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January 27, 1987
Your editorial (Jan. 19), "Overhaul at RTD," has once again missed the point. It is universally recognized that RTD is in trouble. Among elected officials, transit planners and the media, the quintessential question has now become how to effectively remedy the mess at hand. General Manager John Dyer's response is a 12-point performance plan, which he and The Times believe will solve the Southern California Rapid Transit District's problems. It is my opinion that the problems at RTD are not problems at all. They are symptoms.
June 30, 2002
Re "Improving Bus Service Vital" editorial, June 23: When my plane landed at LAX last week from Denver, the stewardess announced, "You are now in Los Angeles, California, which means you will need a car." I knew exactly what she meant, having just experienced the excellent RTD Sky Ride bus service available throughout greater Denver and its surrounding cities. I was able to board a bus three miles away in a city south of Denver and get to the airport traveling 35 miles through Denver, making five stops and arriving at the airport--exactly on time--in less than 70 minutes.
July 16, 1986
We believe many aspects of your editorial (July 7), "Trouble at the RTD," are misleading concerning the attitude of the United Transportation Union regarding the absenteeism problem on the Southern California Rapid Transit District. This union, and the overwhelming majority of our members, believe that the RTD is entitled to a day's work for a day's pay. We in no way condone excessive absenteeism, although we do believe the abuses are limited to a small minority of operators, and current conditions are such that absenteeism increases are to be expected.
March 2, 1994
I want to bring attention to the problems I have of being a disabled person, in a wheelchair, using RTD buses for transportation. It's not my fault that the lift does not operate properly. When the lift gets stuck, the bus can't move--leaving me and the other passengers stranded. We end up in arguments and the other passengers blame me for the lift not operating properly. It is the RTD's responsibility to maintain the bus lift. When the bus cannot move, some people say that I should take special transportation.
June 26, 1988
As a long-time silent critic of the RTD, I found myself nodding in agreement with all the statements regarding the RTD in the article "RTD's Critics Say It Could Learn From (Santa Monica's) 'Big Blue Bus' " (Part I, June 12). The facts are that the buses are dirty, the drivers rude and never seem to be on any regular schedule and what makes matters worse, no one seems to care. So the bottom line is that, as the article suggests, the RTD is a failure at giving the public what it needs and what its primary charter stipulates that it provide--a fair value in transportation.
July 9, 1988
The Times article "RTD Critics Say It Could Learn From Big Blue Bus" (Part I, June 12), while provocative in raising issues, is seriously flawed. It is based on the faulty premise that RTD should be judged according to the same criteria as the Santa Monica bus company. Ultimately, the article misses the clear and overriding truth: RTD is not just improving. RTD is doing things right. RTD and Santa Monica have significantly different missions. RTD has been established by law as the regional carrier.
July 3, 1987
Your editorial, "A Better Way for the RTD" (June 19) was obviously not written by someone who stood at a street corner and was passed up by overcrowded buses, or was on one of those overcrowded buses. Whatever the faults of the RTD, whatever the rationale of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission in refusing to provide the RTD with additional funding, the people of Los Angeles County are being denied good, reliable public transit service, despite the fact that they have paid for it and the money is there to provide it. It's nice to sit back and throw out reasons why something shouldn't be done.
July 26, 1988
I liked riding the bus while on jury duty recently. The price was right, 85 cents. Even at $1.10 it was still a bargain. What can you buy for $1? Not much. During my 7-mile ride from Hollywood to downtown Los Angeles, I enjoyed reading Jack Smith and the sports section, starring Jim Murray. Hordes of cars and trucks crawled, snarled and screamed at each other. "Ho hum. I think I'll read about the Dodgers," I smiled to myself while turning a page. I was seated. It was heaven. The bus drivers were pros.
December 15, 1987
The Rapid Transit District received 17.6% fewer complaints during the first 10 months this year than during the same period in 1986. The most common complaint is that scheduled buses failed to appear. The statistics through October: 1986 1987 TOTAL COMPLAINTS 14,071 11,591 NO-SHOWS 4,631 2,423 UNSAFE OPERATION 2,559 2,325 BUS PASSES BY WAITING PASSENGERS 2,201 1,966 DISCOURTESY 1,823 1,579
January 16, 1987
1. Travel and Expenses of the General Manager and Staff: All trips outside Los Angeles to be pre-approved. Staff to submit verified expense claims within 30 days after trip. Controller-treasurer to audit and question all costs, with authority to disallow expenses not in accordance with policy. Staff to reduce travel costs by 20% during next six months. 2. Complaints and Corrective Action: Seek 10% reduction in major complaints from public in six months.
In an effort to resolve a long-standing controversy, the new leader of the Los Angeles County transit agency recommended Monday that only one headquarters building be constructed for the agency--not the two that were planned. Franklin White, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, issued his position in a memo to Mayor Tom Bradley and the other two members of a three-member committee that will analyze the issue of building space. It was distributed to MTA board members Monday.
March 22, 1993
I have ridden RTD buses all my life. And I protest the depiction of RTD bus riders in "Falling Down." Contrary to the scene in the movie, not all of us bus riders push, elbow, shove and cut in front of others while getting on the bus. This is just another example of Hollywood's insensitive stereotyping that's given us bus riders a bad name. I urge public transportation patrons to boycott this movie. BERNIE ANCHETA Los Angeles
The RTD Board of Directors has unanimously approved a resolution asking the new Metropolitan Transit Authority to provide at least 132 additional police officers for the bus lines during the next three years. In passing the resolution Thursday, board members said safety was key to increasing ridership in the financially strapped transit district, which faces a $20-million shortfall in its operating budget. Average weekday ridership from 1988 through the first half of 1992 fell about 11% to 1.
March 14, 1993
I look forward every Sunday to the varied and interesting articles about my neighborhood and others in City Times. You are helping to increase our sense of community. I particularly enjoyed the article by Robert J. Lopez, "Surviving on the RTD" (Feb. 21). I live in the area that's listed as one of the RTD's most dangerous. We, who depend on the RTD for transportation, need some help. I think an article like this should be mandatory reading for all people living and working in Los Angeles, particularly government authorities, who don't understand what it's like (to have to ride the bus)
Hoping to squelch a growing controversy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday voted unanimously to establish a panel to investigate whether to construct two headquarters buildings. The MTA is the result of a merger between the county's two feuding transit agencies, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Southern California Rapid Transit District.
In the days remaining before the county's two feuding transit boards relinquish their power, officials are spending money and incurring obligations that could tie the hands of the new agency being formed to oversee the region's planned $183-billion rail and bus network. The county's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, under an interim arrangement, will begin functioning at the end of March.
February 8, 1985
Southern California Rapid Transit District bus drivers voted 4,214 to 391 to authorize the sixth strike against the district in 15 years. The United Transportation Union is asking for pay raises of 4% this year and another 4% next year, while management has demanded a pay freeze and some "give-backs," such as the elimination of the union's cost-of-living contract clause. Full-time drivers now earn $12.72 an hour. Gov.
Crime on bus lines in Central Los Angeles has more than tripled since 1988, but that's no surprise to Vivian Cockrell. Last month, five young thugs stormed the bus Cockrell was riding one night, stuck a gun to her face and robbed her and six other passengers before disappearing on a dark side street in Watts. "I thought that was it," Cockrell recalled on a recent night, as she and her two young children waited at a dimly lighted bus stop near 108th Street and Vermont Avenue.
February 17, 1993
Three RTD police officers who had just gotten off the most heavily used--and crime-ridden--bus line in Southern California were fired on by a carload of youths driving along Vermont Avenue on Tuesday. RTD Police Chief Sharon Papa said the drive-by shooting occurred at about 3 p.m. as the officers were being interviewed on the street by television reporters from KCBS Channel 2. No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at 46th Street and Vermont Avenue, Papa said.
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