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METRO RAIL RIDERSHIP RISE CITED.



Byline: Patrick McGreevy Daily News Staff Writer

Ridership on Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  County's growing Metro Rail system has doubled in the past two years, exceeding the ridership in 12 other major U.S. cities, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 a report Friday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

``This latest statistical evidence proves that Los Angeles rail ridership figures stack up nicely with our counterpart systems,'' said MTA (1) (Message Transfer Agent or Mail Transfer Agent) The store and forward part of a messaging system. See messaging system.

(2) See M Technology Association.

1. (messaging) MTA - Message Transfer Agent.
 Chief Executive Officer Joseph Drew. ``If these ridership trends continue, our Los Angeles rail system will one day become a model for the rest of the world.''

But critics said the MTA's figures are inflated, misleading and a cause for concern because of the burden on taxpayers.

MTA officials said 99,100 passengers are using the system's Blue, Red and Green lines on an average weekday, up from 50,450 passengers who used the Blue and Red lines two years ago before the Green Line opened.

Several systems that are much older exceed the MTA's ridership. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 City's rail system is used by 4.3 million riders daily.

But, the MTA's six-year-old system of 48 miles of rail compares favorably with lines that are less than 20 years old, according to a statement released Friday by Drew.

Among the newer lines, the MTA system has more daily riders than the systems in Denver, San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850.
, New Orleans New Orleans (ôr`lēənz –lənz, ôrlēnz`), city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded , Pittsburgh, Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, Sacramento, Portland, Ore., St. Louis, San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. , Miami and Baltimore, the report said.

The Blue Line's ridership of 45,500 daily passengers is slightly lower than St. Louis' light-rail line, about equal to San Diego's trolley and twice the ridership of lines in Sacramento, Portland, Buffalo and San Jose, MTA officials said.

MTA critic John Walsh

For other people named John Walsh, see John Walsh (disambiguation).


John E. Walsh (born December 26, 1945 in Auburn, New York) is the host of the TV show America's Most Wanted.
, however, said the 99,100 trips reported by the MTA counts many of the same passengers two to six times. A passenger is counted twice if he or she takes the train to work and then back home again in the same day, Walsh said.

In addition, the same passenger may transfer from the Green Line to the Blue Line to the Red Line and is counted once for each line, Walsh said.

Walsh said any success the MTA has had in gaining riders has been the result of a decision to provide massive taxpayer subsidies that inflate ridership in comparison to other agencies that provide smaller subsidies.

He said the fare from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan area. The sprawling, multi-centered megacity is such that its downtown core is often considered just another district like Hollywood or  is $1.35 (or a token costing 90 cents), while a similar trip in Washington, D.C., would cost $3.

``This is the least expensive system in the country for riders but we, the taxpayers of Los Angeles, are subsidizing this to the point where they can get 100,000 passengers,'' Walsh said.

``It's a bad thing because eventually they're going to go broke. They won't be able to afford it,'' Walsh added.

Tom Rubin, a private transit consultant who was the controller for the MTA's predecessor agency, the Rapid Transit rapid transit, transportation system designed to allow passenger travel within or throughout an urban area, usually employing surface, elevated, or underground railway systems or some combination of these.  District, also said taxpayers are paying dearly to get ridership up.

``If your objective is to achieve a certain amount of ridership and you are willing to throw any amount of money at it then, yes, you can achieve that,'' Rubin said. ``They are just paying a fortune for those riders.''

Rubin said the taxpayers' operating subsidy for bus riders during the 1995-96 fiscal year was 99 cents each, while the operating subsidy was $3.36 per trip for the Blue Line, $5.03 for the Red Line and $8.12 for the Green Line.

The operating subsidy does not include the $3.4 billion cost to taxpayers to build the 48-mile rail system so far, an amount that would double or triple the operating subsidy, Rubin said.

MTA spokesman Gary Wosk said the information he was given by MTA officials indicates that the operating subsidy is much lower than what Rubin claimed - $1.46 per passenger for the Green Line, for instance.

Wosk declined to comment in detail on the subsidy issue, saying it would have to be addressed by others in the agency who were not available Friday because of the long holiday.

In the report released by the MTA, officials attributed the high ridership figures in part to a change in the attitude of commuters, many of whom are less likely to chose ``freeway gridlock Gridlock

A government, business or institution's inability to function at a normal level due either to complex or conflicting procedures within the administrative framework or to impending change in the business.
 over the convenience and comfort of a train.''

MTA Board Chairman Larry Zarian Larry Zarian (b.1937) was the first Armenian-American to serve on the city council in the City of Glendale, California. He also served as Glendale Mayor. He currently serves on the California Transportation Commission.  said the ridership figures are encouraging given the attitude of commuters.

``Clearly, the people of Los Angeles are not as attached to their automobiles as is commonly believed,'' Zarian said.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 30, 1996
Words:763
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