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L.A. Needs More Rail Transit

August 09, 2003

Re "Gold Line Is Just Glitter," Commentary, Aug. 3: It is difficult to know where to begin discussing James E. Moore II's commentary on the Gold Line, especially since it has far more false words than the 16 in President Bush's State of the Union speech.

Anybody who rode the Gold Line on opening weekend and every day since, as I have, is well aware of the thousands of passengers who ride the line daily. The Gold Line travels to Pasadena, where many people happen to work and play. Thus the Gold Line is serving "dispersed employment" and "non-work travel." In the same way, the future Expo Line to Santa Monica will serve the Westside and anybody who enjoys the beach. That's my kind of non-work travel!

The $1-billion Harbor Freeway busway is an example of the kind of transit Moore is advocating. It carries 3,000 passengers a day (compared to 30,000 along the 105 Freeway-running Green Line), can't change routes unless passengers enjoy sitting in 110 Freeway traffic, and cost more to build than the Gold Line. The San Fernando Valley busway is under construction now; let's build it as rail before we make the same mistake twice.

Moore is right about one thing -- the 73-mile Metro Rail system isn't going to solve gridlock. What rail provides is a second option to the car. The more rail we build in L.A., the more people have a way to get where they want to go, when they want to. Beach anyone?

Peter Capone-Newton

Los Angeles


I hate buses. I love the Metro Red Line. I have used it to commute to my work downtown approximately 98% of the time since the day it opened.

As a full-time working mother of a young child, the Red Line gives me a guaranteed 25 minutes to myself when I can read, think and escape the stress of street-level traffic. I disagree with Moore's contention that most of the transit market will never reside or work in the vicinity of a rail line.

When public transportation is good, people will likely reconsider where they work and where they live. One motivating factor in picking my neighborhood is the proximity to the Red Line. I am certain the fixed convenience of light-rail transit will factor into a business' decision on where to locate its offices. I am a convert to public transportation. I may even consider moving to Pasadena one day.

Wendy Shapero

Studio City.


The diatribe against the Gold Line by Moore certainly displays a dogged consistency. Over the years, his policy regarding public transportation in Los Angeles can be summed up in a simple mantra. Rubber tires good! Steel wheels bad! This vehemence can't be the result of logic or of studying the transit experience of most of the major cities on the planet. Some childhood trauma must be at work. What's the matter, Mr. Moore? Did your kid brother get the Lionel set instead of you at Christmas?

Donald A. Stanwood

Costa Mesa


"New L.A. Rail Line Can Lead to a Golden Future" (Voices, July 26) correctly described the vital role that extending the Gold Line plays in the realization of our regional transit plan for the future of L.A. County. As planning continues on Phase II, extending the Gold Line east to Claremont and San Bernardino County, we also need to aggressively work to extend the Gold Line west into the San Fernando Valley by connecting the Marengo station in Pasadena along the 210 and 134 freeways through Glendale to the Media Center in Burbank and continuing along the 101 Freeway corridor to Ventura County.

This extension will reduce congestion, improve our air quality and provide cost-effective transportation -- with less disruption to residents and taxpayer pocketbooks.

Michael D. Antonovich

L.A. County Supervisor

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