If you build it, they will come. That’s the upshot of a new USC study that looks at the impacts of the new Metro Expo Line on commuter behavior. The study finds that since the light rail line connecting downtown L.A. and Culver City opened, people living within half-mile of a station tripled their Metro ridership and reduced their carbon emissions. Families in the study reduced their daily driving by 10 to 12 miles on average. The study’s authors found another benefit of taking public transportation: walking to Metro stations is good for your health…The owner of an urban L.A. oil field that voluntary shut down last month after complaints from neighbors is promising to clean up its act. Since the Allenco field stopped operations, air quality officials say that some types of pollution in the adjacent University Park neighborhood have dropped by 60 percent. Residents of the area north of the USC campus have blamed the plant for headaches, nose bleeds, nausea and other ailments. Allenco officials are vowing to modify operations to prevent leaks and upgrade pollution controls. L.A. Health officials, though, say they are skeptical that those steps will suffice…Residents of Southeast L.A. made passionate pleas this weekend for local air officials to shut down a controversial Vernon battery recycling plant. Dozens of residents and some politicians spoke during a hearing at Cal State L.A. held by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. A risk assessment earlier this year found that the plant was endangering the health of more than a hundred thousand people. Exide officials say they’ve made improvements and the plant’s emissions no long pose a health risk…Nevada’s primary hospital for mentally ill people has sent more than one thousand patients out of Las Vegas on Greyhound buses in recent years. The Sacramento Bee says Greyhound receipts list the names of people who were given one-way tickets to cities across the country over the past three years. More than 325 former patients ended up boarding buses to California…And finally, The U.S. Navy plans to increase sonar testing over the next five years. That’s in spite of research paid for by the Navy itself showing that the underwater signals can hurt whales, dolphins, and other types of marine life. Navy officials insist that training sailors in real-life conditions is vital to national security, and that studies fail to prove that sonar causes significant harm. The California Coastal Commission rejected the Navy’s five-year plan for exercises beginning next month off Southern California. But the state agency doesn’t have the authority to stop the drills and the Navy has ignored the agency’s requests in the past.
Study says Expo Line is getting people out of cars
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