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MTA Successes

November 05, 1995

Despite the spate of problems that has befallen MTA in recent months, there is much good news to tell that The Times ignores in its Oct. 20 editorial.

The spectacular success of MTA's zero-tolerance program flies in the face of your implication that MTA buses look like something from an undeveloped nation. Our buses are in the best condition they have been in five years. We also just opened the Green Line, and 11,000 people are using it every weekday, with an increase of about 5,000 riders on both the Blue and Red lines as well.

Many of the issues in the news lately have been rooted out by the MTA itself. We are not afraid to fire people when quality is compromised. Our recent removal of key rail construction personnel demonstrates our resolve to hold individuals and firms accountable.

In its editorial, The Times asked:

* How can we make the Green Line profitable? We never will, unless you define profit to mean more and faster public transit for more and more people. Our rail lines are subsidized by local, state and federal governments, as are virtually all public rail lines in the country.

* Does the barrier-free ticketing system work? Yes, it has been remarkably trouble-free in the five years we've operated rail lines. The system cuts costs.

* How can we ensure economic development along the rail lines? MTA is involved in economic development to help spur growth. The experience of other rail systems shows that new rail attracts new riders and new businesses, which in turn increases property values. This will happen where it is desperately needed, as in Hollywood and along Wilshire.

FRANKLIN E. WHITE

CEO, MTA

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