“Today’s” Headlines

(Editor’s Note: I’m traveling all day on Friday, so I set today’s stories to post throughout today.  Our syndication is playing catchup from some D.C. stories we missed.  To get today’s national news go to Streetsblog.net or Capitol Hill Streetsblog.  If you miss me and don’t know what to do with yourself, take a couple seconds to fill out our reader survey. – DN)

  • Villaraigosa: Schools Should Get Free Transit Passes for Field Trips (The Source, Daily News)
  • Epstein: Discussing the Link Between 30/10, Transit and Affordable Housing (HuffPo)
  • Downtown Han an Auto District (Downtown News)
  • Meanwhile the City Is Still Trying to Get More Electric Charging Stations (LA_Now, Daily News)
  • Can Richest Neighborhoods Get Exemptions from Transit Projects? (Subway Blog)
  • I Love That Curbed Uses a Mushroom Cloud as a Graphic for Their Wilshire BRT Story
  • So.Pas Still Opposed to 710 Expansion (Pasadena Star-News)
  • Human Transit Tries to Make Sense of L.A. Transit’s Fare Structures
  • Don’t Read Unless You’re Ready to Cry: Open Letter from Wife to Husband Slain by Drunk Driver (Bikeside)
  • I think the mayor is to be applauded for his desire to help school kids here, but do feel obligated to sound a few cautionary notes, given my ten+ years of experience conducting and arranging field trips of just this type for TransitPeople.

    (*) A public transit field trip takes kids from the protected school environment and introduces them to hazards that can be encountered while riding busy trains and buses. Experienced teachers generally can cope with these hazards … but not all can, which is why TransitPeople requires an evaluation field trip for candidate teacher-trip leaders. This evaluation trip isn’t an automatic pass, and shouldn’t be.

    (Please note that our experience is mostly with elementary school aged children. Middle and high school students are much more independent, and far better able to stay out of harm’s way on their own.)

    (*) We limit group size on city buses to twenty-four kids maximum, and even that limit is asking a lot of fellow bus riders! (Our limit used to be twenty, but was raised when K-3 class sizes were bumped up a few years ago.) I simply can’t imagine the chaos that would ensue if four high school classes were to descend at once on Wilshire/Vermont to ride the same 720!

    The rail lines are another matter. A six car subway can handle more than one class at a time, at least if they spread out on the platform to avoid boarding the same train.

    The mayor is very correct in noting the toll that the state’s ongoing financial woes have taken on the availability of field trips here. I commend him for his idea, and hope it can be brought to fruition … but if the board just ‘waves the wand,’ so to speak, I predict significant problems.

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