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CenterLine From Two Vantage Points

September 01, 2002

Re "Transportation Fix That Isn't," Commentary, Aug. 18:

Hooray for Jack Mallinckrodt for sticking some pins in the harebrained CenterLine proposal.

If OCTA's directors' actual goal was to improve transit in the county, we would have a far more rational and useful bus system that would be good enough to lure folks from their cars.

Ed Van den Bossche

Newport Beach

*

I have heard individuals call the CenterLine project a lot of things. Robert Geiss of Lake Forest called it "a hole in the ground into which you pour your billions." I find it almost comical that all the voices that decry the CenterLine project as a waste of money, or a non-fix to Orange County's traffic problems, seem to come from the affluence of South County.

These complaints are based more on the fear of an unsightly elevated train platform running through their middle-income neighborhoods than on concern over the effectiveness of light rail. Statistically, the vast majority of public transportation riders are low-income individuals who don't have the luxury of driving to their jobs. Such individuals (you know, people who actually use public transportation) will never complain that CenterLine is a waste of money.

It's easy for people who have no intention of ever taking public transportation, in any form, to label an investment in it a waste. But for those who rely on it for their very livelihood, the picture is remarkably different.

Roger M. Lopez

Anaheim

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