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Freeway Monorail Is Best Transit Option

January 08, 1994

* Transit for the San Fernando Valley has been a contentious issue for nearly a decade. In June, 1990, Valley voters favored the freeway monorail by a 5-1 margin over the more costly subway.

Unfortunately, the battle lines are drawn by special interests, not by cost and logic. The Ventura Corridor will shape the growth and prosperity of the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County for decades to come.

A Times opinion piece (Dec. 5) expressed a preference for a Ventura Boulevard subway. However, the assessment neglects an important consideration: A subway through the San Fernando Valley is a system that taxpayers can't afford. Metropolitan Transportation Authority research has revealed that the subway cost will exceed the monorail cost by more than $1 billion. Along with being a more cost-effective transit solution, monorail:

* Serves millions of passengers annually worldwide.

* Operates in Japan at a profit.

* Will withstand major earthquakes.

* Has never experienced a passenger fatality.

* Will be built on existing rights of way without any additional cost to taxpayers.

* Avoids contact with San Fernando Valley's high water table and methane gas pockets.

* Does not require expensive 24-hour ventilation or underground lighting.

* Will not require the hauling of 2.2 million cubic yards of earth by 90,000 truck trips through Valley neighborhoods.

The subway system is swallowing up your transit dollars at a rate of over $330 million per mile--a transit system fraught with delays and cost overruns from construction to operation. Why would this be preferred by Valley residents?

Quite simply, a monorail can be built quickly and without the disruption to the community that has been experienced by businesses along Wilshire Boulevard, where many have been forced into bankruptcy and where the quality of life has been severely diminished. This is why the San Fernando Valley voted overwhelmingly to support the monorail.

The San Fernando Valley deserves the very best, environmentally safe transit system to unlock congestion and eliminate its pollution. A Ventura Freeway monorail will do just that.


Los Angeles

Antonovich represents the 5th District on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

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