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Alternative to Rail Plans

February 24, 1988

It is quite obvious that we are suffering the effects of gridlock on our freeways and surface streets. The very costly Metro Rail and light-rail concepts, as proposed by the RTD and the county Transportation Commission, will never provide the necessary transit system so badly needed to service this horrendous gridlock. It is a hub-and-spoke route configuration that directs all moving transit units through a central point, a very inefficient design concept. The airlines and the BART system are plagued with the effect of this concept. All moving activities come to a standstill (witnessed). The above system is archaic and doesn't belong in our time-frame era of technological advancement.

However, at this time, I would like to present an informative note. There has been a new, modern, 21st-Century design and concept transit system designed and engineered. It will serve all of Los Angeles and Orange counties effectively and efficiently.

This system is routed along the freeway embankments. The track is elevated; the units operate in a hanging position and run on rubber-tired wheels. Stations are 4 to 5 miles apart, and the stations are serviced with a complemented minibus system (i.e., to 25 square miles per station). The minibuses will also service the local sector area to provide mobility within the area. Downtown L.A. has three sector stations. No cars will be allowed in the downtown central area. Commuters from the station will be delivered to their job streets and business activities. This will be in effect during peak time only.

This concept is being used very effectively in Berlin, Germany. The unit coaches are lightweight, fast, comfortable, quiet and possess high-performance characteristics. Cruising speeds are 75 to 80 m.p.h., and an average speed of 65 m.p.h. is maintained.

Believe me, from a professional viewpoint and analysis, Metro Rail and light rail will not do the job. These systems are very costly, have a long build time, don't have a good, sound funding methodology and have to be highly subsidized. And 90% of the general public is against it.

In contrast, the new system's initial cost outlay is $8 million to $12 million per lineal mile, with minibus complement. The operational running cost is about one-third of the gross revenue earned. As the running operating load varies for peak time and slack time, this cost ratio remains constant, due to the running operation uniqueness designed into the system.

RAY KOEHLER

Van Nuys

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