Infrastructure & Policy Updates 9/8/22
California Bans Sale of New Gas-Powered Vehicles By 2035
The California Air Resources Board voted on a historic plan to end the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. Air quality officials say the regulations could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by more than 50% in 2040. It could also reduce nitrogen oxides, which create smog, by more than 25% in 2037.
California Legislature Passes Bill Aimed At Reducing Vehicle Usage
The California legislature passed Senate Bill 457, authored by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank), to create a $1,000 annual tax credit for eligible households with zero registered vehicles. Only individuals earning less than $40,000 and households with annual incomes below $60,000 would qualify for the credit.
Bill To Decriminalize Jaywalking Awaits Newsom's Signature
The Freedom To Walk Act passed the California Legislature in August and awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom's signature to prevent police from stopping jaywalkers, except when there is an immediate danger of collision. The bill's author, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), cited the disproportionate number of people of color and lower-income people who are stopped for jaywalking in California.
LA Surpasses Bay Area For Transit Ridership During Pandemic
Los Angeles' per-capita transit ridership during the pandemic temporarily overtook the Bay Area's the first time in at least 20 years. In the year before the pandemic, transit riders in the Bay Area took 43 million more trips than LA County, but in 2021, Los Angeles had over 83 million more transit trips than the Bay Area.
Metrolink Offering 50% Discount For EBT Users
California Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) users can get a 50% discount on Metrolink tickets and passes by using their EBT cards at station machines. The program, which is funded by Caltrans' Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, will continue for a year or until funds are depleted.
San Fernando Valley
Metro Board Approves Valley Light Rail and G-Line Rapid Bus Updates
The Metro Board of Directors approved the hiring of a construction management firm to oversee the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Line, which would be the first light-rail system in the Valley. The line, expected to be operational in June 2028, will extend more than nine miles from the Van Nuys Metro G Line Station to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station
South Los Angeles Area
Metro Extends Free Fare Program To Inglewood Unified School District
Metro expanded its GoPass program to Inglewood Unified School District, giving nearly 8,000 students in the district unlimited free rides on Metro and participating transit operators for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.
Bike Advocates Call For Upgrades To Venice Boulevard
Bicycle advocates called on officials to upgrade Venice Boulevard with parking-protected bike lanes and bus-only lanes during a virtual community meeting held by council members, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Metro.
Eli Akira Kaufman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Chair of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, spoke about the needs of cyclists represented by both organizations, saying many "use their bikes to serve as 1st/last mile connections to public transit to cover greater distances. A large portion of those cyclists are in low income communities where the current bike infrastructure is little more than paint on the street. It is because of the experience of these cyclists, as well as the hundreds of thousands of bus riders and pedestrians from communities without access to safe active transportation infrastructure that we strongly support the Venice Safety and Mobility Project . Any steps we can take to encourage more folks to ride public transit will have important impacts on reducing congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and making LA a more livable place for everyone."