Letter to the editor, Daily News, June 29, 2006
(Written as Chair of the Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council as MTA's official reply to a news article which appeared June 24, 2006; portions of the original letter omitted from publication are highlighted in underlined italics. The full version was distributed internally by MTA's Media Relations department.)
Manuel Criollo of the Bus Riders Union is quoted as saying that Metro "had no expansion plans for Rapid bus" before they got involved. The reality is quite different.
The first two Rapid bus lines -- on Wilshire and Ventura Blvds. -- began operation in June of 2000 (over the objections of the Bus Riders Union, by the way) and in September of 2002 a plan was formulated to expand the network of Rapid lines system-wide.
One such line operates on Van Nuys Blvd. and just celebrated its third anniversary in service by this week beginning operations with 60-foot articulated buses, to better handle the overwhelming ridership on the line.
While Metro did come to an agreement last November with the special master overseeing the consent decree to continue the expansion of Rapid bus over the next three years, that was a strengthening of our existing commitment to improve the region's mobility by using a service mode which has been proven on more than a dozen lines over the past six years.
Give us credit where it is due, please.