We Need to Make Transit Part of Our Lives

Posted 2/4/2016 by Lisa Schweitzer

There are always questions about where you should slice data. The rail fans online have thrown a fit over the LA Times decision to begin in 1985, arguing that the numbers are misleading and that rail has been a success since 1995 in bringing people back to the system. If you look at the "ridership peak" graph (from the LA Times article), you?ll see that ridership has grown since 1995, not declined. Is that the right period to use to evaluate productivity? Or should we go all the way back to 1980 figures, which would make our current ridership look better than the 1985 beginning?

Busways are a Better Alternative

Posted 2/4/2016 by James E. Moore II

We saddle transit agencies with inconsistent objectives. We use transit as a form of wealth transfer to ensure at least a minimum degree of mobility for everyone. We fund transit to keep people mobile enough to work, pay taxes, and participate in an orderly society. However, expecting transit services delivered by a highly subsidized producer to attract people who have the option to use a car is foolish, particularly when the transit services involved have been shielded from the market forces that would otherwise guide these services toward delivering what consumers want.

Placing the Numbers in Context

Posted 2/4/2016 by Genevieve Giuliano

Last Friday, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the loss in transit ridership across the region. The article particularly targeted LA Metro, an agency which has seen a 10% drop after "$9 billion in rail transit investments."

A Systems Perspective Would Improve Transit Performance

Posted 2/4/2016 by Marlon Boarnet

Looking at the graph (from the LA Times Jan. 27 article, shown above), the data are from 1985 to the present, showing a substantial decline through the early 1990a, when LA Metro and their predecessor agencies shifted funds from a bus system to the new rail system, and then increases which, with some ups and downs, have returned almost to the ridership levels of 30 years ago. That is not a ringing endorsement of Metro?s transit policies, but it is also not a new story. This is a long-term issue.

Reaction to the Los Angeles Times Jan. 27th Article on Metro's Decline in Ridership

Posted 2/4/2016 by Genevieve Giuliano

Introduction by Dr. Genevieve Giuliano

Welcome to the METRANS blog. Our PERSPECTIVES series is intended to promote informed and open discussion of current transportation questions. We present entries from our faculty experts and guests that reflect different disciplines and points of view. 

Blog Archive