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The promise and cost of higher MTA fares

July 01, 2007

Re "Coalition sues in bid to block MTA fare hikes," June 27

The higher fares by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority are a regrettable cost of business. Is there any mass transit agency in any large city based in a capitalist, market-driven society that doesn't charge fares to ride? And is there any sector of transportation that has not faced rising costs that have resulted in higher fares and costs to consumers? None that I can think of.

The MTA is doing what the rest of the world does. The Natural Resources Defense Council, instead of fully embracing and promoting mass transit, continues its agenda of promoting the use of personal vehicles. More people will now buy old vehicles instead of paying the higher MTA fares.

Anyone knows that, despite paying a low price for an old car, repair costs soon accumulate to punishing amounts. Add license, fees and insurance, and the hoped-for savings of purchasing an old vehicle soon run aground on the reality of vehicle expense.

The individual would have been better off just paying the higher fares.

MATTHEW HETZ

Los Angeles

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The legal coalition is again suing the MTA. The first time was to buy buses to decrease the waiting time in Los Angeles instead of extending commuter trains to outlying, suburban areas. This time it is to block an increase in fares. But how is the MTA going to pay for buses and personnel and still provide commuter trains for the 1 million daily commuter drivers? Certainly, it would help the poorer class of people in Los Angeles, but the working class who pay gasoline taxes in addition to other taxes should not be forgotten.

No doubt more money is needed, so a bond issue may be necessary to let people decide whether to provide more money for a transportation system that can meet not only the commuter needs but also to be able to compete in the world economy.

It is becoming apparent that India and China are fast overtaking the United States economically.

This issue is far more extensive than bus fares.

CARL B. ZIESMER

West Covina

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