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Report Grades California's Rail Stations on Neighborhood Service

A report by Next 10 takes the form of a scorecard for six light and heavy rail networks. Rail that serves existing urbanized areas scored the highest.
October 7, 2015, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The analysis was done by the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at UC Berkeley and Next 10, a nonprofit organization that funds research into state issues," writes transportation reporter Dan Weikel for the Los Angeles Times.

The study, which was released Monday evening, evaluated 489 rail transit stations and the neighborhoods within a half-mile of each. The researchers graded the stations on "how well they encourage ridership and create thriving, rail-oriented neighborhoods," the report said.

The report determines "which transit stations serve as hubs of thriving, walkable areas that encourage residents and workers alike to ride the train, and which station areas need improvement," according to the introduction to the report on the Next 10 webpage.

Weikel goes into the greatest detail, as one might expect, on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (aka Metro Rail) rail stations, which received an average 'C' grade. However, "most of its subway and light-rail stations scored well, including Westlake/MacArthur Park, which was called a model for transportation agencies," writes Weikel.

Receiving lower grades were the San Diego Trolley and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Tops was San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (MUNI) followed by BART. Sacramento Regional Transit tied Metro for average.

Best rail station in California: Market and Church. There's an underground Market Street station there as well as a surface station 

Map of Market St & Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

"San Francisco has many more built-in advantages compared to L.A.,"  said Ethan Elkind, the main author of the study. "There are more walkable neighborhoods. People are more likely to ride transit if they live near stations. MUNI was built before the advent of the automobile and the city is high-density."

More press coverage can be found on the Next 10 introduction to the report. Related articles can be found under the tag 'transit stations.'

Hat tip: Darrell Clark, transit advocate.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 in Los Angeles Times
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