2012: Another Big Year for Motorized Transit in L.A.

I’m well aware this year we can look forward to all sorts of pedestrian and bike events like Ciclavia. One way to keep tabs on these is to regularly check this blog’s calendar.

This is my favorite National Train Day poster...even though it's now three years old. - DN

2012 in Southern California is also going to be a year studded with numerous motorized transportation related events. Of course the marquee event will be the opening of Phase I of the Exposition light rail line. But when this will happen and other details are still unrevealed, a state of affairs most recently explored in a Christmas Day piece in the Los Angeles Times. Likely it will be during the first half of the year but even that vague prediction is nothing more than an educated guess.

The growing awareness of urban rail’s role in our region provides the impetus for the Jan. 20, 2012 Westside Urban Forum panel event The Rail Story of Transforming Los Angeles

Smart growth and livability are themes of several 2012 events including the 11th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference that will be held February 2-4, 2012 in San Diego, CA.

The motorcoach industry is a entire universe of bus transportation separate from public transit, providing transportation to the tourist industry and other economic sectors via charters and specialized services. The United Motorcoach Association Expo will be held in Long Beach Feb. 8-Feb. 12, 2012.

The economic role of infrastructure investment is one of the tracks being explored at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference March 15-March 16, 2012 in Los Angeles.

The Rail Passenger Association of California and National Railroad Passenger Association will hold their joint annual conference Steel Wheels in California and Nevada March 16, 2012 in the Board room at Metro in Los Angeles.

Twice a year the Motor Bus Society holds a convention in an urban area that includes extensive behind the scene bus yard and facility tours. The Spring 2012 event will be based in Los Angeles during the weekend of Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29 with a focus on operators north of central Los Angeles, including Simi Valley, Oxnard-Ventura and Santa Barbara along the coast along with Bakersfield, Lancaster and Santa Clarita in the north-central area and several properties in northern Los Angeles County.

After relocating to Brea in 2010 and undergoing a hiatus in 2011, Railroad Days will return to Fullerton May 5-May 6, 2012.

The American Public Transit Association, trade group for the industry, holds conferences dealing with various aspects of public transit. This year its Bus & Paratransit Conference is being held in Long Beach May 5-May 9, 2012.

Concurrent with the conference May 4-May 8 APTA will be holding its International Roadeo in Long Beach. This is a competition where teams from various agencies test their skills in driving and maintenance.

The 5th National Train Day will be held May 12, 2012 with activities at Union Station and other rail stations in the region. Much like Railroad Days this is a great event for families that includes equipment displays and transportation related exhibitors.

Metro staff report that in the summer we can look forward to the opening of the new El Monte station and the extension of the Orange Line.

Fall will bring the 2012 Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit, being held Friday, Sept. 28 at the Disneyland Hotel.

Returning to Los Angeles will be Rail~Volution, the livability and transit-oriented-development conference, October 14 – October 17, 2012.

In addition we can anticipate at the tail end of the year the latest editions of the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica and the Clean-Air Car Show & Green-Living Expo in South Pasadena.

And this isn’t a comprehensive list. We can anticipate events being put on by such entities as the Keston Institute, Leonard Transportation Center and the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments.

All in all it looks to be a busy year for those with an interest in bus and/or rail transportation.

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