March 14, 2007


I've always been a fan of train transportation - both as long distance transport and as city mass transit. The lack of any decent trains in America and any good mass rail transit in LA baffles me. Once upon a time, LA had the largest and most thorough mass transit rail system in the country. Like in many cities, Standard Oil (Chevron) and General Motors bought and dismantled the system in the 50's and 60's in order to encourage use of buses and cars instead. LA has slowly been building its metro system in recent years. (By the way, Metro as an agency has some of the best graphic design around - except, ironically, on their trains.) While the trains and stations are nice, they seem to make it difficult to use in some ways. Stations rarely have parking lots to allow for Park n Ride. And routes seem to ignore destinations that would encourage their use. The new Gold Line completely bypasses Dodger Stadium. And the Green Line, which comes almost-sorta-near Manhattan Beach but stops in the middle of nowhere, goes - well - near LAX Airport, but not close enough to make it feasable to use. Apparently there has long been a volunteer group called the Friends of the Green Line pushing to fix the LAX issue, and recently a group has formed called the Green Line Coalition. As far as I can tell, this group seems to be made up of government officials, which seems to have more weight than a citizens group. Hopefully that group will be able to get some results. With the amount of time and steps and people necessary for such a small thing, it makes you wonder how long it would take for the entire Metro system to reach a practical size, much less a connection to LAX. I hope I'm around to see it (and use it)!
  • The Green Line Coalition
  • 1 comment:

    Casey Jordan said...

    Living in a large city there is no greater joy then taking the train to the airport. When I lived in Chicago I had to fly weekly for work and the Blue Line takes you right into O'Hare. No matter how bad traffic was, the train was always on time. No "will I miss my flight" stress. Chicago did it right, NYC is on it's way. Best of luck to LA.