Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

UC Irvine Transit Advocates

Advocating for public transit - Daily Pilot: "For UC Irvine graduate student David Weinreich, not driving in Irvine has always been a no-brainer.
...Weinreich, who is pursuing a master's degree in urban and regional planning, became involved in the issue of local public transportation when the Orange County Transportation Authority cut 150,000 bus hours in March."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Transit Advocates of Orange County | TransitRiderOC

Transit Advocates of Orange County | TransitRiderOC: "The Transit Advocates of Orange County is an all-volunteer group that works to improve bus, rail, biking and walking in Orange County. We believe that a well-run transit system with a combination of “choice” and “dependent” riders could change the nature of traffic patterns, and therefore livability, in our county. In our 11 years, we’ve had a significant impact on OCTA bus service, including resolving some of the problems caused by the 2001 OCTA bus system restructuring. While we normally focus on improving service, the recent economic crisis has forced us to focus on retaining bus funding just to keep buses running."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mother nature is talking, anyone listening?

A seemingly unending deluge in southern California has turned coastal cities into lagoons and inland areas into mud pits. Within the week, some parts of the state have had its entire year’s worth of rainfall.


See Also DailyMail

Monday, December 13, 2010 » Article » L.A. Metro Cuts 9 Bus Lines, Reduces Service on Others » Article » L.A. Metro Cuts 9 Bus Lines, Reduces Service on Others: "KTLA-TV, Los Angeles

CALIFORNIA - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is eliminating nine bus lines, and reducing service on several others, to try to deal with its huge budget deficit.

The cancellations begin Sunday, and include five Metro Rapid lines and four local lines.

The affected Metro Rapid lines are 711, 714, 715, 753 and 920.

Their service will be reallocated to other local service lines that operate along the same corridors."

Oakland Chinatown - Safety before cars » Article » Oakland Chinatown Standing Up to be Heard as Transit Development Plan Develops: "'A traffic study showed that Chinatown had the most traffic injuries and deaths of any area in the city,' said Sherry Hirota, chief executive officer of Asian Health Services, which partnered with the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to lead the fight. 'The signals were too short and the area has one of the highest densities in the city. We practically had to have a showdown with traffic engineering. Most traffic studies are designed for cars.'

That was just the beginning of the community speaking up and making demands. If Chinatown had been viewed as the quietest wheel in a city where the squeaky wheels get the grease, those days are over. Asian-American organizations and activists have organized the community in a process that can serve as a model for communities trying to make sure city and county plans don't railroad their interests."

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles

The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles: "New Policy Will Let Students on School-Organized Trips Ride for Free on MTA Trains and Buses during the Day

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today praised the unanimous approval by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of a new policy that allows students on school-organized trips ride for free on MTA trains and buses during the day."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Careful study shows free transit works

...But there is also some good news. A small but growing number of transit agencies and universities have joined forces to offer a new program that provides fare-free transit for more than a million people. This program is generically known as Unlimited Access, and it has spread rapidly during the past decade.3 Unlimited Access programs do not provide free transit; instead, they are a new way to pay for transit. The university pays the transit agency, and all eligible members of the university community ride free. The rapid spread of Unlimited Access suggests that it meets a market test: universities are willing to pay for it...


The substantial mode shifts caused by BruinGO refute the common assumption that fare-free transit cannot entice commuters from their cars. Transit ridership for commuting to campus increased by 56 percent during BruinGO’s first year, and solo driving fell by 20 percent. Because these startling results were achieved in a city famous for its addiction to cars, they suggest that Unlimited Access can work almost anywhere. If Unlimited Access can produce so many benefits for students, universities, and transit agencies at sucha low cost, why don’t more universities offer it? More universities are offering it every year, and it is also spreading to other settings. Six transit agencies in the United States offer Eco Pass programs that allow all employers to purchase transit passes for all their employees at a heavily discounted fare. A few transit agencies have even taken the idea beyond the workplace. In Seattle, the transit system has arranged for game tickets to serve as transit passes on game days at the University of Washington football stadium. In Silicon Valley, the transit system allows residential developments to buy Eco Passes for all residents. Unlimited Access programs contribute to so many important planning goals: transportation demand management, smart growth, transit-oriented development, energy conservation, clean air, and sustainable cities. Few transportation planning reforms produce suchlarge benefits at suchlow cost and have so much potential for growth.

Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation
The online version of this article can be found at:
Published by:
On behalf of:
Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
Additional [pdf]

Friday, November 26, 2010

Los Angeles Mass Transit Is Expanding -

Los Angeles Mass Transit Is Expanding - "LOS ANGELES — This auto-obsessed city — a place where people love their cars almost as much as they hate the traffic — has embarked on the biggest expansion of its mass transit system in decades, an effort to change the way people navigate its sprawling and clogged streets and freeways."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

lessons from a car-free life | zen habits

lessons from a car-free life | zen habits: "3. Convenience. Sure, buses can be inconvenient — sometimes they’re late and you wait and you’re late. But think about the inconveniences of cars we often forget: parking, getting stuck in traffic, getting cut off from other people, paying tolls, paying for parking, parking tickets, speeding tickets, cars breaking down in the highway, car repairs, oil changes, stopping for gas, car insurance, washing the car, the dangers of car accidents (car crashes are the leading killer of American children), the unhealthiness of it for your kids, making a wrong turn and trying to get back on your route, the expense of a car and having to work more just to pay for it, the cost of health care because cars are unhealthier for you and your family and having to work more just to pay for that, just to name a few."

Monday, November 15, 2010

  Rapa Nui Motors - Death by Car

Rapa Nui Motors - Death by Car
"On Easter Island, as the rats they brought with them and came to rely on as a supplementary food source ate up the seeds of the big palm trees they needed to make seaworthy long-distance fishing/travel/escape canoes, what did the Rapanui people do? Under the sway of their priestly overclass, who naturally insisted that bigger and better appeals to the gods (and, of course, further expansion of the practices and prerogatives of their Earthly messengers) was the only reasonable answer to any and all crises, they made more and bigger moai._____"

In the United States of America and the rest of the “advanced” corporate capitalist nation-states, as the ornate and allegedly magical “self-movers” they bought to achieve mobility
 started to burn away the second half of the planet’s petroleum supply, the great entrepreneurs insisted that the path to survival and renewal was building further, still-more-intricate-and-expensive implementations of these 3,000-plus-pound objects, by means of which each micro-pod of commoners fetched food, got to workplaces, and attended what remained of in-person social occasions (all, of course, while further glorifying and enriching the entrepreneurial class that pushed and provided the “freedom machines”).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Climate Change Will Lead to Increased Wildfires | Global Warming is Real

Climate Change Will Lead to Increased Wildfires | Global Warming is Real: "Two research scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies have recently concluded a study showing that climate change could likely become the principal driver for future wildfires if current CO2 levels continue to rise unabated.
Since the start of the industrial revolution, human activity – such as setting and suppressing wildfires – has been a primary driver in wildfire trends. Using new techniques to track fires, researchers Olga Pechony and Drew Shindell have developed the first long-term history of global wildfire patterns and trends. Using the historical information and satellite data, the team has forecasted fire trends to 2100, based on current and expected levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The study finds that without significant reductions of carbon, climate change will become the principal driver of wildfires in the coming decades, with rising temperatures and drought leading to a propensity of more intense and frequent fires...."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Improve business through free public transportation

Improve business through free public transportation: "Burbank used to have a system that the Burbank Blue Bus would take people from the North Hollywood stations to various points in Burbank. It was convenient, economically efficient, and ecological efficient. This was a free route that was a huge incentive in attracting employees to Burbank companies and new companies to Burbank. Providing free public transportation (or at least strategic routes with no cost) is something no other city in the area does and is a huge plus for companies and employees."

Monday, October 18, 2010

UC employees demand free public transit

Cheaper parking and free public transit for UC Berkeley employees are the two chief demands in a petition being circulated by a coalition of employee unions.
Daily Californian

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Understanding the Crucial Connection Between Water and Energy – Water Matters - State of the Planet

Understanding the Crucial Connection Between Water and Energy – Water Matters - State of the Planet: "However, the amount of energy that goes to water use varies considerably from region to region. In California, for example, moving, cleaning and heating water around accounts for a 19 percent of the state’s electricity consumption and 30 percent of its natural gas. Southern California in particular pumps substantial amounts of water from great distances to meet local water demand."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vincent Kartheiser is mad about mass transit | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Vincent Kartheiser is mad about mass transit | MNN - Mother Nature Network: "Vincent Kartheiser is the exception. One of the stars of AMC's smash hit television drama 'Mad Men', the 31-year-old loves the public transportation system in Los Angeles, eschewing a fancy car for a more engaging and in his eyes, simple route to work.

“The buses stay on the streets they are on,” he tells The NY Times. “If you get on the 4, it’s going to stay on Santa Monica until it becomes Sunset. I don’t even know the names of most of the buses. Like the Fairfax bus — it’s just the Fairfax bus.”

Kartheiser is also quick to point out that getting around via PT is better for his nerves, giving him opportunities to read, do crossword puzzles, and go over lines. It's also a more social experience."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pau, France - public money spent on one car race would pay for a year of free public transport

Le NPA-Béarn s’insurge contre cette dilapidation d’argent public au profit d’une politique vroum-vroum polluante et dépassée. Il « dénonce le vote de la quasi-totalité des élus PS et PCF en faveur de la reconduction du GP automobile de Pau dont le coût pour les Palois dépasse largement celui de l’instauration de la gratuité des transports en commun que nous revendiquons. »

Car la question est bien là: 1,7 millions d’euros, cela représente la possibilité de faire passer l’ensemble du réseau de transports en commun de la ville de Pau à la gratuité totale!

En outre, le Grand Prix automobile de Pau, c’est :

- près de 2 millions d’euros partis en fumée chaque année, soit davantage que le coût de la gratuité des transports en commun à Pau,
- des employés municipaux mobilisés pendant plusieurs mois,
- des nuisances pour les riverains et pour une majorité de palois,
- une vitrine publicitaire pour les grands groupes pétroliers et automobiles,
- des tonnes de pétrole gaspillées pour rien.

Et le plus navrant dans l’histoire, c’est que les mêmes qui prétendent que la « gratuité des transports publics, c’est pas possible, c’est trop cher, etc. » financent ensuite des courses de bagnoles avec notre argent!

Alors, avec presque 2 millions d’euros, Grand Prix de Pau ou Bus Gratuit?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Car-free San Francisco would be nice

The streets of San Francisco will have fewer cars if the city\'s transportation agency has its way.
Photo: Victoria Amato

San Francisco transportation agency wants to put brakes on automobiles | Grist: "The City of San Francisco is steering toward a future with fewer cars.

In a meeting earlier this week, the board of city's Municipal Transportation Agency supported a plan in which the role of the personal motor vehicle would be radically reduced. From the San Francisco Chronicle:"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

MUNI workers made scapegoats while billions are spent on auto subsidy

Facts For Working People: San Francisco Mayor Carry's Out Threat Against MUNI Drivers. Union Leaders Call a Lawyer, AFL-CIO Backs Mayor: "The San Francisco Chronicle prepares the ground by building public animosity toward the MUNI drivers and public sector workers in general.� The MUNI driver's refusal to cut their own throats meant that they were taking “….money intended to stop a proposed increase in discounted passes for seniors, youth and the disabled and to blunt service cuts…..”�� the Chronicle wrote earlier this year.� All the thieving and corruption that goes on as the contractors, business and various other sections of the capitalist class get their noses deep in the public trough and the transit drivers are to blame for capital's refusal to provide free public transit."

Plan to squander transit money -- time to put a stop to it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Prescott AZ knuckleheads still for subsidizing the expensive private auto system

Editorial: There's no money to fuel public transit - The Prescott Daily Courier - Prescott, Arizona: "It is amazing that Prescott officials refuse to really look at the transit issue. They can find 19 million for an interchange with a road to nowhere. They can subsidize a golf course that has never turned a profit a garage that costs millions a year and gets little use an airport that flies to nowhere useful and can't remotely pay for itself and other failed projects or projects that go way beyond projected cost and time. But, the city refuses to even consider a transit plan."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is this obvious enough? They DO NOT WANT transit to work

MTA's $46M system of locking turnstiles sits unused, waiting for fare cards to be adopted - LA Daily News: "After spending more than $154 million for a system of locking turnstiles and electronic payment cards for the county transit system, officials are discovering that at least a third of the money may have been wasted because they can't use the new devices as planned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed the locking turnstiles at subway and light-rail stations to stop fare scofflaws and end what had previously been an honor-based system."

Monday, August 23, 2010

All the kings horses, and all the kings men...

Iraq willing to accommodate Syria-bound Iranian gas pipeline | Earth Times News: "Baghdad - Iraq is open to allowing a pipeline transporting gas from Iran to Syria to run through its territory, a press release from the Iraqi oil ministry said Thursday.
'Iraq does not mind facilitating the extension of the Iranian gas pipeline through its territory to Syria and the Mediterranean Sea,' Iraqi oil minister Hussein al-Sharistani said in the statement."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

CSM does story on wild fires. No mention of global warming.

The story talks about zoning, propane tanks, and homeowner precautions. Why no mention of climate change? Oh. There is an advertisement for an automobile next to the story. Enough said. CSM

Friday, August 6, 2010

Russia, Crippled by Drought, Bans Grain Exports -

Russia, Crippled by Drought, Bans Grain Exports - "MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday banned all exports of grain after millions of acres of Russian wheat withered in a severe drought, driving up prices around the world and pushing them to their highest level in two years in the United States."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010 on track to be hottest year - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Iraqis tried to cool off, as high temperatures hit 
the Middle East and beyond [AFP]

2010 on track to be hottest year - Americas - Al Jazeera English: "The world is experiencing the hottest year on record, the US based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported, with large parts of Canada, Africa, Europe and the Middle East�facing abnormally warm temperatures.�

The figures released by the NOAA suggest that 2010 is on course to be the warmest year since records began in 1880."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Free rides offered by El Dorado Transit - Around the valley -

Free rides offered by El Dorado Transit - Around the valley - "There is such a thing as a free ride on El Dorado Transit on Friday and Saturday.
The transit agency is offering free fares on its fixed routes in El Dorado County and Sacramento commuter routes because of 'Spare the Air' days.
During smog season -- May to October -- the agency offers the free days when the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District forecasts unhealthy ozone levels.

To reduce ozone pollution, people are encouraged to avoid taking auto trips.
Last year the agency offered four free days, with riders taking 4,275 trips on those days, transit agency spokesman Matt Mauk said.
For more information or for trip planning assistance, call El Dorado Transit at (530) 642-5383 or visit"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No future in alternative fuels

...As I've posted here before, there is no future in alternative fuels. I support sustainable fuel for the motoring that we'll have to do in the future- and make no bones about it, we will have to do some motoring. Utility workers, for example, require the convenience of some form of motorized transport. However, we also need to be drastically reducing the amount of driving we do, and in most cases entirely eliminating our reliance on automobiles. We don't need to "discover" or "refine" alternatives- they are running around the streets and subways of our cities every single day, in the form of bicycles, electric trains and trolleybuses, and electric commuter trains. We don't need to put something else in our cars, we need to get rid of them entirely, and this is something that the overwhelming majority of posts on the BP oil disaster miss by a mile.... Riding in Riverside

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Top Ten reasons to hate cars

Cars are killing our kids. Motor vehicles are the number one killer of California children and UK boys (1). see the rest... onthelevel

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Free Public Transit Movement is Growing

It is catching on. People are starting to see that the private auto is a self-indulgent, anti-social killer. It kills everyday and now it threatens the biosphere itself.

There are many solutions being offered, but the most direct, simple, and effective is to make public transit fare-free.

Our advocates will be at the European Social Forum in July, and will be starting a nation-wide campaign in the UK in October. The campaign is stepping up in Scotland and getting a lot of attention in New Zealand and Australia. It has been strong for years in Brazil where there are MPL chapters in 8 cities. There are activists in Russia, Poland and India.

This movement is going to be huge. And  that will happen sooner if you join.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A lot of green talk. No green progress

Despite the Bay Area’s green reputation, the survey also painted a stark portrait of how stubborn the practice of driving to work alone remains. Two-thirds of those surveyed either worked or went to school. Of those, 68 percent said that they drove alone, with 17 percent reporting using public transit and 10 percent carpooling. NYTimes

It is time to give up the half-measures. We need to make urban public transit fare-free.

Monday, April 19, 2010

State Treasurer candidate advocates free public transportation

...Public transportation should be fully funded by the state and federal governments. Debra Reiger, the Peace and Freedom Party's candidate for state treasurer, calls for free public transportation, not just for BART, but for all agencies in the state...

Mary McIlroy

El Cerrito


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Transit advocate may run for mayor of Oakland

Kaplan, who is Oakland's first openly lesbian elected official, said that she would address "critical concerns" including more economic revitalization, local hire policies and livable communities.

A former AC Transit Board director, Kaplan touted her accomplishments as having updated city zoning regulations and obtaining funds to launch a free transit shuttle in downtown Oakland.

Read more:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Roseville - Ride free this week with your library card

Celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries by participating in National Library Week, April 11-17, 2010. Library cardholders receive free trips on Roseville Transit Local Service during this week--just show your Roseville library card to the bus driver when boarding. This offer is not valid on Dial-A-Ride or Commuter Services.

Show your Roseville library card for other free benefits during April 11-17. Visit for details.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More freedom with free public transit

Some might argue that people choose to take public transportation, which means that they should pay for it. As someone who rode public transportation for a few years, I can attest to the fact that many people who ride public transportation represent groups that do not have access to cars. This is either due to the fact that they cannot drive, or they are not in an economic class that cannot handle the financial burden of a vehicle.

Overall, I think one can make a good argument that public transportation should be free. Granted, the cost has to be covered somewhere and ultimately the taxpayer will feel the cost, but in a free society it makes sense to give people access to geography. By making public transportation free, people can get around. The ability to travel is an important part of freedom. Todd Pheifer on Helium

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Car beats marathon runners by six minutes!

I decided to see if I could drive the marathon course in my car — street for street, turn for turn — during weekday morning rush hour, in a time faster than elite runners could run it on race day. Abraham told me those runners will finish the course in about 2 hours 8 minutes and that he thought I didn't stand a chance, adding that organizers had considered minting a T-shirt that read: "It's faster to run it than drive it."

Challenge accepted.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Orlando Taylor -- Free Transit saves more than it costs

But more importantly, they said it doesn't cost anything, just get on the bus and ride. That seemed odd, because I live in Washington and nothing is free there, so it didn't make any sense to me. Then I later heard in the conversation and determined that the city of Portland understood that it was cheaper for them in the long run to provide free public transportation in the downtown area than to have all the carbons emitted from autos, for example, and that it was in their health interests and their economic interests to encourage people to ride a bus, not to mention the fact that they saved a lot of money. Cal State Fullerton

Monday, March 8, 2010

While states go broke -- $400 billion wasted on biofuel scam

...A recent report by Rice University (Texas) found that the U.S. spent US$4 billion on biofuel subsidies in 2008 to replace a mere two percent of the U.S. gasoline supply. It estimates that this costs taxpayers about US$82 per barrel, or US$1.95 a gallon more than the retail price of petroleum fuel. By 2022, U.S. biofuel subsidies will have totaled US$400 billion, according to environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth. The EU is no better, giving around €3.7 billion (US$5.2 billion) in biofuel subsidies in 2007, aiming to replace 5.75 percent of transport fuel by the end of 2010.

On top of wasted taxes and higher food prices, biofuels make little environmental sense.

Production in the U.S. and the EU can release more emissions than it avoids. Nobel-Prize-winning chemist, Paul J. Crutzen, estimates that:

“For rapeseed biodiesel, which accounts for about 80 percent of the biofuel production in Europe, the relative warming due to N2O [nitrous oxide] emissions is estimated at 1 to 1.7 times larger than the quasi-cooling effect due to saved fossil CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions. For corn bioethanol, dominant in the U.S., the figure is 0.9 to 1.5...."TheChinaPost

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Coalition urges free bus passes for students in Bay Area

A coalition of social justice and transportation advocates announced a campaign Friday to press the Bay Area's transportation commission to finance free bus passes for intermediate and high school students. ContraCostaTimes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seattle - New light rail - bike racks - no parking

Bike racks -- good. No parking -- good. Now, do like Bogotá and have fare-free feeder buses.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Muni Riders organizing against cuts

“We are asking everyone to show up and complain about the mayor and the MTA board’s failure to prepare for this and find alternatives to the drastic cuts they’re proposing,” Snyder told us, referring to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to close a $16.9 million mid-year budget deficit (which is what's left after the $11 million from the taxi permit selloff, which the MTA has already figured into the budget) almost entirely on the backs of Muni riders, who have already seen their fares double since Gavin Newsom became mayor in 2004.                    San Francisco Bay Guardian
 Click here to sign up for Muni Riders' Group

Thursday, February 25, 2010

San Mateo - Try Transit for Free

Try Transit Program
Is your precious time wasting away in stressful traffic jams? Would you like to try a different way to work?

Now you can hop on a free Caltrain Connector Shuttle and connect to SamTrans or Caltrain. If you’ve considered trying transit, then try transit for free!

Friday, February 19, 2010

San Francisco - Free Muni --> Tourist Mecca

Let’s make Muni free

I have long been a proponent of a free Muni, run in an efficient, public-serving manner. The idea is to create a tourist mecca with free public transit as its anchor. The “experts” tell us that a no-fare Muni is not only impossible, but ridiculous.

Who among us, after reading The Examiner’s Feb. 14 list of Muni’s $67.7 million costs, can’t suspect tremendous fraud and waste? At the very least, there is a budget process that encourages other city departments to make up inflated numbers.

Paul Burton, San Francisco

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fare-free is a feasible solution to Los Angeles urban sprawl

The first feasible solution that I came across comes from an article found on the planning and development blog Planetizen, titled: “Why Is Fare-Free Transit The Exception Rather Than The Rule?” In this article, author Dave Olsen explains that using fare-free transit is the only effective way to promote mass transit ridership resulting in a shift towards sustainable living. Olsen explains that comprehensive mass-transit research demonstrates that the cost of operating a mass transit system is similar to its projected revenues. Olsen further explains that, “collecting fares is as or more expensive than the revenue it brings in.” With no stable source of income for mass transit systems, even when these systems collect fares, Olsen argues that public transit systems should then shift their priority from making a profit to prioritizing the main mandate of public transportation systems, that is getting people to use public transit. Olsen highlights the previous success achieved in cities that use fare-free transit systems like Hasselt Belgium, which increased public transit ridership by 1223% after switching to fare-free transit in only four years. Los[t] Angeles

Friday, January 22, 2010

Auto system wastes time, money, and energy

While traffic congestion plagues many cities, Los Angeles stands apart. The Texas Transportation Institute tracks congestion statistics for U.S. metropolitan areas on an annual basis, and Los Angeles routinely ranks first for both total and per-capita congestion delays. Considering the value of wasted time and fuel, TTI estimates the annual cost of traffic congestion in greater Los Angeles at close to $10 billion... RandCorp