Brown’s Budget to Put $300 Million in Cap-and-Trade Funds Toward Caltrans, High Speed Rail

In Brown’s recently leaked budget proposal, $300 million was set aside for “rail modernization.” When broken down, the budget has proposed $50 million for Caltrans and $250 million for the High-Speed Rail Authority. The money going towards Caltrans is intended to be used for existed railways to integrate their current systems into the high-speed rail and provide connectivity from older railways to the new high-speed train.

City and Transportation Politics Linked in Orange County

By John Howard, Special Report from Capitol Weekly

A shift in power at the Orange County Transportation Authority in part reflects a dispute over power in the largest town in OCTA’s jurisdiction: Anaheim.

Local Mayors Join Steve Glazer In Push For Ban On BART Strikes

Orinda city council member and state assembly candidate Steve Glazer received support from local leaders Tuesday in his push for a ban on public transit worker strikes. 

Glazer was joined by a half a dozen leaders from Contra Costa cities for a press conference on the matter, held at the Walnut Creek BART station. 

Los Angeles Roads Ranked Worst in the Country

The roads in Los Angeles are terrible—and that’s not just an opinion. 

The Los Angeles-Santa Ana-Long Beach area ranks first among big cities for the percentage of roads in poor conditions. This causes more than headaches; TRIP, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, estimate this costs drivers more than $800 per year. Their study says about 64% of roads in the greater Los Angeles area are in poor condition.

Two Southern California Cities Eliminate Red-Light Cameras

The cities of El Cajon and South Gate have joined the growing number of municipalities that have to chosen to chuck their right light cameras.

The El Cajon City Council voted to end photo enforcement permanently on Tuesday, just a couple of weeks after South Gate eliminated its own contract with Redflex Traffic Systems. 

“I think it’s an overreach of government, and costs our businesses,” said El Cajon Council Member Gary Kendrick. “People don’t like these red light cameras. If we haven’t improved the safety then we don’t need them.” 

State Pension Flap Imperils Jobs, Billions In Local Transportation Dollars

By John Howard

Exclusive CityNews Report from Capitol Weekly

Local transportation officials across California are not happy: The feds, weighing in on a public pension dispute, are holding back billions of dollars. That means trains may not run on time, buses may not get bought or fixed and projects may not get built. And that could translate into a lot of unhappy passengers.

“We’re sort of stuck in the middle on this,” said Joel Zlotnik of the Orange County Transportation Authority, which has $114 million languishing in limbo. “Our goal is to have this resolved.”

Governor Brown Exempts Transit Employees' Pension Requirements

Following an announcement from the US Labor Secretary that California could lose out on $4.3 billion in funds for transit projects if it did not alter its laws, Governor Jerry Brown has announced that public transportation workers are exempt from new pension restrictions. 

Parking Meters at Heart of State-Local Dispute

By John Howard

Special Report from Capitol Weekly

Most people know little about parking meters except that they always run fast. 

But those meters have figured in a political dispute this year pitting motorists against the cities, the cities against the state and the drivers against just about everybody. Gov. Brown, meanwhile, has weighed in on the side of the drivers.

Pasadena’s Folding Bike Program Seeks To Encourage Public Transportation

One of the biggest obstacles for those considering a switch to public transportation is a little something called “the last mile”—that last trek between the transit hub and the individual’s ultimate destination. Public transportation users struggle with this phenomenon, often relying on friends, family members, or co-workers to transport them to and from the station. It’s a nuisance and, in the minds of many, just one more reason to stick with the car. 

West Sacramento Will Lease Its Port To Private Company

In the past 5 years alone, the Port of West Sacramento has lost $6 million, while only narrowly avoiding bankruptcy. Now, the city is throwing in the towel. 

This summer, West Sacramento will lease the port to private operator SSA Pacific, which currently manages the 50 year-old facility. The 5-year-lease is expected to save the city at least $650,000 a year. In addition, as part of the agreement, SSA Pacific will absolve the city of some $850,000 which it currently owes the company. 

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