40 billion of Proposition R money for LA county transit, bond it, and move MTA’s transit projects faster.  This plan would turn 30 year schedule into a 10 year schedule.  Thus, 30/10.  Get it?  I wondered what all the fuss was …

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Credit Where It’s Due: Villaraigosa’s 30/10 Plan

I’ve been somewhat critical of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s environmental policies, which tend to have more style than substance.  But I have overlooked his 30/10 plan, which (as the New York Times reported the other day) might revolutionize the way sustainable infrastructure is built in American cities.  That’s unfair, because the Mayor has really done …

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Cash for Transit

Jonathan proposes reinstating the vehicle license fee that Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated back in 2003. The repeal was highly successful in 1) getting Schwarzenegger elected governor and 2) contributing to the destruction of the state’s fiscal health. But even reinstating the fee is unlikely to help transit. With the state’s huge budget shortfall, that money would …

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