Letter to the editor, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2006

(Rebuttal to an op-ed by Times reporter Dan Turner in which he related his personal complaints about public transit service between Hollywood and LAX. Portions of the original letter not published appear in underlined italics.)

With a bit of advance research, Turner could have avoided much of the aggravation he included in his attack on Metro's transit service. If he had checked the MTA's website, he would have known about the $3 day pass, which replaced transfers more than two years ago, and he also could have consulted the online timetable and lessened his wait by arriving at the stop closer to the bus' arrival time.

Had he checked The Times' archives, he also would have known that the reason the Green Line does not directly serve LAX is not that "the money ran short" but was the result of the Los Angeles Airport Commission refusing to allow the Green Line to cross underneath the runway approach to the east of the airport. He also failed to note that a Green Line extension to LAX from Aviation Station is under review as part of the revision to the airport master plan.

Turner does deserve credit for mentioning the agreement between MTA and LAWA to begin FlyAway service from Union Station next month. Sadly, though, his pessimism makes it impossible to realize that this is a step forward in the region's mobility; the new service will be able to make good use of existing HOV lanes between downtown and LAX, which will result in a significant improvement in travel time.

Perhaps if public transit were not always approached with a failure mentality by the media, the public would see the real picture.

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