Laura Bliss writes in CityLab: To Ease Traffic, L.A. Needs Much More Than Trains: Metro’s $120 billion rail proposal alone won’t transform how Angelenos get around. I get quoted:
Which leads to a final point: Transit doesn’t have to reduce traffic to be successful. Indeed, its central aim probably shouldn’t be serving the people who don’t actually use it. Transit’s best selling point is that it offers mobility to those who, for any number of reasons, can’t or choose not to drive. It also underpins bustling economic activity, pushes people into job centers, and improves long-term sustainability. The transportation scholar David Levinson wrote in 2015 about the warped notion that the goal of public transit funding should be to benefit non-transit users:
Transit today is, in almost all U.S. markets, slower than driving. People who depend on transit can reach fewer jobs than those who have automobiles available. Some people use transit by choice, for instance to save money (if they need to pay for parking), and the rest without choice. In my opinion, it is more important to spend scarce public dollars to improve options for those without choices than to improve the choices for those who already have alternatives.