Villaraigosa and MTA Board adopt local hire policy for construction projects

imageLos Angeles has a reputation as the ultimate car city, but thousands of its residents still rely on public transit.

These riders tend to earn less than average LA County residents, which means even small fare increases can pose a challenge.

Bonnie Stillwater, a single mother, said both she and her daughter rely on the bus.
“The fare increases are so high, it takes one-fifth of my monthly income to pay for bus passes for me and my daughter,” she said.

Stillwater was one attendee at the Don’t X Out Public Transit rally in Mid-Wilshire on Tuesday. More than 20 such rallies were held across the country, protesting a proposed 37 percent budget cut to transit funding. If the cut passes Congress, it could lead to longer wait times and fewer buses.

Ryan Wiggins, the Southern California organizer for Transportation for America, said those cuts would primarily hurt people like Stillwater.

“Those people who don’t have a car, don’t have access to vehicles, who depend on both rail and bus to get to their places of work, will feel the brunt of the impact,” he said.

Wiggins said the cuts would also lead to less frequent maintenance of buses and delay the building of new rail projects.

LISTEN: State of the City address

imageMayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued his sixth State of the City Address from a podium at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles Wednesday.

During the 33-minute speech, he highlighted improvements in policing and transportation and called for improvements in the Los Angeles educational system.

Listen to highlights from the speech:

INFOGRAPHIC: Mayor talks education reform, budget during State of the City address

Education reform was the focus of Mayor Villaraigosa’s sixth State of the City address Wednesday.

Located at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles, Villaraigosa encouraged lawmakers, educators and residents to take a stand in improving Los Angeles’s schools.

That education focus is clearly seen in the infographic below, a look at the most commonly used words in Villaraigosa’s speech.