Monday, August 30, 2004

LA Story

Just when I was becoming a gullible consumer of the NY Times' Sunday travel supplement, they feature "Your Car's Here, on Track 2: Seeing Los Angeles by subway, no valet needed". This is pure "Man bites dog." The story begins with, "Something must be said right away about riding the subway in Los Angeles: It may not take you where you want to go ..." The writer did visit some of the standard destinations in downtown LA and Pasadena but bravely concludes "I'd do it again, only next time I would put on sunscreen, carry a bottle of water and wear exercise shoes."

This must be why the Red Line (the only part that is subway) was advertised to serve 376,000 daily riders before it opened in 1983 and in 2003 ($7 billion plus later) attracted only 95,000 (thanks, Tom Rubin).

Not a problem. The story also reports that six more miles of route will be available by 2009. Our leaders are no match for Boston's in the mega-spending (other people's money) stakes but at least Boston's Big Dig will carry serious traffic.