Faster Than a Speeding Turtle

This article describes the new Metro Rapid bus system in place in Los Angeles, California. The Metro Rapid service is 25 percent faster than the city’s regular fleet, making fewer stops and carrying transponders that change traffic lights so that the bus is not held up at intersections. The author reports on the difficulties that the Los Angeles bus system experienced, difficulties that became so bad, the riders sued the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to improve service. The result of the lawsuit was a judicial consent decree to force the investment of $1 billion to improve the MTA system. The author also discusses the problem of lack of information at bus stops, financing for bus services, new technology, socioeconomic differences in bus ridership, ways to improve bus service, prioritizing buses, and the redesign of Los Angeles’ bus system. The author concludes by considering the larger conflict that on the one hand sees transit as a social service for people without automobiles and, on the other hand, sees transit as a broader service to draw people out of their automobiles.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 44-48
  • Serial:
    • Governing
    • Volume: 19
    • Issue Number: 5
    • Publisher: Congressional Quarterly, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0894-3842

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01045344
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2007 9:45AM