Expo Line Phase I Opening: First car through the banner

L.A.’s new light rail, “Expo Line”, opened earlier this summer to a warm welcome! Photo credit: Metro Transportation Library and Archives 

Los Angeles is moving forward when it comes to their local transit system. Backed by Measure R, a 2008 half-cent sales tax that is expected to generate $40 billion for transportation, Los Angeles is constantly improving and expanding its transit system.

Expo Line

L.A.’s newest rail line connects to the University of Southern California. Photo credit: Waltarrrrr

The reason behind its success? Public support. People in the Los Angeles area are willing to put their dollars to improving the transit system. Tom Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, says the L.A. Transit Agency does a great job with public outreach, as well. Wright claims, “What they’ve done is they’ve gone community to community and they’ve been really clear, this is what we will do with the funding.” And the results speak for themselves. In April of 2011, about a dozen rail lines for public transit in L.A. were funded, and were either under construction or being planned. Perhaps motivation comes from the highly congested traffic surrounding L.A., but regardless the locally enforced taxes are having a great impact on the public transportation of L.A.

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The Orange Line has been one of L.A.’s most successful Bus Rapid Transit lines. Photo credit: Metro Transportation Library and Archives 

Real estate developers and places of interest, like the Los Angeles County Museum, also benefit from the expansion of transit. More people are now able to use transit in order to get to the places they want to go to. Instead of driving, people looking to get around the city can now hop on a transit line, improving the efficiency of their trip. Read more about L.A.’s success in this Capital New York article “What New York City can learn from Los Angeles About the Transit Biz”. This blog post was written by Luther Kuefner, 511CC’s high school intern.

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