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Los Angeles' Transit Problems

October 07, 1985

Your readers who bemoaned the Metro Rail project (Letters, Sept. 27) must all be those lucky folks who never have to drive the freeways during the rush hours. As they stood still in bumper-to-bumper traffic they might have time to meditate that there must be a better way to travel.

Furthermore, they obviously have never seen or ridden the absolutely marvelous modern Metro Rails such as in Washington, D.C., London, and other world-class cities.

Instead, they complain about the costs of the Metro Rail project. The facts of life are that when all costs are considered, Metro Rail is cheaper than the freeway system. A two-track Metro Rail system has the carrying capacity of 24 freeway lanes, but costs less than one-third as much.

The Metro Rail will create thousands of jobs, but will cause far less turmoil to the surface than would any of the competing systems. Light rails, like the San Diego Trolley are fine, but they do tend to clog up the traffic on streets, and they have nowhere near the passenger capacity, and they are much slower.

Los Angeles needs to prepare now for the 21st-Century and beyond. The Metro Rail is really the only alternative. Without it, Los Angeles will surely experience economic decline as gridlock chokes off the life of the city.

SAMUEL G. PLATTS

Sylmar

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