Metro: working against intelligent transit options
Today Owen Courreges gives us a much more in-depth (and smarter!) response to the Chronicle's blatant cheerleading:
The 1983 rail referendum was rejected by a stark 2:1 margin, and yet Metro had already contracted for the rail cars themselves, as if it was a forgone conclusion that the referendum would pass. It cost them $1 million to break these contracts. The Chronicle wonít admit it, but the fact is that the 1983 heavy rail plan was a massive debacle. Metro was stupid.
In 1999, Harvard Professor Jonathan Richmond, in a report written for the joint MIT/Harvard Cooperative Mobility Research Program, praised Metro as an example of a city which had pursued cost-effective transit options (i.e. HOV and bus service improvements) instead of investing in the overwhelmingly cost-ineffective light rail fad that was sweeping the nation. When Metro focused solely on buses, as voters forced them to do, Metro actually improved mobility. In hindsight, voters made the right decision. Itís Metro thatís working against intelligent transit options.
Please go read his whole post; it's much more enlightening than anything the Chronicle has given us.