Hurray Hurray! Today was the official opening of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s long-awaited light-rail Silver Line! George Packard, roving and remarkably far-ranging reporter for Bumbastories was there on the scene of course. And he was not alone, as there were tons of people on the scene to welcome the new train, many no doubt encouraged by MTA’s very fair no-fare offer that day. There were slews of MTA employees with their neon-colored vests, and a strikingly large security presence at every stop, including one bomb-sniffing sheriff who was a German Shepard. The trains were off schedule on this first day of service (yikes! already!), and there were huge delays and lines at the Santa Monica terminal. George Packard, resourceful roving reporter that he is, took the bus back home.
Laura J. Nelson of the Los Angeles Times ran a fine front-page story on the Silver Line Opening, recounting a bit of the L.A. train system’s checkered and none-too proud history. She clearly points out that street-level light-rail trains, albeit cheaper to build than subways or elevated tracks, are not much faster than the bus or car and present a useful, but not particularly effective alternative to L.A.’s traffic problem. Los Angeles, what with all its earthquake faults is not exactly subway friendly. So, how ’bout more buses?
Bumbastories lends its unflagging support (we have no flags anyway) to all attempts to reduce gasoline emissions, reduce atmospheric warming, and reduce the wasting of the earth’s valuable resources. Hurray for the Silver Line! Take the train to Santa Monica!
See yesterday’s George Packard column for additional mass transit updates!
Finally, a song to celebrate. Maybank and Bumba perform the Choo Choo Che-boogie.