Planes, Trains, and Tourists; Why Can't California Connect the Dots?

Why can't California make it easier for its millions of visitors, and residents, to travel from airports to urban centers via direct rail routes? The state is investing billions in its rail and air infrastructure, but can't seem to connect the two.

"You can see planes coming in to land at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field as you ride the city’s charming trolleys, but the trolley won’t take you to the airport," observes Joe Mathews. "In San Jose, two train systems—the Metro Light Rail and the Caltrain—run near the airport, but a shuttle bus, the Airport Flyer, is required to reach them. In Southern California, the Metro blue line trains go to Long Beach, but not to its airport. The Metrolink commuter rail stops about a mile from the Ontario airport."

"For Californians, all these failures to connect, considered in isolation, may seem trifling. But taken together, they represent a form of self-sabotage for a place that is at once dependent on its links to the world—and too far away from that world," he laments. "But in today’s California, we are cheap, and the infrastructure we need is expensive. When we build, we prioritize what’s easy over what’s important."

Full Story: Conductor, Please Drop Me Off a Mile From the Airport


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