Letter Rabinowitz



The subway that wouldn’t die

Metro Rail is dead! DEAD!! Oops, sorry. My mistake. It’s not. But it looked dead. The Feds were going to strangle its money supply. People were already marketing “Metro Rail est Morte” tee shirts. The Metropolitan Transit Authority was doing everything it could (they would deny this, of course) to kill it. Ha, ha! Fooled everyone!

Metro Rail is as alive as ever, as funded as ever, still threatening to bankrupt L.A. government coffers and the U.S. Treasury as well.

But give her some credit. She’s a sturdy old walrus in her own way. How many directors have the MTA disposed of and the decrepit machinery groans on? Actually got along without a head! How did it do that?

Considering the morass which its operation has become, “headless” may be an expression of over-qualification. I mean, there are times it seems the MTA, operating on some hidden agenda, marches to a distant planet’s strange drummer.

Amid charges of corruption, malfeasance and incompetence, Metro Rail administrators and contractors will never have to fear being accused of trustworthiness. Nothing has been proven, of course, but if it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and smells like a duck

How many disasters, natural and otherwise, can the subway tolerate? Endless, it would seem. Metro Rail has had a sinkhole, shaking mountains, collapsing tunnels, construction screwups you name it, they got it! And the inevitable “Big One” is just waiting to toss it like a salad while MTA officials blindly charge onward, awash in excuses and apologies, oblivious to the debris falling every which way.

It’s probably the height of naivet & #233; to imagine MTA doing it differently, but the alternative is more embarrassment and L.A. money down the sinkhole. They could do it right. A grid of electric buses! Safe, familiar and ubiquitous, buses would attract riders.

Seriously, would you ride on a vehicle 40 feet underground in Jello-land? Me neither.


Los Angeles

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