Category: business intelligence


image of downtown
Courtesy METRO

Article first published as <ahref=’http://technorati.com/business/article/nearly-35-million-to-be-invested/‘>Nearly $35 Million to be Invested in Bus Improvements According to U.S. DOT</a> on Technorati.

Greyhound Bus coined the phrase, “Take the bus, and leave the driving to us.” Now, the federal government is banking on it with a $34.7 million dollar program announced Friday (Oct. 28, 2011).

Angelenos and Los Angeles area visitors will soon have better transit options and less congestion thanks to money from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) 2011 Bus Livability and State of Good Repair competitive discretionary programs.

METRO BUS AT NIGHT
Courtesy Metro

“Investing in America’s transit systems, rails, roads, ports and airports is the perfect way to generate tens of thousands of construction-related jobs and put more money into the pockets of working Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“But we must do more. Congress needs to pass the transportation portion of the American Jobs Act so we can continue to invest in critically needed projects like these, and to repair and modernize our nation’s transportation systems.”

FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan was at Metro headquarters in Los Angeles to make the announcement and to encourage Congress to support the transportation investments proposed under President Obama’s American Jobs Act.

Union Station Downtown
Aerial shot of Union Station in downtown LA
(Courtesy Metro)

She was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Metro CEO Art Leahy and other officials. “As a native Californian, I know first-hand just how crowded our highways and roads are and how without these federal investments our cities’ buses will continue to age and break down,” Deputy Administrator McMillan said. The U.S.

Senate is expected to vote on the transportation proposals made under the President’s American Jobs Act next week.

El Monte station under constructions

The transit grants are expected to help Metro purchase new energy-efficient compressed natural gas buses and construct a new Patsaouras Plaza Bus Station adjacent to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, which will serve El Monte Bus way passengers and other transit riders.

The project is part of the Metro Express Lanes Demonstration Program, a larger strategic effort to reduce traffic congestion along the I-10 and I-110 freeways in Los Angeles County.

Some 2,400 jobs are expected to surface from $210 million federal grant awarded by the DOT four years ago. DOT, Metro and the California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans), is currently under construction on those projects.

TTA is providing more than $126 million for 41 projects in California. A complete list of successful project proposals can be found athttp://fta.dot.gov/grants/13094.html.

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Downtown Film Festival rec carpet event.

LAEDC Report Says  Southern California,  California, U.S.  Economic Recovery is Underway, Stronger Growth in ’12

In L.A. County, international trade, entertainment and tourism leads regional economy.

A separate report shows striking economic and personal ties with Japan

Dr. Nancy Sidhu

Los Angeles — The economic recovery is  under way led by increased international trade  and growth in the high-tech sector,  entertainment and tourism, according to  the 2011-2012 Economic Forecast and  Industry Outlook report released today by  the Kyser Center for Economic Research at  the Los Angeles County Economic Development  Corporation (LAEDC).

The Los Angeles economy “appears to be past the bottom of the recession and is starting up the recovery path during 2011 and 2012,” said LAEDC Chief EconomistNancy D. Sidhu, Ph.D. “Many industries are back in the black and employment is rising in some areas.”

Imports and exports have rebounded around the world. Increased international trade activity in 2011 will benefit the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which both posted strong years in 2010.

Hiring is also expected to  grow as well for the region’s  tourism and entertainment  sectors as a result of  increased filming and more    visitors to the region,  helped by the new  convention center hotel at  L.A. LIVE.

However, there is little likelihood the housing sector will escape another difficult year, even though 2011 is expected to bring some improvement. Housing activity will only see incremental improvement even though it has improved from the 2009 lows.

California, which had the second highest unemployment rate in the country in 2010 at 12.5 percent, will see employment growth in 2011. However, much like the national picture, California’s jobless rate will remain relatively high, with the LAEDC forecasting an average unemployment rate of 12.1 percent this year and the rate coming down to 11.5 percent by next year.

“We project that the California and U.S. economies will grow moderately in 2011 and 2012,” said Sidhu. “But the recession was so deep, 2011 won’t feel all that good despite improvements in most industries. However, the state is headed in the right direction, and the economy will seem even better by 2012.”

First-time US Japan Study by Kyser Center for Economic Research out today (LAEDC image)

Growing Togetherreport highlights L.A. County’s personal and economic ties with Japan

The LAEDC also released a separate, new report, “Growing Together – Japan and Los Angeles County”. The report describes many of the close ties that have developed between Los Angeles County and Japan, the number one source of foreign direct investment into L.A. County.

U.S. – Japan trade has increased dramatically over the past 50 years jumping from $3.2 billion to $211 billion at its peak in 2000. Japan is the second largest trading partner of the Los Angeles Customs District with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together handling nearly 25 percent of total trade between Japan and the U.S.

The report also documents the growing importance of foreign direct investment in this relationship, reviewing both investments made by Los Angeles area business firms in Japan and Japanese investments in Los Angeles County.

To discuss their investments made in the region, the LAEDC’s EconomicForecast event held at the Los Angeles Marriott on Feb. 16 features a panel of speakers from well-known Japanese companies. Representatives from Honda Motors, Union Bank and Yakult, makers of probiotic beverages, will discuss the significant impact of Japanese companies on the L.A. County economy.

For the full story  of the Forecast & Industry Outlook and  the first-time LAEDC  report Growing Together – Japan and Los Angeles County.

Please visit: http://www.mayocommunications.com/2011-NEWS%20RELEASES/NR-377.htm