Monday, January 25, 2010

There will never be enough $

The L.A. County Metropolitan Transit Authority (aka Metro) released its operating budget for the next fiscal year and anticipates the operating budget will be far below what it needs to be. The obvious solution for Metro is to reduce service and increase fares. Yet, one of the main reasons Metro does not raise more money from its fare box is that the system as it stands today is inefficient and difficult to use as a primary form of transit. The long wait at the bus stop and the number of transfers necessary to get from Point A to Point B is why ridership continues to decrease. The only people left to ride Metro are those who are forced to because they have no other option. There will not be an increase in ridership until Metro realizes that cutting service and increasing prices is not the only answer. How about optimizing a system that has not been radically changed in several decades? Why not work on creating an integrated Regional System where local city transit systems connect to a concentrated Metro System which serves Downtown, major commuter routes and other centers of L.A. life. There was going to be such a system, it was called Metro Connections, and it was basically shelved after barely even getting off the ground 2 years ago. I'm just hoping that with this new set of impending service cuts Metro finally does something about Express Route #460 which travels a whopping 27 miles each way from Downtown to Disneyland! I really would like to know what the ridership looks like on that gem as well as an explanation as to why the L.A. County Metro is paying for service that should be left to the Orange County Transit Authority. For more information please read the LA Times article.

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