Re "Subway Tunnel Ban May Be Lifted," Sept. 19
Cheers to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for being the one politician to have the guts to push for the subway extension. This project, though expensive, would cost no more than the proposed tunnel alternative for the 91 Freeway in Orange County.
Buses are cited as a cheaper option, but they cause their own congestion by cutting in and out of traffic and are actually more expensive to operate than rail on a per-passenger basis. Light rail is cited as cheaper, but it doesn't have the capacity or ridership of the subway.
If we are serious about reducing air pollution, foreign oil consumption, traffic and suburban sprawl, we need more of this type of high-speed and highcapacity transit that much of the rest of the world's big cities already enjoy.
I see The Times is quoting the Bus Riders Union rather than actual bus riders to represent a perspective on MTA issues.
The Bus Riders Union is a special- interest group and in no way represents the opinion of most riders. If you were to board a packed-to-the-doors, double-sized Wilshire Boulevard bus and ask riders for their opinions on a Red Line extension, you would most likely get an answer different from that of the Bus Riders Union.
The mayor and the City Council dream of a Red Line to the ocean that would take years and millions of dollars to build, while bus riders need buses now. The Times fails to hold Villaraigosa responsible to support extension of the court consent decree to buy more buses.
Villaraigosa doesn't support the extension -- a failure of leadership to provide for those who need public transportation because they have no choice. The decree expires in October. Let The Times call for the mayor to put his political muscle behind the extension. Bus riders need buses.