By: Diane Benjamin
While our city “leaders” are out in DC begging for money for Connect Transit they are ignoring facts.
Tax dollars are being used by government to change YOUR behavior, in Los Angeles it’s not working and it won’t work here either.
Over the past three years, the nation’s largest transit systems have endured a broad and unprecedented ridership decline. By far the largest drop has been in Los Angeles and this has resulted in justifiable consternation.
This is occurring as Metro has undertaken one of the most significant rail and busway building programs in modern US history.
After decades of trying to entice drivers to walk, cycle and jump on transit, with virtually no success, this “necessity” is not likely to be achieved without compulsion. Nor has it anywhere else in the world.
Low-income households seem likely to continue buying cars because of the mobility options they offer, not the least of which is that 60 times (not 60 percent, but 6,000 percent) as many jobs can be reached in 30 minutes by car than by transit by the average Los Angeles commuter, according to measures published by University of Minnesota researchers. Their data also shows that drivers can reach more than 150 times as many jobs by driving as by walking.
The reality is that the millions of Los Angeles households could not retain their standard of living if they rode transit, much less walked or cycled. Many more would be in poverty. People will choose transit (and walking and cycling) only if the travel times and geographical coverage are competitive with driving. Moreover, there is no point in delusions about radical land use transformations, especially where governments require the consent of the governed. In short, there is no roadmap to any transit utopia connecting sufficient dots, because none are feasible.
Note 1: US transit agencies count passenger “boardings,” which is the number of times a passenger enters a vehicle to travel from their origin to the destination. Thus, a passenger whose trip takes two buses and one train is counted as three.
Does Connect Transit count changing buses as TWO boardings? Is that why they claim lots of people are riding the obviously empty buses?
If the rider switching buses is counted as two – the return trip adds another two boardings!
If LA can’t make their bus system work, public transit decreases the standard of living, and ridership is artificial – a transfer station downtown will further lower the local standard of living and Quality of Life.
Add this to the long list of theft by government for what they want – not what you need.
The next budget STILL under funds fixing the roads – but it does raise your taxes!
Government “for the people” and “by the people” is dead unless people quit electing jokes to lead them.