L.A.'s Expo Line Hasn't Reduced Congestion—But it Has Done a Whole Lot More

A lot of promises get made in the hopes of building political support in transit options like light rail. Perhaps, however, officials in Los Angeles should stop promising that transit will alleviate congestion.
November 21, 2015, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Contrary to predictions used to promote the first phase of the Expo light rail line between downtown and Los Angeles' Westside, a new study has found that the $930-million project has done little to relieve traffic congestion in the area," according to an article by Dan Weikel and Alice Walton.

But wait, before anyone accuses the line of being all-for-naught, the study also found that the Expo Line boosted transit ridership.

Which brings up a fair point: maybe "political and transportation leaders should rethink the way they market such transit investments to the public." The report's authors even go so far as to suggest some more valid and deliverable talking points for supporting transit, "such as providing transportation for low-wage earners, increasing links to job centers and providing more travel options." Earlier studies showed the willingness of people to use Expo Line instead of cars—residents living within a half-mile of stations on the Expo Line drive 40 percent less than they did before the line opened.

Weikel and Walton provide a lot more detail about the findings of the study, which precedes the forthcoming opening of the extension of the Expo Line farther west into Santa Monica

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Published on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 in Los Angeles Times
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