13 July 2009

West Los Angeles Subway??

It almost doesn't seem real that I am blogging about a subway in LA that would potentially get me from Venice to Downtown Los Angeles. The rumors of a "Subway to the Sea" have been floating around for the 9 years I've lived in LA and I'm sure they were around decades before that. The biggest rumor of the stalled planning is that Beverly Hills is against having a subway under their quiet little bubble of a city. (see map of the dream route). According to the LA Times, soil samples were collected today as part of a study to begin planning this monstrosity construction. The samples were conducted in not only Hollywood, Century City and Miracle Mile, but also in Beverly Hills.

The proposed transit system would thankfully connect to the existing subways / railways that run through Koreatown, Downtown and up to Pasadena & the Valley.

There is a light rail sytem called the Expo Train that is already in the works by the MTA. Construction began on this project in 2006. Phase 1 would go from Downtown LA to Culver City and is expected to start running by summer 2010, while Phase 2 would expand the route to the Santa Monica beach and wouldn't open until 2015. While this is a huge step for public transportation in LA and an above ground system would increase public conciousness, I believe an underground option is just more effective. The biggest issue people face is the cost and time of being in their cars. I am concerned that the Expo Train could increase traffic and not be quicker.

While writing this post friends have questioned where the line would run and how fast they could get from Point A to Point B. One friend wanted to get from Hollywood to the beach, but most of these potential lines don't have that option, which means making multiple stops or drive & park. That drive/park idea isn't an option if you want to use the train instead of taking a cab on a night out. Another friend who lives in Hollywood and already takes the Metro Downtown said it takes her 45 min. - 1 hr., which is twice the drive time if she took a car. According to the Expo Train website the average trip from Culver City to Downtown (on the Expo Train) will be less than 30 minutes, which is the same as if you were in your car. Of course you always need to take parking & unforseen traffic into consideration as well, depending on where/when you are going. Take a look at some of the renderings I've posted of the potential Expo Train. I have to say, it looks pretty cool!


I appreciate the bike lane additions. They are going past the idea of public transportation and allowing people to have access and safety in all forms of transport.

48 comments:

Meredith said...

The expo line is a good idea - it's taking a shorter amount of time to build than a subway. My boyfriend would probably use it, even though it would mean taking the red line to union station and backtracking to Culver City. He usually drives now, but sometimes he takes the bus, which means transferring twice. I usually take the red line to the valley and take an express bus down Ventura, which costs as much (or less) than gas for my car, and takes about as long as driving, not counting the walk to the subway.

The problem with at-grade trains (like part of the blue line) is that there's a ton of risk of accidents. The blue line is the train that hits pedestrians and cars (who apparently can't comprehend that a TRAIN is coming their way and they shouldn't make a run for it). You don't get accidents in an underground tunnel. (Well, routinely anyway. There's the potential for accidents anywhere.)

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