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SGV Connect

SGV Connect is Streetsblog Los Angeles' podcast that explores the people, places, projects and events that make up the changing face of transportation in the San Gabriel Valley. SGV Connect is hosted by Damien Newton and Kris Fortin. This feed also hosts SGV Connect's predecessor podcast, #DamienTalks.
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Apr 17, 2020

This week's SGV Connect focuses on how the Coronavirus is impacting planning and transit throughout not just San Gabriel Valley, but all of Southern California.

First up, Kris speaks with Demi Espinoza of the Safe Routes Partnership about the upcoming approval of SCAG's Connect SoCal document.

Connect SoCal is a long-range plan that seeks to balance future mobility and housing needs with economic, environmental and public health goals. SCAG is the regional planning organization for a mammoth six-country region that includes Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.

Before their interview, Damien and Kris discuss whether or not it even makes sense to push such a plan right now. Damien references a recent statement and action put out by The Untokening that urges governments to stop planning processes that will not be able to reach many populations during COVID-19. Kris also mentioned, and it comes up again in the interview, that things have changed so much since the outreach began for this process that does the plan still make sense? 
 

Second, our hosts talk about the impact COVID 19 is having on the transit agencies that serve the San Gabriel Valley. This week L.A. Metro announced another round of service cuts while revealing sharp declines in ridership: Bus Ridership Down 65 Percent, Rail Down 75 Percent. For more on Metro's cuts, read this article by Joe Linton, published on Wednesday.

Three agencies have suspended regular service: Carson, Montebello and Monterey Park. Other agencies are scaling service back as agencies see steep ridership declines and loss of other income that bolsters transit budgets such as sales taxes and parking fees.

While many agencies are still providing on-demand micro transit or ride-hailing services for residents in-need of transit, there is no doubt that both the present and future of many transit agencies is uncertain. If you're planning a transit trip, we recommend double-checking the relevant websites in advance and immediately before your trip to see if there are any changes.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Catch past episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.

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