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'Transit Racism' Goes Beyond Bus Lines

November 13, 2000

Although I empathize with the Bus Rider's Union ("The Clenched Fist," Nov. 3), its activism is misguided. The real "transit racism" arises not from the MTA but from the communities and schools that do not want light rail or the subway in "their backyard or neighborhood" under the guise that such transit will bring undesirables and crowds into their community.

I have traveled to more than 50 countries, and subways and light rail transit are an integral part of any mass transit system. It is not elitist to have public transit funds directed to these essential forms of transit. Each time more buses are used, there is more surface traffic and gridlock causing buses to be delayed and arrive late or crowded and off schedule.

It is the failure of the general public to surrender the automobile or use carpools to decrease traffic congestion.

The MTA has done its best to serve the public. Los Angeles County is large, sprawling and difficult to set routes that are shorter for faster service to the public.

Recall that the former Red Car lines were very effective at transporting the public before they were disbanded.

RAJ C. PATRAO

West Hollywood

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