Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another reason why both Trains and Buses are good for Southern California

The Transit Coalition is pro-bus and pro-rail, and the two can coexist and complement each other.

A Metro Red Line train. Los Angeles Metro is defending its rail expansion practices against critics that say expansion of rail in Los Angeles County is a boondoggle and has cannibalized bus service. One persistent criticism is that Metro Rail does not build ridership. However, a more nuanced look at new rail lines compared to previous bus service in those corridors reveals that ridership actually goes up in new rail line corridors.

Overall, the 183 Metro bus lines serving 1,433 square miles in Los Angeles attract an average weekday ridership of 1.1 million. The five rail lines, on the other hand, which only have 87 miles of track, serve 351,000 riders per average weekday. This is precisely why per-mile operational costs on Metro Rail are lower than buses. The same will be true for the Westside Subway Extension, for example. Not only will the subway extension offer a better ride for existing Wilshire Blvd. bus riders on the 20 and 720, but allow the network to take even more riders to the Westside.

Bus service is paramount to feeding riders into the rail lines. The Transit Coalition is pro-bus and pro-rail, and the two can coexist and complement each other. View the Future Vision of Inland Empire Mass Transit to see what's in store for the Inland Empire.

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