What’s Going on with the Wilshire BRT? This Weekend’s So.CA.TA Meeting Has the Answers

Due to the Yom Kippur holiday the September meeting of Southern California Transit Advocates is this Saturday, the 21st (normally we meet on the second Saturday). The guest speaker will be a representative of Metro making a presentation on the status of the Wilshire bus lane project. This will start at 2:15 pm at Angelus Plaza, 255 S. Hill St. (4th floor). Extensive transit directions are on our website.

It should be interesting and as always is free, open to the public and after the presentation there will be an opportunity for asking quetions.

The rest of the meeting will be taken up with the usual functioning actions plus bylaws revisions in service of a radical restructuring reflecting social trends and the emerging cyber-environment of new avenues for advocacy and engagement. We are not the only civic institution grappling with the new paradigm.

I remember it was some years ago I first heard about this via blog posts reviewing Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone. Monthly meetings just don’t cut it any more and I am unwilling to continue planning events that draw the same 15-20 people month after month. We have to do things differently and internally we are having discussions on what the “new” SO.CA.TA will be like starting Jan. 2014.

But first, besides revising our bylaws and contemplating new realities, there are still 4 monthly meetings to program and put on. Traditionally we don’t have a speaker at the December meeting, which is devoted to the election of officers for the next year along with our annual holiday banquet. The latter event will start circa 5 p.m. Dec. 14th at Taix on Sunset near Alvarado and besides a delightful meal include the usual bag of transit trinkets given out to attendees plus door prizes. Our Oct. 12th speaker is Linda Culp of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency. Patrick Tomcheck of Los Angeles World Airports is the speaker at the Nov. 9th meeting on the status of FlyAway. So at least as we wind down the old way of doing things it is with a pretty dynamite lineup of speakers.

And then next year comes the new dawn. Because the imperative of life as I often mutter to myself while grappling with whatever the universe currently is throwing at me is “forward, ever forward!” as a mantra even when where it is leading isn’t overly clear.

  • Irwin Chen

    Thanks to SO.CA.TA for many years of representing the interest of real transit users, as opposed to the other pseudo front groups inherently not interested in transit issues (i.e. BRU).

    Anything you can share about the “new” SO.CA.TA?

  • Yikes! One Board member complained he thinks it is presumptuous for me to comment on changes that in his opinion may or may not be approved. I used to think I am overly negative but this Director has given me solace that I am at least less negative than him.

    Likely we’ll have occasional special events, maybe live streaming them. Also study tours of local transit like the Wilshire lanes after the expansion next year. Any suggestions? Should Union Station’s 75th be an occasion for more than a celebration? Maybe a seminar or panel discussion?

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