«

»

“But bus ridership will catch on, we swear it will!”

Albuquerque is not the only place sooper-dooper bus systems are having issues. You’d think in LA, the bus would be a great way to avoid traffic. Not so much.

As Bus Ridership Plummets in Los Angeles, Efforts to Boost It Hit Speed Bumps

Arianna Williams spends 90 minutes each way riding the bus about 10 miles to her job in a hair salon.

The commute is particularly frustrating when she considers about how long it would take by car: about half an hour.

“It’s crazy, the number of times I’ve been on the bus and thought, ‘I could’ve been there three times by now,'” the 36-year-old said while inching along Wilshire Boulevard, one of Los Angeles’s largest thoroughfares, on a recent morning.

Bus ridership in America’s second-largest city is plummeting as more commuters, fed up with journeys that can be painfully slow due to frequent stops and indirect routes, use growing incomes from the healthy economy to buy a car. The switch saves them time but worsens the overall traffic that buses are caught in, making buses even less appealing to the remaining riders.

And don’t try to tell me that the Red Line is a direct route from the north side to downtown and won’t be affected this way. That’s BS of the highest order being flogged by IndyGo; buses will end up being stuck in traffic no matter what you do, and stealing lanes from automobile traffic for fancy stations isn’t going to solve any actual traffic problem.

Shoot, I lived in a town that had (at the time) a reasonably-working subway system that wasn’t affected by surface traffic, and my trip to work, which took half an hour in a car on the DC Beltway even when it was being repaved, took at least an hour on the DC Metro with a train change at Metro Center. Yes, I had to go all the way downtown from the northern Maryland suburbs to go all the way back out to the eastern Maryland suburbs. Needless to say, I rarely if ever took the Metro to work.

What this is really about, though, is not simply increasing ridership, but forcing the public to change its behavior against its will.

“It’s too easy to drive in this city,” said Phil Washington, the chief executive of LA Metro. “We want to reach the riders that left and get to the new ones as well. And part of that has to do with actually making driving harder.”

(…)

Those types of changes would require a shift in many Angelenos’ attitudes toward the road, which Mr. Washington said city leaders need to try to make happen.

“Sometimes you have to tell people what’s good for them,” he said.

With all due respect, Mr. Washington, you are an un-elected, rent-seeking fascist who badly needs to be run out of town on a rail.

(I’m not logged in and I could read the entire article, but if you get stuck at the paywall and have a chance to grab a WSJ on dead tree, it’s on page A3 of yesterday’s (Monday’s) edition.)