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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

'Rapid Bus' Can't Beat CenterLine in Price

August 17, 2003

Re "Leave Rail Line Plans at the Station; Try 'Rapid Bus,' " commentary, Aug. 10:

Professor Kenneth Small's commentary offering bus rapid transit as an alternative to CenterLine light rail clearly demonstrates his lack of knowledge of transit issues in Orange County.

Documents provided at the July 21 Orange County Transportation Authority board meeting clearly show that to attract as many riders as CenterLine, a bus rapid transit line would cost close to $1 billion.

The proposed rapid buses on Harbor Boulevard and Westminster Avenue will no doubt bring much-needed relief to the busiest bus corridors in Orange County.

But, as OCTA Chief Executive Art Leahy mentioned, so far, less than 100 yards of dedicated lanes could be acquired for running rapid buses. Needless to say, converting traffic lanes for buses does not fare well with many motorists.

What Orange County needs is an integrated transit network consisting of light rail and buses, not wannabe experts who think they know what they're talking about.

Christian Kroells

Newport Beach

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I have been informed that the CenterLine project has been put up for a vote again. I do not think this is needed when the project passed with flying colors with Measure M. I'm tired of watching NIMBYs and fearmongers let my family's quality of life deteriorate. If genuine alternatives are not given to automobile traffic, the air quality, green space and pedestrian street safety we have enjoyed are only going to continue to deteriorate. I hope you will support CenterLine, which will help all of us sustain our quality of life.

Saadi Howell

Irvine

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