Pie-in-the-sky transit facts

Letter to the editor, Daily News, October 27, 2011

(Written as the chair of the Metro San Fernando Valley Service Council.)

The comments by Bart Reed, executive director of the Transit Coalition, include ridership projections which are terribly overinflated when compared with existing ridership.

He claims that a 25-mile long rail line through the Sepulveda Pass would attract "100,000 riders a day" between the North Valley and the Westside. As someone who has 17 years of experience in the transit industry, I'd like to know what he bases his "intuitive knowledge" projections on.

Our Red Line subway carries about 152,000 passengers on an average weekday. The Blue Line light rail -- between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach -- carries about 83,000. Our Orange Line busway has an average weekday ridership of 27,000. And Metro Rapid Line 761 carries about 12,000 passengers per day.

It's difficult enough to perform the alternatives analysis and environmental impact reports for projects like the Van Nuys Blvd. Rapidway without dreamers bringing "pie-in-the-sky" concepts into the discussion.

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