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everybody's talking subway again

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2004, at 11:51AM

So apparently while I was snowed under working on my project the MTA had some discussions about future subway building on Monday. An LA Times article from yesterday about busway funding included a good bit on subway talks. Tom LaBonge is the one who's really doing the pushing right now.

I agree that it's proper for the MTA to pursue making sure all its options are open. Light rail has done some good things in LA, but there are going to be corridors in Los Angeles that can not be serviced via a ground-level mode. The expansion down Wilshire to the west is just such a corridor. Whereas you can run the Expo Line down a former rail right-of-way, you don't have that option on the highly dense Wilshire corridor.

And that's why I absolutely disagree with Gloria Molina's contention that westside subway expansion is racist. The eastside Gold Line extension will run about 6 miles, and the budget is listed at a touch under $900 million. That's about half the cost, or double the length, of the similarly priced plan to extend the Red Line 3 miles to Wilshire/Fairfax. Of that 6 miles, 2 is in fact subway. If I'm on the eastside I'm just happy that I'm getting something built in the current funding climate.

Subway, thanks to its costs, is currently relegated to a solution of last resort in the city of Los Angeles. That's life. Push for full grade separation before you fight for subway.


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