Laura J. Nelson on Muck Rack

Laura J. Nelson Verified

Los Angeles
Transportation and Mobility Reporter — LA Times
As seen in:  LA Times
Covers:  mobility, trains, cars, congestion, light rail, pedestrians, bikes, southern california, parking, los angeles, freeways, buses, traffic, streetcars, roads, commuting, transit-oriented development

Transportation reporter at the Los Angeles Times

Laura J. Nelson's Biography

I write about transportation issues, including light-rail, buses, parking, commuting and the bike/ped community, and cover LA's county and city transportation agencies.

I've previously covered national news, business-tech and local politics. I grew up in suburban Kansas City and studied French and journalism at USC.

If your pitch has a Los Angeles angle, I want to hear it:

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Start-ups offer Bay Area travelers alternative to crowded bus system

Start-ups offer Bay Area travelers alternative to crowded bus system

How do you prefer to be pitched on stories?

By email (, tailored to my beat, and nothing canned. Tell me in three or four sentences why the story matters.

City Hall staff kept quiet on L.A. streetcar red flags — When downtown voters agreed last winter to bring back the Los Angeles streetcar, the campaign pitch sounded simple: a $125-million trolley through the heart of the central city, with funding split between federal grants and a new property tax.

Funding and travel-time concerns impede proposed L.A. streetcar line — Two and a half years ago, downtown Los Angeles residents overwhelmingly approved a new property tax to build a streetcar line through the heart of their reemerging neighborhood. Officials said the local rail loop would attract business and new development to dormant blocks and help revitalize the city's historic core.

First bullet-train bridge set to rise in Central California — Crews in Central California have started construction on the first visible piece of the state's $68-billion bullet-train system from Los Angeles to San Francisco, officials said Monday. A viaduct in Madera County that spans the Fresno River is part of the first slate of construction projects for the state's long-planned bullet train, which has faced years of political, legal and funding challenges.

Antelope Valley Transit Authority experiments with digital ads on buses — At first glance, the vivid advertisement on the side of the bus seemed familiar enough: "Injured?" Then, in a ripple of pixels, the message changed. "We can help!" "It's bright, isn't it?" said Jennifer Lutz, 32, of Los Angeles, as she stood on the sidewalk on Wilshire Boulevard in Mid-City, eyeing the bus idling at the opposite curb.

Metro to pay $4.25 million to man struck by Gold Line train — The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a man whose foot was amputated after he was hit by a Gold Line train, officials said Monday. Gilberto Rebollar was hit by a train in 2009 in a pedestrian crosswalk near the Southwest Museum Station in Mount Washington.

Q&A with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on L.A., Amtrak — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx came to Los Angeles on Thursday to urge Congress to keep money flowing for state highway, bridge and transit projects. In two weeks, unless Congress acts, federal officials' ability to give money to state and local governments will expire, which could leave road and highway projects across the country in the lurch.

Long Beach allows taxis to lower fares as they compete with Uber, Lyft — Long Beach officials are pursuing a new strategy to resolve the growing rift between taxi drivers and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, becoming the nation's first large city to relax restrictions on cabs, rather than increase regulation of their new competitors.

Long Beach's answer to Uber and Lyft: Cheaper taxi fares — Long Beach officials loosened restrictions on local taxi fares Tuesday, a move aimed at keeping cabs competitive with the flexible pricing models of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. At its meeting in downtown Long Beach on Tuesday evening, the City Council voted, 9-0, to allow Long Beach Yellow Cab, which holds the city's exclusive franchise agreement, to charge passengers less than the metered fare.

Metro poll suggests strong support for 2016 transportation tax hike — More than two-thirds of Los Angeles County residents would support raising the county sales tax by a half-cent to bring in about $120 billion for rail and highway projects, according to a new poll paid for by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

New Metro chief executive will make nearly $350,000 in salary, stipends — The incoming chief executive of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will make nearly $350,000 a year in salary and stipends, an increase of $20,000 over his predecessor's earnings. Phil Washington, who most recently led Denver's transit agency, signed a four-year contract with a base salary of $327,000.
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Jun 29, 2015

.@Uber's numbers: $470 million operating loss on $415 million revenue... and a supposed valuation of $50 billion:…

Jun 29, 2015

@JSadikKhan Hi there, I'm a @latimes writer working on a story about pedestrian safety. Would you be free for an interview tomorrow or Weds?

Jun 29, 2015

(For more, here's my recent story, on average speeds of 4.5 mph and a $220-million funding gap that won't go away.)…)

Jun 29, 2015

.@DowntownNews asks, "Is the streetcar, at this time and at this price, both feasible and right for Downtown?"…

Jun 29, 2015

@NSlayton @mattdpearce @IndieFocus but isn't being beat up, as a journalist, the ultimate confirmation that you're on to something good?

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