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CenterLine Projections Raise Serious Questions

March 02, 2003

Re "Fewer Riders Expected for Rail Project," Feb. 18:

This article outlined revised projections for the proposed 11-mile CenterLine light-rail system, showing ridership dropping to 21,800 a day from 42,500 with capital cost increasing to $1.5 billion from $1.1 billion.

If CenterLine follows usual patterns, up to three-fourths of its riders will be those who rode buses, with relatively few former drivers.

Does it strike anyone else that continuing the CenterLine project in these times under these circumstances is nuts? Business as usual for the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Jack Mallinckrodt

Tustin

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Spending limited tax dollars on the $1.5-billion CenterLine trolley that moves fewer and fewer people to fewer and fewer destinations is absurd, if not criminal, in our current economic crisis.

Our state's budget shortfall demands extreme reduction in expenditures. Cutting CenterLine would save the state millions now and millions more in the future. Officials should not be allowed to give CenterLine priority over important services such as health, safety and education.

The cost of CenterLine will be far greater than the final price tag, and it will harm more people than it helps.

John Kleinpeter

Irvine

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That CenterLine will cost about 50% more than previously estimated and will carry only about half the ridership has been known by the Orange County Transportation Authority for more than five months.

Those figures were documented in a report dated September 2002. So why has OCTA not told the public about these updated figures before? And how accurate are these new numbers? Will the ridership be even lower and costs even higher? Why has OCTA kept it quiet that the Federal Transit Administration has rejected the performance figures and refused to even rate the CenterLine system this year?

Dave Mootchnik

Huntington Beach

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