In the News

Ethan Elkind in the news:

The politics of passenger rail in Los Angeles

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KCRW, May 20, 2016

“This is a momentous occasion for Los Angeles transit advocates, and for mobility and the region. And the reason is that the Westside of Los Angeles is the most densely populated within the county. When you have dense concentrations of people, that’s when technology like rail transit makes the most sense.”

Metro hoping riders will heed call to board $1.5 billion Santa Monica Expo train

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC-FM, May 18, 2016

Metro’s return on investment comes down to ridership. … “It’s really dependent on something that sounds really straight-forward, but is hard to achieve in reality, which is that you have to have enough concentration of people and jobs within a half mile of stations,” he said.

Location, location: Solar PV and the San Joaquin Valley

Ethan Elkind co-writes for Capitol Weekly, May 16, 2016

Out of the 9.5 million acres in the stakeholder study area, the groups identified 470,000 acres of ideal, non-controversial land for solar PV development, or roughly 5 percent of the Valley study area.  At a generic calculation of 1 megawatt of solar PV production from 5 acres of panels, that means the lands identified could provide 94,000 megawatts of renewable power.

Hearing for lawsuits over Downtown Berkeley development set for Aug. 26

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Daily Californian, April 20, 2016

“(Environmental impact reports) are covering such a wide range of subjects that generally it’s not too hard to find an area where they did an inadequate job,” Elkind said.

Efficient buildings are key to state’s clean-energy push

Ethan Elkind writes for The Sacramento Bee, April 5, 2016

A recent state-commissioned study indicates there is two to three times greater economic efficiency potential in existing buildings than what is achievable via current programs that rely on rebates and incentives.

How politics built L.A.’s Gold Line at the expense of a smarter system

Ethan Elkind writes for Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2016

In the case of the Gold Line, we’ve brought expensive train technology to a generally low-density area that could be more economically served by bus rapid transit or commuter buses running in the right-of-way.

Sepulveda tunnel, faster subway work possible with Metro’s $120 billion measure

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC-FM, March 11, 2016

Agencies around the country have turned more and more to sales tax measures to fund projects as federal and state sources for transit construction have dried up. “It’s definitely not the best way to run the rodeo,” said Elkind. “The problem is there aren’t a lot of great sources of funding out there, so this self-help approach is really the best.”

City Visions: Making the case for a second transbay rail crossing

Ethan Elkind hosts KALW-FM, March 7, 2016

“With the Bay Area’s population growing at a rapid pace and increasing numbers of residents choosing public transportation, how long before the current transportation infrastructure reaches a breaking point? … Is the time ripe for such a significant undertaking?

As Gold and Expo lines expand, a look at how it’s changing our commutes and communities

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC-FM, March 7, 2016

“In the old days … the traffic was jammed from Santa Monica going into downtown, but as the jobs have shifted out to Santa Monica, it’s been a complete parking lot out to Santa Monica from the east. For anyone who’s experienced that, the rail line here promises a really convenient alternative.”

How to boost L.A.’s sinking transit ridership

Ethan Elkind writes for Los Angeles Times, Feb. 1, 2016

If transit leaders want to improve ridership, they need to find ways to reduce fares and make them more equitable, such as by accounting for distance traveled and providing universal passes for students.

UCLA and UC Berkeley say California has neglected biofuel opportunities

Ethan Elkind quoted in Biofuels Digest, Dec. 7, 2015

“We have the potential in California to produce a significant amount of low-carbon fuel to meet our transportation needs over the coming decades, but the state has not yet taken full advantage of its own agricultural opportunities to increase biofuel production.”

State should set goals on use of low-carbon biofuel

Ethan Elkind writes for The Sacramento Bee, Dec. 5, 2015

At the federal level, new rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued Monday will boost biofuel production nationwide, while in California, our environmental policies also promote low-carbon biofuels. But the state needs additional biofuel policies to reduce transportation emissions further and benefit local economies in the process.

New California climate law mandates 50 percent renewable power by 2030

Ethan Elkind interviewed on KQED-FM, Oct. 9, 2015

“If you look at what the bill does contain, it actually gets us most of the way to that 50 percent petroleum reduction. It does it by encouraging more electric vehicle usage through a pretty aggressive set of targets and goals that would enable utilities in particular to help develop charging infrastructures—so that more people can buy and drive electric vehicles and charge them outside of the home.”

San Diego transit stations get poor grades

Ethan Elkind cited in Dispatch Times, Oct. 7, 2015

Pulling down Southern California’s overall grade was the Green Line stretching along the 105 Freeway from Norwalk to Redondo Beach, said Ethan Elkind.

Statewide public rail transit report gives Downtown Berkeley BART station ‘A’

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Daily Californian, Oct. 7, 2015

Ethan Elkind — lead analyst for the report … described the Downtown Berkeley station as an example of a “good, successful area” because of the heavy foot traffic in and around the station and its proximity to amenities.

Metro receives average rating in statewide evaluation of rail transit stations

Ethan Eklind quoted in Los Angeles Times, Oct. 5, 2015

“There’s definitely room for improvement in Los Angeles,” said Ethan Elkind. … “Putting in the infrastructure is just part of the job. Development favorable to transit use has not happened in that many instances. They need to make sure that new growth is focused around transit systems.”

LA rail system ranks 3rd in state, half of 88 stations earn B or better

Ethan Elkind quoted in San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Oct. 5, 2015

Pulling down Southern California’s overall grade was the Green Line stretching along the 105 Freeway from Norwalk to Redondo Beach, said Ethan Elkind. … “Those stations along the Green Line did not score well because you will not have a lot of development when the station is in the middle of a freeway.”

Will Calif.’s ambitious policies to promote electric vehicles sell in other states?

Ethan Elkind quoted on ClimateWire, July 15, 2015

“Incentives have put California in a leadership position,” Elkind said. “I don’t know if we’ve inspired other states, but certainly other states have looked at our incentives. By changing it now to be income-based, we’ll see if that’s an area that boosts adoption.”

From a gas tax to a mile-based fee

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KQED-FM, March 26, 2015

“There should be a basic principle of fairness that if you drive five miles of roads, you should pay for those five miles. It shouldn’t depend on how much gas you’re using.”

Researchers encourage California policymakers to expand environmentally sustainable transportation

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Daily Californian, February 25, 2015

“We‘ve got crumbling roads … and transit systems that are overcrowded,” said Ethan Elkind. “We have too much traffic in general … and nowhere for people who are biking or walking.”