A History Of Transit Planning (And Not), In Los Angeles

Can LA's new mayor beat back the 'demons that have derailed L.A.’s most ambitious transit plans' and build the rail system Los Angeles deserves?
August 22, 2005, 5am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Through all the noise, one message came through loud and clear: In this gridlocked city, it somehow became politically correct to hate the subway and embrace buses as the only solution to crawling traffic. Two decades later, it’s now clear that a huge increase in bus service — with more than 500 buses added to a fleet now topping 2,000 — hasn’t solved anything, and Los Angeles flounders along with a subway-and-rail transit system that is irrational, misshapen and inadequate.

Just as the city’s traffic seems to be getting worse by the hour, the landslide election of Antonio Villaraigosa comes along to fortuitously scramble the ideological lines of the transit debate. Now, finally, after decades of balking, Los Angeles might have a shot at building the subway system it needs. Endorsed by many of the key subway opponents, including Waxman and Yaroslavsky, Villaraigosa talked of a 'subway to the sea' during the campaign and staked a big chunk of his political capital on a promise to expand the rail system. 'It would be the most utilized subway in the nation, maybe the world,' the mayor recently said."

Thanks to Ashwani Vasishth

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Published on Sunday, August 21, 2005 in LA Weekly
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