I commend The Times for its article (April 29) by Ray Hebert on the Los Angeles El Monte Busway. Every day this important transportation link between the San Gabriel Valley and downtown Los Angeles carries thousands of passengers, often in less time than automobile commuters making the same trip during rush hours.
Only a few years ago when the Busway was a proposal on the drawing boards, it was scoffed at by those who believed our residents and visitors would not give up the automobile for mass transit. Today the Busway is considered one of the most effective, efficient bus public transit operations in the nation.
For some, the 18-mile Metro Rail subway line to link downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley is a controversial idea, for similar reasons raised by those who questioned the wisdom of the Busway. Metro Rail, however, will be even more effective and efficient for it will carry more people quicker through denser parts of our metropolis than the Busway. Metro Rail also will be linked with the Busway, extending the number of miles of separated guideway available to our citizens for transit use.
Patsaouras is director and president of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.