L.A.’s Revelatory Light Rail for Nerds

The Gold Line Has Become a Brain Train, Linking Educational Institutions From Pasadena to East L.A.

My train line is smarter than your train line.

I’m a regular rider of “The Brain Train,” officially known as the Gold Line on the L.A. Metro system. The Gold Line is a light rail running from the eastern San Gabriel Valley into downtown L.A. and then back out again to East L.A. Along the way, it connects enough smart institutions—from innovative community colleges, to a leading cancer center, to the world’s greatest scientific university—to explode stereotypes about public transportation and Southern California itself.

Yes, other parts of California may claim …

More In: train

The Next Great California Bridge Should Span the High Desert

Infrastructure Linking Palmdale and Victorville Could Boost L.A.—and All of North America

What’s the fastest way to change California?

Assuming you don’t have the power to set off a major earthquake, your best bet would be to connect the two small desert cities …

Even “The Girl From Ipanema” Can’t Save Rio’s Olympic Train

Why the Faltering Subway Line Exemplifies Brazil's Broken Promises

When the self-proclaimed greatest legacy infrastructure project of the Rio Olympics is a new metro line that stops eight miles short of the actual Olympic Park, you already know there’s …

There’s No Such Thing as a Spill-Proof Way to Transport Oil

Even the World’s First Long-Distance Pipeline that Crossed the Alleghenies in 1879 Was Prone to Accidents and Sabotage

To a historian of pipelines, last month’s Santa Barbara oil spill is a reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Since their first introduction in …

Why Not Blow $9 Billion on a Cool Train?

High-Speed Rail Would Be Great For California--If It Made Any Sense At All

California’s long love affair with cars is going sour. There is the price of gas. There are the crowded freeways. There is the internal combustion engine, which threatens the health …