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LA Metro

Unusually, I’m actually giving feedback to a local government office. All due to some videos I watched about proposed expansion of the system.

I’ve chosen _not_ to get a car, even though I could afford one, because investments in the Metro system have enabled me to traverse the city for the past 5 years.

As a former student of UCLA and as an Engineer, I would like to see the Heavy Rail plans for the Sepulveda Line (specifically proposal 4 or 5) adopted. The Monorail proposals strike me as insufficient for several reasons:


* The proposed stops reduce ridership because they are extra-ordinarily cumbersome and inconvenient for passengers, requiring long walks to transfer lines, and grotesque placement (no pedestrian wants to walk 300yards, sometimes with luggage or goods from shopping, to the middle of a freeway so they can wait in a noisy, polluted, and unfriendly liminal space). If you want to see _ridership adoption_ the heavy rail proposals do better.
* The monorail doesn’t match existing Metro infrastructure and will reduce systemic flexibility (train + car re-use, maintenance knowledge, parts + repair storage) in a way that increases yearly costs of operations. If you think want to keep costs per rider low, the heavy rail proposals do better.
* The monorail constrains system growth because it lacks max capacity and suffers extended headway times. Alleviating the increasing amounts of congestion on the Sepulveda pass means getting as many people out of their cars and onto Metro, doing that means high frequency service (reduce headway times) and high volume cars, which _strongly favors_ the heavy rail proposals. Only the heavy rail options offer Metro room to scale as ridership increases.

I believe in the Metro’s ability to increase ridership by offering a better alternative vs sitting in congested traffic. That means frequent, high-volume service (3rd bullet above) that riders find convenient and enjoyable (1st bullet above) and which operates at a low cost (2nd bullet above). For all these reasons, the heavy rail options look vastly better than the monorail.

Speaking as a regular Metro rider, I find the monorail options strictly inferior to the heavy rail proposals and encourage the committee to remove them from consideration.

Additionally, We should predict that _all_ proposals will have delays and overruns, but I think these “budgetary inconveniences” will be far worse with the monorail proposals than for the heavy rail.

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