I’ve learned over the years that news about public transportation often does not reach people in Los Angeles who aren’t already inclined to use it (that’s a lot of people) and so I ought not to assume that everyone’s heard about the exciting events of tomorrow. So here’s a quick post to let you know that the new Eastside extension of the Gold Line opens tomorrow! This is very exciting indeed! Spread the word! There’ll be lots of events to celebrate during the course of the day, and you can learn a lot about them at this link. You can ride the whole Gold line free to explore the system.
Those of you who will no doubt continue to insist that public transport in Los Angeles will never have anything to do with you (until there is a personal stop with a single-person train carriage right outside your home and a corresponding one wherever you want to go) can also join in the fun (just for the day, you understand) and come to the farmer’s market, see the bands and the people and so forth, and confirm your familiar position that it “won’t work for you” because it “doesn’t go anywhere”, just like the rest of the entire system supposedly doesn’t.
Soon, I’ll be doing a post on progress that has been made in recent months on the Expo line, by the way. That’ll be another celebration when that opens in late 2010 or early 2011. Again, I expect that people will get the chance to travel free on it for a day, mingle with other citizens of the city exploring and celebrating it, have fun zipping from downtown, past USC, to Culver city, and confirming for themselves that they continue to be correct in saying that the system “won’t work for them” because it “doesn’t go anywhere”.
Forgive my cynicism, but I have a lot of conversations about public transport with friends, colleagues and strangers, and the overwhelming negative attitude (and unrealistic comparisons to what they can do in their car, as though that is the only measure of the system’s value) gets me down from time to time.
My general feeling (expressed here many times): The system is not perfect (nowhere’s is actually) but it will get better if we use it and put pressure on it to get better. As long as we keep finding excuses not to use it –even occasionally– we keep finding excuses for it not to get better, for it not to be invested in as a priority. That there are people who live in the city (in some cases all their lives) and are not even aware that there is a subway system or where it goes is shocking to me.
Anyway, enjoy the celebrations! It is a joy to have East LA and Boyle heights connected to the core of the city by this line. This, this Expo line, and the recent serious discussions about building a line down Crenshaw to more strongly connect South LA to the system is a pleasure to behold!