Letter to the editor, Daily News, August 24, 2006
(Written as Chair of the Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council; portions of the original letter omitted from publication are highlighted in underlined italics.)
I take exception to the Daily News' opinion that Metro is shortchanging the San Fernando Valley when it comes to providing transit service. After all, the Valley is home to the Metro Orange Line, which has drawn praise not only from regular transit users, but also from first-time users and the Daily News itself.
What needs to be understood is that All transit agencies -- even smaller ones like Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus and Glendale Beeline -- schedule service levels that match the ridership demand. Only one of Metro's high bus ridership corridors -- Van Nuys Blvd. -- is in the Valley. It is outranked by Wilshire Blvd., Olympic Blvd., 3rd St. and Vermont Ave. (among others), and it isn't even in the top ten systemwide. In fact, because the population density in the Valley is lower than in the central core, which translates to lower ridership, very few lines in Metro San Fernando Valley's service area get even one-third to one-half the ridership of the high-ridership lines.
It is not the number of passenger complaints phoned in to Metro that determines how often the bus runs down the street. If the Valley had as many people riding the bus as does the central core of Los Angeles, we would also have service as frequent as that part of the region.