Letter to the editor, Daily News, August 11, 1997

While Vasco de Sena may well find a number of people who agree with his assessment of the MTA (Public Forum, June 27), his solution to the cross-Valley rail line question shows a considerable lack of knowledge and an ignorance of the discussion that has taken place on the editorial pages of the Daily News.

It is not that simple to remove the middle two lanes of a freeway and construct a rail system. The MTA does not own the rights of way to those freeway lanes; the state does.

Second, it will cost "as much as you think,'' and even more, to build such a rail system. As proof, look at the Green Line, which was constructed along a dedicated right of way on the 105 Freeway.

Third, there is indeed "no reason why'' full privatization of transit service could not happen . . . provided you want to forgo affordable service in order for the private company to turn a profit.

A much deserved cross-Valley rail line can eventually be constructed, but only if the politicians and well-meaning but uninformed citizens like de Sena will leave the MTA alone long enough for it to regain the respect of those in Washington and Sacramento who have the power to restore the level of funding necessary for it to be constructed.

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