Friday, July 1, 2011
I am really excited at the thought of Metro expanding its rail service. The Orange and Red Lines have been really awesome in the years of their operation, and to be honest, the more the better.
However, the cost going towards the expansion of rail is depleting the function of local service. Let it be said, rail is awesome. But I feel that this is catering to the car culture even more.
Look, and cars are great, too. They definitely serve a purpose, especially since local service is virtually disappearing.
But if we're ever going to be reliable sans cars, or ever really achieve a 'car-optional' culture, local service needs a friggin' chance.
Back in March, The LA Times announced Metro's plans to cut local service in order to better transfer funds to the rail projects. As of June 26, these changes were implemented, which included the discontinuation of weekend lines, the shortening of lines in general, and some schedules have been changed to hourly. And yes, while others were extended or combined, the decrease of service is the most noticeable and is not the first change of its kind in recent months, nor will it be the last.
It almost seems like a moot point to even say anything about this because they are changes that will happen no matter what, in some capacity, at least. But I've always believed that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Hourly service does not cut it. Cutting lines doesn't cut it. Mediocre service doesn't cut it. Rail is awesome, but unless you have a car or are willing to pay exorbitant rates for a taxi, how exactly does one plan to get there?
If it's important enough (read: if it's bothering you enough), say something about it already.
And maybe, maybe in thirty years we'll see less backwards movement.
Photo via The Transit Coalition