In an effort to boost ridership on the city's flagging two-year-old Gold Line, Los Angeles transportation officials tried a new tack: an express train.
Sounds great. But the city may just end up alienating the few Gold Line riders it did have.
The Gold Line travels 14 miles from Pasadena to downtown L.A. The express stops at only 5 of the line's 13 stops, so it decreases total travel time by about 5 minutes, to 30 minutes end-to-end.
The problem? The city didn't add any new trains. It merely re-dedicated some existing Gold Line trains as express trains, meaning people now have to wait longer at the stops not served by the express.
From this LA Times story, it sounds like many of those riders aren't happy with the change. And the already struggling Gold Line could actually end up losing riders.
Earlier this month, sci-fi author Ray Bradbury offered his solution to Los Angeles' transportation woes: a monorail. The notion might seem far-fetched, but LA's traffic problems are only going to get worse, fast. And if other transit initiatives fall as flat as the Gold Line Express appears to, the city's going to need all the ideas it can get.