Streetsblog is playing defense against that LA Times story about the decline in that city's transit ridership after investing $9 billion in its rail system.
A number of the comments to the Streetsblog LA story support the notion that investing in rail is a false path for LA, while the Streetsblog SF story takes on anti-rail Randal O'Toole, chiding him for cherry-picking ridership numbers and short-term thinking.
O'Toole can defend himself, but he might say that investing in buses is a much better deal for cities than train systems, which are more expensive to build and to operate over the long term.
Buses, on the other hand, are cheaper to buy and maintain, and bus systems are more flexible, since cities can change bus lines or just run more buses depending on how best to serve their citizens. See O'Toole's If We Spend Less, We Can Have More.
That has always been the best argument against San Francisco's Central Subway project, that the $124 million in city money invested in the project would have been better spent on our existing Muni system.
See also Thomas Matoff's 2006 critique of the Central Subway's design.
Labels: Anti-Car, California, Central Subway, Streetsblog