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'Fresh Start for Transit'

October 28, 1987

Despite Hahn's many years of dedicated service on the Board of Supervisors, his suggestion for reorganization of the RTD displayed an amateurish understanding of the political process.

Hahn correctly identified one source of the current transit problem: lack of accountability. RTD directors are appointed or serve because they hold some other government post and therefore are not directly responsible to the public.

But the solution Hahn offered must have the conservative majority on the Board of Supervisors beside themselves with glee. Hahn naively suggested that we turn the RTD over to the board for two years--a trial period--at the end of which, if there is no improvement, someone else could run RTD.

There won't be an RTD left at the end of two years. Many of us worked very hard to prevent Supervisors Pete Schabarum and Mike Antonovich from dismantling the RTD under the guise of creating a privately operated transit zone in the San Gabriel Valley. Thanks in part to Hahn's representative on the County Transportation Commission, that proposal was defeated.

Now Hahn would turn RTD over to Supervisors Schabarum, Antonovich and Deane Dana, the very forces that are committed to privatization of as much of the public domain as they can accomplish, starting with RTD.

If Hahn really believes that the ballot box is an appropriate means to meet transit needs, then there is another solution. Elect a small RTD board. Until then, public transit is better off in the hands of the present RTD directors than under the control of three supervisors who are itching to do it in.



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