Based on its past reputation, the Los Angeles region would seem like an unlikely place to be seeking inspiration about transportation. But stereotypes can quickly become outdated, and that’s what’s happening in Los Angeles now.
And it’s not all new to the region. The most significant step forward for mobility in Los Angeles was taken in November 2008, in the midst of the nation’s largest financial panic in half a century. Even in that shaky economic climate, over two-thirds of the voters in Los Angeles voted to tax themselves for a large transit capital investment proposal called Measure R. That’s a bold investment in transportation by any global standard.
Los Angeles’s vision and political will is now being manifested with multiple rail and bus rapid transit lines under construction. Transit operators like LA Metro, Big Blue, Foothills and Long Beach Transit are improving service. Development and redevelopment around new and future transit stations is creating a region where more and more residents can live without being forced to shoulder the expense of a private car and suffer in traffic. Because of that new compact growth policy and the commitment through Measure R, the Los Angeles region is on its way to becoming a great transit metropolis. Meantime, the state is boldly building intercity rail to connect Los Angeles with San Francisco. The state legislature is also doing its part by passing the most progressive greenhouse gas reduction legislation in the country, which mandates that transportation planning serve all societal goals, not just maximize the endless escalation of private automobile use.
Next Monday, February 23 is another step upon that journey for the City of Angels and the Golden State. Along with a variety of business, environmental and community groups, we’re proud to sponsor Live – Ride – Share, the first conference in Southern California dedicated to the promotion of emerging shared-use modes like bike-share and car-share, as well as improved pedestrian and bike access to the stations along the expanding transit network. All these features will be a practical supplement to the transit system being built out under Measure R, not a competitor to it. By extending the range of places that residents can go once they step on or off a bus or train, these new options give them more choices to reach more destinations.
Combining those Measure R investments, changes in zoning and land use, and the opportunities presented by emerging shared-use modes, Angelenos are creating a mobility network that could one day be the envy of other cities around the world. At Live – Ride – Share, visitors from London, Fresno, Helsinki, Long Beach, and Chicago will share what their cities are doing to provide more mobility choices – but they’re also going to learn about what Los Angeles aspires to accomplish as well. Sharing these goals and showcasing Los Angeles’ conversion from a totally car-dependent metropolis, is why TransitCenter helped catalyze and developed content for this event and chose to become the primary financial sponsor. The conference is only the first step of our commitment to pairing public agencies with the private sector to expand mobility options for the Los Angeles region. No doubt what we learn there will be noted by other cities around the world.
Live in the LA Region? Register for the Live-Ride-Share conference on Monday, February 23, 2015 and learn how transit and shared-use modes can work together to magnify the region’s investment.
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