Letter to the editor, Los Angeles Times, December 25, 1994

Your Dec. 4 editorial concludes with the statement "An overhaul that better serves the Valley's bus riders is long overdue." What the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has failed to tell the Valley's transit users is that the basis for the overhaul is already finished.

In September, a study on restructuring public transit service in the Valley -- begun more than two years previous, back in the days of MTA's predecessors, the RTD and the County Transportation Commission -- was presented to the MTA Board of Directors after countless public hearings, meetings with community leaders and on-board ridership surveys. I have a copy of the executive summary prepared by the consulting firm that prepared the study (given to me as a "thank you" for my extensive input), and I believe it to be the best proposal to improve public transit in the Valley without raising operating costs. In fact. according to said study, MTA and the other service providers would actually save in excess of $6 million per year under this proposal.

What the MTA has not told the public is that this plan was designed to be implemented simultaneously -- not piecemeal. The changes announced last month reflect less than 25% of the changes proposed for service, and I fail to see how MTA intends to implement changes that are dependent on other changes taking place concurrently.

I also fail to understand why MTA feels the need to hold additional public hearings when the proposal already in their possession was based on several public hearings held during the two-year-plus period when it was being formulated.

They have already paid for having a comprehensive plan for overhaul prepared for them; why don't they stop wasting the public's time and implement it?

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