Monday, September 22, 2014

Electric Buses

Foothill Transit Line 291 between Pomona and La Verne now fully zero-emissions.
WEST COVINA, CA (September 19, 2014) - Foothill Transit, the primary public transportation provider for the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in Los Angeles County, is launching the world’s first heavy duty, fast charging, fully electric bus line at the Pomona Transit Center at 9AM on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
Almost four years ago to the day, Foothill Transit became the first public transit agency to put fast charge electric buses into service.  The Foothill Transit Ecoliner, manufactured by Proterra LLC in Greenville, SC, is a lightweight, 35-foot transit vehicle with heavy duty responsibilities, driving 30-miles without charging, and able to recharge, hands free and in-route, in 10 minutes.  This Ecoliner was the first of its kind in the nation and now, thanks to the purchase of 12 more buses from Proterra LLC, the agency’s Line 291, which travels between the cities of Pomona and La Verne, will carry passengers exclusively with these vehicles.
“The immense challenges we face with the environment demand that we expand our sustainability efforts,” said Doug Tessitor, Chair of Foothill Transit’s Executive Board.  “Rapid advancement in battery and vehicle technology makes zero-emission public transit not only possible but reliable.  This is the time and place for us to show that zero emissions transit is here now.”
The project was entirely funded through a Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) II  grant from the Federal Transit Administration.  Foothill Transit’s Line 291 travels 17 miles between La Verne and Pomona and recharges its buses in route at the Pomona Transit Center at a drive-in docking station.  The 10-minute charging time is possible thanks to specially designed lithium titanate batteries.
Foothill Transit will be officially launching the all-electric Line 291 at the Pomona Transit Center on Saturday, September 27th at 9AM.
In addition to viewing the new fleet of 35-foot Ecoliners, guests at the event will also be able to see Proterra's new 40-foot, V2 electric bus.  Foothill Transit became the first public transit agency in the nation to purchase the new V2.  Delivery is expected in early 2015.  The agency is exploring expansion of electric bus service to neighboring communties.


Foothill Transit is in its 25th year of serving the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in Los Angeles County. Its 330-bus fleet covers approximately 327 square miles each year, carrying 14 million passengers with 35 fixed-route bus lines.

To receive a complete travel itinerary of starts, stops, and transfers to your destination, call 1-800-RIDE-INFO or visit one of Foothill Transit’s five Transit Stores located in West Covina, Claremont, Pomona, Puente Hills Mall, and El Monte Station.
For the latest news, route maps, job openings, and past press releases, visit

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Your Pomona City Council candidates

Information on who qualified for the ballot has been posted on the City's web site. Find your district here. Note that because the Pomona City Council rejected redistricting a few years ago, District 5 (Phillips Ranch and Westmont) residents have slightly more representation than average. But don't let that stop you from voting if you live elsewhere.

Remember that the top vote getter wins, even if that percentage is less than a majority. In some cases, such as District 5 with five candidates, that could mean someone could win with only 21% of the vote. On the other hand, candidates always tend to drop out, and such a low vote total means that the winner must be extra careful to avoid being recalled should they vote the wrong way on a controversial issue.

District 2 
This generally consists of the southwest quadrant of "old" Pomona (i.e. not Phillips Ranch) and most of downtown.

Adriana Robledo - incumbent (appointed) councilwoman, former parking commissioner and Pomona Princess. Here's a bare bones website.
Tomas Ursua - former mayor, several time loser for mayor and councilman, mathematically challenged, property developer. No website yet.
(Ironically they apparently live down the street from each other, which could be somewhat awkward.)

District 3
This generally consists of southeast Pomona.

Cristina Carrizosa - incumbent councilwoman. Has served on Pomona City Council for years. Does campaign finance forms by hand. Double dipped on a pension by retiring and being reappointed to City Council in a somewhat shady deal at the start of her current term. Strong advocate for immigrant rights. No website (never had a website).

Nancy Matarrita - Community resources director. Ran for school board in 2009 and lost. Active in Youth and Family Master Plan workHas a website.

Diane Lawson - ballot title is "homemaker". Opposed wage increases on city employees. Retired from Disneyland. Not supportive of unauthorized immigrants staying in town. Other change is unspecified, but has working website.

District 5
This generally consists of Westmont, the mobile home park and graduate student housing around Cal Poly Pomona, and Phillips Ranch.

Ginna Escobar - Incumbent councilwoman. First term member. Former Miss Pomona. Was cited for stealing campaign signs of an opponent. Supported trash station, opponents claim she wasn't paying attention and texting while they were testifying. Has a website (unfortunately the colors you see are the ones on the signs in real life) and a political Facebook page. Top accomplishment on her page - perfect attendance at council meetings. To be fair, also talks economic growth, public safety, widening the 71 Freeway, and "improvement of the quality of life".

Luis Jorge Grajeda - Historic Preservation Commissioner. Realtor/businessman. Co-founder Pony Baseball LeagueRan for same office in 2010. Believes there is a disconnect between residents and current leadership (i.e. incumbent). Detailed web site.

Joshua Heredia - Businessman. No web site. No information available on past civic or community involvement.

Alicia Malone - Sheriff Lieutenant (Lakewood Station). Key points are "integrity, leadership, community safety". Ranch Hills PTA. Has a website.

Gabriel Rogers - Parole Agent/Educator (in a work capacity instructing other parole agents). Former planning commissioner. Key points are "honesty, integrity, service" (I'm seeing a trend here). Endorsed by former councilman for the district, Tim Saunders (must login to Facebook to see): "an honest person running for office ,,,, has my vote !!!!!!!" (sic) Involved in various youth programs. Has a website and a Facebook (which you must log on in order to see).

See you at the polls.