The recent revelation of Metro Rail cost overruns should surprise no one ("Overruns Climb to $538 Million for Metro Rail," Metro, Nov. 17). In fact, they bespeak of more of the same to come.
It's not so much that the Metro Rail program is mismanaged, but that it is a program of pork from the outset, designed not to benefit the citizens of the Los Angeles with relief from horrendous traffic congestion but to make speculators and politically connected contractors rich.
Metro Rail is about retail development and real estate manipulation, carrying on a long sordid history akin to the crimes committed when Los Angeles stole water to develop the San Fernando Valley, thus making the real estate speculators who had knowledge of the water rich.
Metro Rail will not alleviate traffic congestion. The first 4.4 miles downtown will not be completed for another three or four years, and where will it take people--to lunch? 4.4 miles is not very helpful if you commute more than 15 miles as most people in Los Angeles do to get to work. The second leg of Metro Rail, going into Hollywood and designed to connect up with rail systems in the Valley, will not be complete until the turn of the century, at the earliest. By this time, when the main components of the underground Metro Rail are in place, projections show that population pressures will have forced ridership to already have exceeded the capacity thus negating any beneficial effects on road traffic.