Why LA is America's Transit Mecca

Award-wining author Taras Grescoe pens an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times in which he makes an argument that may surprise many Angelenos - that their city is at the cutting edge of forward-thinking transportation planning in the U.S.

Author of the recent book "Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves From the Automobile", Grescoe tells Angelenos what he's been telling the world - that Los Angeles is the U.S. city "working hardest to improve transit."

"Many Angelenos are surprised to learn that their city's reputation is at an all-time high among international transit scholars. This is the place, after all, that consistently ranks first in measures of commuter stress, as well as in hours wasted in traffic."

"Outsiders may see freeway-driven sprawl, but metropolitan Los Angeles is actually more densely settled, over its entire urban area, than the New York-Newark metro area. That makes the area ideally suited for the transit revival its leaders are trying to foster."

"The real fight in Los Angeles is not going to be over issues such as methane pockets under Beverly Hills High," says Grescoe, "but over whether street space now given over to the private automobile will go to public transit."

"The drivers I talked to in Los Angeles all acknowledged that their city needed better transit. But, they admitted, that didn't mean they planned on using it themselves. Too often, unfortunately, transit is seen as something the other person ought to be using."

Full Story: L.A. -- transit's promised land


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.