Last Friday LA Times reporter Laura Nelson revealed really exciting news: LA Metro is preparing to seek voter approval of a sales tax measure in November 2016 with an expenditure plan that will dramatically expand LA County’s rail transit system. More will be revealed with the release of the Metro staff recommendation later this week, but so far it looks as if the rail transit program could be very similar to what Move LA has proposed—a system that has 3 times as many rail miles and 6 times more “connectivity” than exists now. Connectivity is when rail lines intersect with another. We like to call it the “secret sauce” that increases ridership and reduces traffic congestion!
What does Metro CEO Phil Washington say about connectivity? “Our staff recommendation would go a long way toward providing connectivity and mobility options all across LA County, and with this investment LA would become the infrastructure capital of the world. How can we be confident of the importance of this investment? All we have to do is look at other parts of the world where transportation has made a difference. I defy anyone to identify a great city that doesn’t also have a great transportation system.”
Another form of connectivity—“first-last-mile connections”—occurs when the transit system is connected to other transportation modes, making it easier and more convenient for transit riders to walk or bike, take a bus or shuttle, or call a ride-sharing service to get to and from stations.
What does Metro CEO Phil Washington say about these “first-last-mile connections”? "They are tremendously important—we have to make it possible for someone to, for example, leave home on a bike and ride down a 2-mile bike path to a park-and-ride lot where they have the option of storing the bike in a locker or taking it on the train. And we also have to make the first and last mile easier through technology—with real-time arrival and departure information and more apps on your phone that will tell you your options and estimate the time it will take to get from here to there. Connectivity is what makes a transit system work!”