was talking with some local reps about mass transit in Los Angeles….. thought you guys might find this interesting.
From my reading and understanding we are dealing with a supply and demand issue. As such there are two basic functions to change traffic: increase supply or reduce demand. The best ideas for this seem to be:
1. REDUCING DEMAND with congestion pricing: London has had solid success with this by charging about $12 to drive into the most congested part of the city during the busiest times. Of course, London has a brilliant mass transit system and Los Angeles does not, so implementing this system would take some work. A charge of $5-10 to cross the 405 and 10 during rush hour (say, 4pm-6:30pm) would certainly incentivize people to shift their driving patterns. this could be done with wireless devices such as Easypass (in the northeast). You head north on the 405 in rush hour and you're charged at the on ramp automatically. you don't need to have life attendants. someone gets on during rush hour without easypass they get a ticket.
2. INCREASING SUPPLY: Finish the west side subway/RED line (attached image) ASAP! This is obvious, and i can tell you my company (which is at 11th and Colorado in Santa Monica) contributes at least two dozen cars to rush hour. This subway would eliminate almost all of them as the young folks working for us would much rather save money and time by taking the train. even if it was the same amount of time, they would take the train to read and save money.
3. OTHER: We should make the bus and subway free. Period. Usage would jump if it was free (or a token amount, like a quarter). We should simply increase the tax on cars based on millage (perhaps tax only cars that are below 20mpg?) and shift the money to the bus and train budgets. This would also have serious economic benefit according to many: http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/02/17/should-mass-transit-be-made-free-to-stimulate-the-u-s-economy/
all the best, jason