PUBLIC TRANSIT TRIPS
Americans riding public transit in record numbers
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming.
Nearly 10.7 billion trips in 2013, to be precise - the highest total since 1956, according to ridership data reported by transit systems nationally and released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.
Transit ridership has now fully recovered from a dip caused by the Great Recession. With services restored following economy-driven cutbacks, ridership numbers appear set to continue what had been a steady increase.
"People are making a fundamental shift to having options" aside from a car in how they get around, said Michael Melaniphy, president and CEO of the public transportation association. "This is a long-term trend. This isn't just a blip."
Expanding bus and train networks help spur the growth.
Ridership on Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority light-rail trains increased six percent over 2012, as the public took advantage of an expanded network of lines. Overall, LA Metro gained nine million trips to reach 478 million in 2013, the transportation association said. Among the other transit systems in California with record ridership was the Caltrain commuter rail service that connects San Francisco with Silicon Valley.
Houston, which has been more notable for its sprawl than its public transportation offerings, had a large ridership gain. So did Seattle, Miami, Denver and San Diego. The New York area's behemoth transit network saw the greatest gain, accounting for one in three trips nationally.
Transit advocates argue that the public increasingly values the ability to get around without a car. They offer as evidence the nation's urban shift and the movement to concentrate new development around transit hubs.
"People want to work and live along transit lines," Melaniphy said. "Businesses, universities and housing are all moving along those corridors."
Man holds out atop roof of San Diego FBI building
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Authorities say a man hopped a security fence and refused to come down from the rooftop of a building at San Diego's FBI headquarters office for much of the day.
FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth says the man arrived alone at FBI headquarters and climbed over a security gate at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
The man tried to get in through the main entrance, and police were called.
He entered and walked to the top of the parking structure then got to the rooftop of an annex building.
FBI hostage negotiators and SWAT team along with San Diego police and firefighters were called to the scene and the man was taken into custody after about six hours.
It's not clear whether the man was armed or what he was seeking.
LOS ANGELES MARATHON-INJURIES
LA Marathon runners treated for heat injuries
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Marathon officials say 28 people were hospitalized and treated for mostly minor heat-related injuries after the race.
Temperatures soared into the upper 80s along parts of the course Sunday during the marathon, which featured 25,000 runners.
The mayor's office said in a news release that among 1,000 runners who sought help at 10 medical tents, 28 were taken to hospitals.
While higher than in cloudier, cooler years, the number of injured was not considered excessive under the conditions.
City fire Battalion Chief Carlos Calvillo tells City News Service a 28-year-old man had a heart attack and was resuscitated by paramedics. Another had a seizure.
In a case unrelated to the marathon, a 56-year-old man got sick and died Sunday while hiking in a Hollywood Hills park.
Fire Dept.: 30-40 hurt as stage falls in Calif.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Fire officials say 30-40 suffered mainly minor injuries when a stage collapsed at a high school in southern California.
The Anaheim fire department says firefighters and medics responded to a call shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday after the stage gave way at Servite High School.
The dispatch surpervisory office says 30-40 patients have been transported to hospitals.
Most of the injuries are minor and none is life threatening.
The office says it's not immediately clear if the injured are students.
Survey: US average gas price up 10 cents a gallon
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) - The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 10 cents over the past two weeks.
The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday says the price of a gallon of regular is $3.51. Midgrade costs an average of $3.69 a gallon, and premium is $3.84.
Diesel was up three cents over the past two weeks at $4.03.
Of the cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, Los Angeles has the nation's highest average price for gas at $3.94. Jackson, Miss., has the lowest at $3.18.
Can GOP neutralize immigration as election issue?
AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Will the apparent slow death of immigration legislation have any political repercussions this year?
If so, they probably will be felt in the subdivisions, shopping centers and ethnic eateries wrapped around Denver's southern end.
Republican Mike Coffman represents the fast-changing congressional district.
He's among a few vulnerable Republican members in line to be targeted by immigrant rights advocates.
They're targets if the House doesn't pass an immigration bill before the November election that would offer legal status to millions of people who entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visas.
Democrats are focused on about two dozen GOP-held seats where immigration could be a factor.
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