Letter to the editor, Glendale News-Press, August 8, 2005

Long before I became a member of the Metro San Fernando Valley governance council, I was involved with transportation issues in this region.

The reality about Line 201 is that the 1994 service restructuring study commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the county of Los Angeles called for the replacement of service between the Glendale Galleria and Glenoaks Park with Glendale Beeline service.

Now, 10 years later, Glendale's transportation administrator, Jano Baghdanian, speaks as if the move to finally implement the proposal to cut back Line 201 is a complete surprise.

The reality is that ridership starts dropping on Line 201 once it leaves downtown Glendale; at the Adventist Medical Center, there are two-thirds fewer passengers on the buses than at the Galleria, and by the time the bus approaches Glenoaks Park that number trickles down to zero. Baghdanian knows as well as Jon Hillmer -- schedules manager for the San Gabriel Sector of the MTA -- that running a near-empty bus costs just as much as running a near-full one, and requesting that Metro run alternative service or provide resources for Glendale to operate service runs afoul of that.

Glendale has had more than 10 years to prepare for this cutback. I have to ask why they failed to do so, even as they expanded the Beeline system in the interim.

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