Los Angeles – While getting Los Angeles residents out of their cars has proven a tough task, the expansion of the city’s rail transit service in the past two decades shows more Angelenos embracing public transportation.
The city started with a single light-rail corridor to Long Beach 22 years ago and now has 106 miles of light-rail lines, subways, and a dedicated busway that draws 351,000 riders a day during the week, reported the Sacramento Bee. The cost of the projects has totaled $9 billion so far, with more being pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other rail supporters, the newspaper reported.
Some experts say that even though the number of passengers is increasing, new rails would only make a small dent in the traffic the city is known for.
However, enthusiasts keep chugging along. By 2010, the city’s light-rail system had the third-highest number of passenger boardings in the country, with just Boston and San Francisco’s MUNI ahead, the newspaper reported. The Expo Line from downtown to Culver City is the newest addition.
With financing future projects a concern, Villaraigosa wants voters to approve a ballot measure in November that would indefinitely extend the current half-cent sales tax, dubbed Measure R, beyond 2039, the newspaper reported. The mayor contends that would enable the borrowing of $8 billion to speed up highway and transit projects.
–Photo by transitpeople, Flickr Creative Commons