Your Measure R Dollars at Work: Safer Metrolink

2_24_09_metrolink.jpg

As the debate over how Measure R funds will be spent continues to be a hot topic amongst transit advocates, we continue to get specifics on  how funds will be doled out piecemeal.  First we heard that the state transit crisis would endanger the promised bus expansion and now we’re hearing that a small portion of the rail funds, about 3% of the $1.2 billion set aside for "commuter rail" will be spent on making Metrolink trains more safe by installing the Positive Train Control (PTC) system.  Many rail safety experts believe that a PTC system would have prevented the horrific Metrolink crash from last September.

Metro’s share of the Metrolink funding pie is about 50% and because the total cost of the PTC system is estimated at $210 million; Metro is on the hook for just over $100 million if Metrolink is unable to secure federal funds.  In its report to the Metro Board, staff estimates that Metrolink could receive up to $135 million in federal funds.

Metro, and especially Board Chair Villaraigosa, are eager to get funds for PTC allocated as soon as possible and is willing to loan the rest of the funds to Metrolink so that the new safety measures can be put in place as quickly as possible.  While the federal government is now requiring all rail lines to have PTC by 2015, that time table was a little to slow for Metrolink which as an agency has received a lot of heat since the crash last fall.

For those of you who don’t follow train safety news, a good description of what a PTC is can be found here.

Photo: The Metro Library/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The latest Metrolink TAP solution

|
When you look over the list of 90 some posts I have contributed to this blog over the past few years, certain recurrent topics become apparent like the Wilshire bus lanes and the statewide bullet train project. Recently I have been quite involved in covering the effort by local agencies to assume management of the […]

Mike Antonovich’s Tortured Point and How the Mayor Should Have Reacted

|
Yesterday, at a meeting of the Metro Board of Directors Construction Committee, L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich became the first public official to throw cold water on Mayor Villaraigosa’s transit dreams by denouncing plans to place an extension of the Measure R half cent transportation sales tax indefinitely. Much of the coverage of Antonovich’s complaints have […]

TAP Coming to LADOT Bus Services

|
Friday I was riding on the DASH Fairfax route when I noticed it had a message printed on a paper bag sitting on the dashboard announcing that the Transit Access Pass (TAP) is coming to L.A. Dept. of Transportation (LADOT) bus services (DASH and Commuter Express) in June.  The LADOT website also has a frequently […]