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Late to the party, but I wanted to throw another hypothetical response at Watson, based on an earlier comment someone made about people mistakenly thinking transit=rail. I'd argue that for it to really become an embedded part of the cultural landscape, transit DOES has to equate to rail. NYC would not be what it is without the subway running the show; same with Chicago and the (comparatively awful) el. There's a real psychic border between riding a train and riding a bus. I live in NYC and I'll take the subway over a bus even if it adds 30 minutes to a trip. The buses are loud, uncomfortable, jerky, and very difficult to use effectively if you don't already know where to get off, as they rarely announce stops. (Bus crowds are also "rougher," as the only reason to take the bus for the most part is if you live or commute to an area that is not served by the subway, i.e. much more likely to be poor.) So to Watson: I think there's every reason to expect transit usage to take off in LA with a legitimately useful rail system. The middle class loves trains. Nobody likes the bus.
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Oct 9, 2011