A proposal in L.A. to use recently approved funding to push 30 years of transportation projects into the next decade has elicited a protest from the city's Bus Riders Union.
The group argues that the plan disproportionately targets rail projects, while 80% of the city's transit users rely on bus service. They argue that the subsidies required to run the city's current light rail lines are already taking much money away from cheaper to operate bus lines. Streetsblog L.A. takes a look at the argument.
"However, it's slightly more complicated than just comparing the overall operations subsidy for rail riders versus that for bus riders. The average subsidy for newer rail lines is higher than that for some of the older ones. For example, the average subsidy for riders on the Gold Line was over $23 per passenger in 2007. For the Red Line it was almost $16 and the Green Line just over $12. We can expect that, at least in the short term, every new rail project will increase Metro's needs to raise fares because of the increased defecit created by running rail lines that, in their early years, aren't attracting full ridership."
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