Metro announced it will officially open the Regional Connector transit project to the public on June 16.
The ambitious, complex project, which began in 2013, is unique among rail projects in the United States. The 1.9 miles of new track laid for the project will allow light rail trains to travel between Union Station and the busy 7th Street/Metro Center Station in Downtown’s Financial District. Before the Regional Connector, that’s a journey only Metro’s heavy rail lines could make. Bridging this gap allows Metro to merge the hook-shaped L (Gold) line with the A (Blue) and E (Expo) lines, creating two serpent-like train lines where there were once three. The Regional Connector includes three new underground stations:
Little Tokyo/Arts District Station where riders will have easy access to historically rich and vibrant neighborhoods and cultural institutions. Historic Broadway Station features two nationally registered districts: the Broadway Theater District, with 12 original theaters within seven blocks and Old Spring Street, known as the original Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles. Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station connects riders to downtown’s performing arts institutions, museums, fine dining experiences and more.
These new stations will transform the way many riders can experience the Metro system, provide riders a seamless, one-seat journey from as far as Azusa to Long Beach and from East L.A. to Santa Monica with no transfers required.
The City of Redding Hires John Andoh to Lead Redding Area Bus Authority
The City of Redding has hired John Andoh as Transit General Manager to lead the Redding Area Bus Authority in transit operations and services. The larger goal is to further develop a balanced, safe, and efficient local transportation system. He will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of RABA, supporting the RABA Board of Directors, facilitating and implementing elements of the short-range transit plan under development, pursuing grant funds, and leading policy development for RABA. Additional responsibilities include promoting increased use of sustainable forms of transportation - including walking, biking, and transit use in the RABA service area - and working to improve equal access to transportation programs and services.
“John brings more than two decades of education and Transit Management experience from a diverse range of communities to his new role,” said Assistant City Manager, Steven Bade. “I am confident he will rejuvenate our public transit system.”
Andoh previously served as the Mass Transit Administrator and General Manager of the County of Hawai’i Mass Transit Agency, Hele-On. During his tenure with Hele-On, he was responsible for directing all aspects of an island-wide public transit system’s operations and implementing innovative partnerships for bike sharing, transportation network companies, mobility management, and vanpooling.
The Redding Area Bus Authority (RABA) functions as a joint-powers agency between the City of Redding, the City of Shasta Lake, the City of Anderson, and Shasta County. RABA provides countywide public transit services on 14 fixed routes, and a complementary paratransit service, making approximately 300,000 passengers trips a year on a fleet of 40 buses and vans. RABA Transit services are provided under contract with Transdev Services, Inc.
One Book, One BART: BART launches first book club for riders
BART is proud to announce the launch of our first book club for riders, One Book, One BART. The official book selection is Hua Hsu’s “Stay True,” a bracing coming-of-age story set in 1990s Berkeley that recently won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Memoir.
One of the undeniable benefits of taking BART is the ability to read while you travel, and nothing passes time on the train quite like leaping into a great read. Books, like transit, have the power to take us to lands far, far away (even if those “lands” are just the next stop on the line).
In launching One Book, One BART, we hope to honor the long tradition of reading books on BART while celebrating the literary ecosystem in the Bay Area – from our region’s trove of independent bookstores to our incredible libraries to our made-in-the-Bay writers, poets, and literary scholars.
One Book, One BART will feature a constellation of happenings – both virtual and in-person – from May through August. Your home for all things BART book club will be the One Book, One BART page on BARTable
One Book, One BART is part of our ongoing – and thus far highly successful – efforts to educate the public, connect with the communities we serve, and build brand affinity. As part of this effort, we’ve hosted Twitch livestreams, developed official BART content for the popular game Cities: Skylines, and are even launching a series of BART anime mascots. In all, we aim to create content and experiences that are more educational, human-oriented, and playful.
San Diego MTS Board Elects Stephen Whitburn as Chair
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors has elected San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn to fulfill the remainder of the Board-appointed chair term through 2023, and the next term which begins in January 2024. The Board also appointed El Cajon City Councilmember Steve Goble to Vice Chair, the position Chair Whitburn held prior to taking the top post. Chair Whitburn takes over for Nathan Fletcher, who resigned from the position in March.
“It is a great honor to lead our region’s public transit system,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Board Chair and San Diego City Councilmember. “There are so many positive things happening for transit in San Diego. The Board just approved a robust budget that keeps our service levels high, and continues efforts to make our transit system more equitable. MTS is recovering ridership at a much faster pace than many agencies across the nation after the pandemic. We also have major service enhancements happening this year with a new all-electric Rapid route in the South Bay, and the agency is on track to convert its entire bus fleet to zero emissions by 2040. I appreciate the trust and support of my colleagues with this appointment. This Board is a dedicated group of public servants that understand the value transit brings to all our communities.”
The MTS Board of Directors is made up of 15 local elected officials – four from the City of San Diego, two from Chula Vista, and one each from the County of San Diego, and the cities of Poway, Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa, National City, Lemon Grove, Coronado, and Imperial Beach.
Councilmember Whitburn was elected in 2020 to represent the 3rd Council District in the City of San Diego, which includes the neighborhoods of Downtown, Little Italy, Bankers Hill/Park West, Middletown, Mission Hills, Mission Valley, Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park, Balboa Park, South Park and Golden Hill. He has been a long-time neighborhood leader and public servant. Whitburn has lived and been involved in the communities of District 3 for more than two decades, working in the non-profit sector for agencies such as the American Cancer Society and American Red Cross.
Marin Transit: Kids and Teens (18 & Under) Ride for Free This Summer!
Marin Transit is offering free rides throughout the summer starting June 1, 2023 with the Summer Youth Ride Free Program. SMART, Marin Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, and Petaluma Transit have come together to provide free rides for kids and teens, transforming the North Bay into a summer playground.
To take advantage of this program, simply show a valid K-12 school or government-issued ID to the conductor when boarding the train or bus. Younger children, under age 5, also ride for free but must be accompanied by an adult.
Children and teens can take public transit to their favorite summer destinations, including parks, amusement centers, summer jobs, movie theaters, shopping centers, skate parks, libraries, summer camps, and summer classes.
StanRTA Receives Outstanding Transportation Agency Award for 2023
The S was awarded the California Association for Coordinated Transportation’s (CalACT) Outstanding Transportation Agency Award for 2023. The S is the newest agency to ever receive this award! The award was presented to StanRTA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Barth and his team at a CalACT awards luncheon on Tuesday, April 18, in Olympic Valley, CA.
StanRTA has been a member of CalACT since the regional transit system was formed in 2021 and was nominated for this year’s Outstanding Transportation Agency Award for its success in merging the former Modesto Area Express (MAX) and Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT) systems to form The S.
StanRTA immediately established the core value that transit is a reflection of its users and is successful only when it meets the user’s needs. Through this principle, and under the guidance of the StanRTA Board of Directors, Barth and his team were able to fashion a new brand that made seamless the formerly fractured route system, create service equity, implement sound financial and administrative practices and policies that could meet evolving needs, and form relationships with Stanislaus County’s diverse communities through outreach and marketing activities. Such milestones were accomplished in two short years and caught the attention of CalACT. Congratulations!