40. No bus for you

Mayor Villaraigosa breezed past transit issues in his State of the City speech.

He noted in a single hopeful sentence that voters had passed Measure R, which included some bond funding for some transit projects. Those were county voters. Presumably, they expected that highway and public transit improvements would benefit the entire county. But the city will benefit, too.

The mayor also noted fleetingly that a promised Clean Tech Corridor (to be developed adjacent to downtown) would be built near public transit lines. The mayor described that project as "A model for future communities where residents walk more, drive less and have access to quality jobs and affordable housing."

"Near" is an amusing term in the practice of public transit. A dimensionless aspiration, not a metric of utility.

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Proximity is relatively meaningless if the bus (or light rail) doesn't go where you want to get to, or if it leads into a wilderness of transfers from bus to bus "? each transfer punctuated by another wait. That's not transit. That's foraging. Those who have no other choice endure the shuffle from ride to ride that the system often demands. Presumably, the green collar workers in the Clean Tech Corridor won't be compelled "? by immigration status, poverty, disability, or age "? to do the same. They'll drive. Unless their transit is a lot better than mine "? unless it's running at short intervals, running on time, and connecting them to destinations they want.

Unless you think riding the bus is something the other guy should do "? to make your life easier.

The image on this page was taken by Flickr user Metro Library and Archive. It was used under a Creative Commons license.

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