Los Angeles: Transportation Game-changers

LA IS NOT NEW YORK--According to the LA Times, LA Metro ridership is still falling -- even though billions have been (mis)spent on extra capacity over the last 30+ years. By my count that's the second time this year that the Times has broached this tender topic. As a member in good standing of the LA "good government" (googoo) establishment, the paper had for many years chosen to tip-toe around the bad news. 

Readers may know that some of us began flogging the dead horse in the mid-1970s. Go to the attached proceedings and read the contribution by the late UCLA Prof. George Hilton. He was among the first to write sensibly and clearly that LA is not NY -- and trying to make it so would be a phenomenal waste. But even LA Times’ coverage will be for naught. Billions more will be spent. Pouring good money after bad is what the great and the good in City Hall do for a living. 

We are in the early years Uber/Lyft and all manner of ICT information sharing. These are the game-changers. For the past two months, my wife and I have graduated from a two-car household to a one-car-plus-Uber-plus-walkable-neighborhood HH. The game-changers are here. Conventional transit was never a game-changer.


(Peter Gordon is Emeritus Professor, USC Price School of Public Policy. His current research addresses how the nature of cities impacts economic growth prospects. This perspective was posted first at New Geography.)  Photo by John Schreiber/MyLANews.com   Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.