Letter to the editor, Glendale News-Press, September 24, 1997

I fail to understand why Supervisor Antonovich, not once but twice in his Sept. 10 column, compares the latest incarnation of his oft-proposed -- but never proved feasible -- monorail down the center of the Ventura Freeway to a subway.

Mr. Antonovich surely knows -- as does every MTA director -- that the cross-Valley subway concept was declared dead and buried long ago.

Yet he persists in using language that makes it appear that the subway is the only alternative to his plan, ignoring in the process the fact that all of the options under consideration by the agency involve Blue Line-style light-rail on the Burbank-Chandler right-of-way (which the MTA already owns, having inherited it from the former Los Angeles County Transportation Commission).

I further take exception to his attempt to make the fare for his proposed rail line sound more reasonable by using the MTA base fare of $1.35 "for the first three miles".

If the Blue Line was operated under that base fare plus 10 cents per additional mile, I doubt that it would have the high ridership it presently enjoys, since the fare from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach would quickly double. (And where in "Monorail Mike"'s proposal is acceptance of MTA passes, tokens and transfers, which would be a critical element of making this line part of an integrated transit network?)

A light-rail line on the Burbank-Chandler corridor would not only cost less than the $350 million per mile that Mr. Antonovich continues to quote as subway construction costs, it would also cost less than the Valley Transit Partners proposal.

If the supervisor is truly committed to the promotion of public-private partnerships to improve mass transit, why does he not propose such a partnership to develop that line, the preliminary studies for which have already been completed by the MTA?

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