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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Counting Cars and Dollars on CenterLine

June 08, 2003

Re "CenterLine: Boondoggle or Mass-Transit Solution?" June 1:

Sarah Catz claims that CenterLine will mean "14,000 fewer cars on our streets every day." How is this possible if according to the OCTA fewer than 12,000 people (21,000 rides) will ride it every day?

Not many ride one way. Empirical data from other systems predict fewer than 3,000 vehicles will be removed with that number of riders.

Something never mentioned is that the proposed CenterLine will need 15 to 18 power substations, each 1 megawatt, about a mile apart and slightly closer for grade climbing and in the train yards. Where will we get that electricity, especially if the economy rebounds and we have more power shortages like we did a few years ago?

A. Trujillo Escareno

Tustin

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When I look at the route of the proposed CenterLine light rail, I can't help concluding that most of the riders will be janitors, hotel maids, nannies and other low-income workers commuting between their jobs in Irvine and their homes in Santa Ana.

If the $1.1-billion cost of the CenterLine is burning a hole in politicians' pockets, wouldn't the money be better spent on education, job training and economic development? I hesitate to speak for others, but if I were scratching out a living sweeping floors in some Irvine office building, I would want some help improving my life instead of an expensive ride to work.

Frederick Singer

Huntington Beach

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