Next CicLAvia on April 6, 2014

Next CicLAvia on April 6, 2014

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As we talk about transforming transportation in Los Angeles, it is exciting to see movements that are helping to re-establish community in the city. Join CicLAvia tomorrow on Wilshire Boulevard from the Miracle Mile area to Downtown. The street will be open for pedestrians and cyclist and closed to cars! This is a great day to experience the culture of the city and leisurely walk and bike in areas where we normally are rushing through to avoid traffic on the I10 freeway.

For more information or to volunteer, visit www.ciclavia.org.

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Big fare hikes at MTA

LA Times 1/18/14 by Laura Nelson

Well there is another surprise; MTA’s revenues do not support their costs. $36M shortfall! Put another way, if they were a business, they would be out of business.

They plan to raise fares to support their budget. Given the fact of how poorly the system has been managed today, no matter how much they raise the fares, the end result will be the same, an operating loss.

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The only way the MTA can can win is by improving service and attracting the next tier of riders, LA’s middle class. 85% of the riders in the bus cannot afford cars and are typically in the lowest economic class. MTA sells to this crowd because they don’t care to offer a service only a lift. (Check out the advanced signage I saw on my recent bus trip!)

Overall, we need to adopt the practices outlined in “Driving Excellence” by Mark Aensk.

Mark ran the Rockchester, NY transit system and made it work in a down economy without rate hikes. He did one thing, he made it attra

ctive to new customers who started using the system.

The MTA gets only 26% of their revenues from fares. You and I as taxpayers are footing the bills for the other 74%. This money that should be used for maintaining our roads and infrastructure.

Ultimately, Running transit like a business is the only way we will be successful. Segment your services, innovate to attract new customers and provide world class experiences. This is how you turn a deficit into a surplus, or as we say in the real world “a profit!”

Planes, buses and trollies!

Traveling to Boulder for a business meeting, I decided to take the road or ride less traveled.

My hertz reservation for my two day drip was $165 and with gas and parking, my total expense would end up being $209 + $20 for round trip LA flyaway.

My day started with the LA flyaway at 6am. Smooth, simple and $10. Cheaper than a cab and easier than having my wife give me a ride only to sit in traffic going north on the 405. Overall it works, though a local dash service would be great since a local Uber would add another $8 to my tab each way.

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In Denver, easy tram to the main terminal (why don’t we do this at LAX?) and two very helpful people directed me to the ground transportation booth and I proceeded to wait 20 minutes for the scheduled bus to arrive.

The bus arrived early and the driver loaded everyone’s bags and we left on time.All for $11!

In under an hour I was in Denver. From there I jumped on a free mall bus and arrived at the Westin in no time. Parking was worse than I thought at $24 so very glad I did not drive.

My lunch and dinner meetings were downtown so it was an easy walk to both restaurants.

After dinner walked back to the transit center (buses will be moving to Union Station in May) and I took the bus to Boulder for $5.

The trip to Boulder was about 20 minutes longer than driving but it was easy and I was able to stretch out, read and relax.

Staying at the St Julien hotel, I had about a 4 block walk which was very easy with my roller bag. Also, parking was $15 per day.

Two great days of meetings and it was time to head back to the airport for the trip home. I stopped by Starbucks for a coffee to go and 20140328-181437.jpgtook the 2:37pm bus to the airport for $13.

There was a ton of traffic so it was nice to ride versus trying to drive. The hour bus ride was about 25 minutes longer than driving but probably a was once I had to stop for gas and return the car to the lot.

All in all, it was a very easy process and very economical. While my budget was $209, the real cost with parking would have been $249. My total cost was $29. A savings of $220!

It was great to keep that in my pocket to cover my other travel expenses.

CicLAvia coming April 6th

“Get the wheels turning” LA Times 1/25/2014

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LA has been experimenting with new ways of opening the city to alternate forms of transportation (funny how walking and biking are now considered alternative!). The program has been a boon to various areas of LA where people are congregating and enjoying the city in very new ways.

The future of LA is dependent upon people discovering the treasures that lie hidden throughout the city and start to rebuild community by sharing life together, once again. The successful cities have an identity and culture that pulls people together. Our culture has been one of dreams and success, yet the bubble of cars and our silos of life have left us alone and separate.

More events like the CicLAvia will help transform our city, our attitudes and culture. Let’s all get out and walk and ride on April 6th between Downtown and the Miracle Mile. Let’s rediscover the majesty of Los Angeles!

http://www.ciclavia.org/

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/25/entertainment/la-et-cm-changing-downtown-streets-ciclavia-20140125