Letter to the editor, Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1997
[The Valley] section carried a report that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is eliminating the annual fee of carrying one's bicycle on Metro Rail, with a spokeswoman saying "there are a number of people who travel to work by bicycle." Yet, the article goes on to report that MTA's "Cycle Express" program does not allow cyclists to board Metro Rail with their bikes during rush-hour periods.
Left hand, meet right hand. Right hand, meet left hand.
If the MTA seeks to encourage commuters to use bicycles whenever possible, their refusal to allow them on the Red, Blue and Green Lines during peak commute times sends precisely the opposite message. The MTA should instead follow the example of Metrolink, operated by a coalition of the counties it serves (MTA being Los Angeles County's representative), and encourage those who wish to use alternate modes of transport.
As it stands now, someone who lives in Canoga Park and works downtown could bicycle to the Metrolink station in Chatsworth, then take his bicycle on the train, but would be unable to continue his trip on the Red Line from Union Station!
In eliminating the annual permit fee, MTA is hoping to appear cyclist-friendly. In actuality, they are very far from that.