During a year that saw $48 billion delivered to transportation projects via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the recall of hundreds of thousands of Toyotas for safety issues, the announcement of $8 billion in high speed rail grants, and this week's two-day shutdown of the Highway Trust Fund, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been busy and on the job, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told AASHTO's Washington Briefing on Wednesday morning.
It may be an attractive idea to have high-speed trains running from San Diego to San Francisco, but they wouldn't help the vast majority of Californians who drive to work, school and other destinations within 100 miles of their homes. Commuters need to get to work, get their kids to school, transport goods, provide services and get themselves to entertainment venues quickly and conveniently. Businesses need to transport goods, receive customers and provide services quickly and at low cost.
We disagree that we are overstaffed at this time given the daily demands and efforts to upgrade and maintain our transportation system. This includes the implementation of Proposition 1B, the 2006 voter approved transportation bond, and the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which represents nearly 2,000 projects to date, will continue to grow, and has resulted in thousands of jobs for Californians.
One of the great things about the passage of Measure R is that it inspired many people to dream about a Los Angeles that isn't car-dependent. Apparently, it's inspired people outside of Los Angeles, and I mean well outside of Los Angeles, to dream a little dream as well... The project proposes large stretches of green space, a system of small vehicles with designated transportation lanes and parking stations, and a complete overhaul of the city’s streets, overpasses, culverts, right of ways, power lines, and underutilized rail lines.
As hybrids gained ascendancy in the U.S., Europe showed little interest, with diesels proving more popular. But if the 2010 Geneva auto show is any indication, that preference is about to change....This influx of hybrids can be explained by upcoming European emissions regulations, which are likely to put a damper on diesel production.
Will California continue to lead the fight against global warming? California’s experiment in fighting climate change may be over before it gets started, if some conservative and business groups have their way. Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has already promised that if elected she will immediately issue an executive order to suspend AB 32 for a year.
Transit advocates, business organizations and community groups will meet this weekend to come up with their own suggestions to help keep the perennially debt-ridden San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency afloat. On May 1, Muni service will be reduced by 10 percent, a change that will result in longer wait times for more-crowded buses. That reduction comes less than six months after a major shakeup to service resulted in the elimination of six Muni lines. Despite the cuts, the SFMTA faces a $56.4 million budget shortfall next fiscal year.
Maybe, just maybe, there's some good budget news for Muni. A bill involving a complicated tax swap that made it out of the state Senate and Assembly Thursday could pump an estimated $36 million into the city's cash-strapped transit system through June 2011.