As many of you know (and can read on the left side of my posts), that I live in the Southern California area. We are noted not only for the nice weather, but our car-centric lifestyle and overly dependence on cars here. But here is a little secret: many people who drive or own a car or two, or especially people who choose to live a car free life by force or choice also live here. That means that public transit is used here. The question is how much and by whom:
"....But Metro officials say the restrictions forced them to offer an artificially high level of service that they can no longer afford. Metro Chief Executive Arthur Leahy pointed to "astonishingly low" ridership levels on buses headed into downtown L.A. each morning, and noted that the bus system operates at about 42% capacity overall.....Leahy, who began his career as a bus operator, said the decree forced Metro to add buses "without regard to whether it was better service or properly managed." Along with the cuts, his plans also call for enhanced service on more than a dozen lines....The latest changes also call for an increase in the buses' load factor from 1.2 to 1.3, meaning that a 40-seat bus would carry a maximum of 52 passengers, instead of the 48 it carries now. The plan would cut Metro's net operating costs by an estimated $23 million and allow the agency to better maintain its bus fleet, something Leahy said has been put on the backburner......Some bus riders and their advocates are skeptical, saying the plans show the MTA wants to provide less service to bus riders at the same time as it is radically expanding its rail network. The MTA opened an East L.A. rail line in 2009, and transit officials are now working to complete two more, the Expo Line and an extension of the Gold Line in the San Gabriel Valley. Several other lines — most notably the Westside subway — are in the planning stages....."The reality is that as soon as the sun set on the consent decree, the MTA went back to business as usual," Martinez said. "They are once again forgetting about the people who are most in need...."-http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-3-20-metro-buses-20110320,0,6432780.story
What that means for maintaining choice in such an extreme environment? It means ride my bikes more and drive if needed. I am sure I won't be alone on the street anymore.