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Proterra's headquarters in City of Industry, one of a growing number of electric bus manufacturers in Southern California. (Avishay Artsy)

Los Angeles has become the Detroit of electric buses 18 MIN, 42 SEC

There's a highly-charged competition going on in Los Angeles right now. And it's between manufacturers of electric buses.

Transit agencies around the country are going electric. And here in LA, Metro has a goal of converting its bus fleet to 100 percent electric by 2030. The agency says it will spend around a hundred million dollars a year in contracts.

A Foothill Transit electric bus under repair at
Proterra's facility in City of Industry
Photo by Avishay Artsy

So under our noses a new industry is growing. There are at least ten companies in the Southland that are making and selling battery electric buses. The biggest is the Chinese-owned company BYD, which has a factory in Lancaster, employing over 500 people. There's Ebus in Downey. Proterra, in City of Industry, likens itself to the Tesla of electric buses.

But is it possible the capital of car culture is advancing the art of the humble bus -- even as Metro currently grapples with a fall in bus ridership?

Paul Mottram, plant manager, and T.J. Nass, customer program manager
at Proterra in City of Industry
Photo by Avishay Artsy

John Drayton, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (@metrolosangeles)
Jeff Joyner, E4 Mobility Alliance
Ashley Z. Hand, LA CoMotion / CityFi (@azhandkc)
Ryan Popple, Proterra (@rcpopple)
Paul Mottram, Proterra (@Proterra_Inc)
T.J. Nass, Proterra (@Proterra_Inc)

Will electric buses juice California's economy? Start-up Proterra hopes so.
The 'Tesla of bus makers' arrives in Southern California, as Metro considers buying electric buses
LA Times editorial: Electric buses are LA's transit future
Jay Leno shows us why LA's electric buses are something to marvel at

Remembering Southland construction giant Paul Matt 8 MIN, 51 SEC

Paul Matt, chairman of MATT Construction, who passed away on June 30

Paul Matt, chairman of Matt Construction and builder of a number of Los Angeles-area landmarks such as the Skirball Cultural Center, the Petersen Automotive Museum and The Broad, died on June 30 at the age of 85.

Those buildings seem so permanent and effortless it's hard to remember that great struggles went into their construction.

Matt Construction also built the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, the LACMA Resnick Pavilion, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills, and the restorations of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the Hollywood Bowl and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Matt began his career in construction as a welder on Oregon's Dalles Dam. In 1962, he supervised work on the Salk Institute in La Jolla, designed by the great American architect Louis Kahn, and he worked on the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA.

Architect Moshe Safdie remembers him as "a builder at heart [who] had the pride of craftsmanship."

Dora Epstein Jones, A+D Museum (@doraejones)
Moshe Safdie, architect, urban designer, educator, theorist and author (@safdiearchs)
Melody Kanschat, Claremont Graduate University

LA Times obituary of Paul Matt
OC Register obituary of Paul Matt
LA Biz obituary of Paul Matt
Engineering News-Record gives Paul Matt the 2015 Southern California Legacy Award

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