Letter to the editor, Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1997

I am quite pleased to note that Councilman Alarcón's commentary inadvertently makes it clear why a Valley transit zone would not be like Foothill Transit.

In numerous places, Mr. Alarcón refers to the city Department of Transportation (LADOT), which makes it clear that an independent transit zone in the San Fernando Valley would be independent only of the MTA. It would not be independent of the city, because the vast majority of the Valley is within the city limits. By contrast, Foothill Transit serves an area comprising many small municipalities, all of whom have a voice in its operation.

While LADOT has been very successful in operating its Commuter Express rush-hour freeway bus service and its DASH community minibus loops, it has very limited experience with running all-day local service and it has no experience in running evening and weekend local service. What assurances do we have that LADOT is up to the challenge of running the 28 MTA lines that serve the San Fernando Valley?

The proposal for a transit zone will not allow the Valley to take control of its transit needs, it will allow the City of Los Angeles to take control of those needs, and I do not believe they will be able to handle the job.

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