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Is the Westside subway worth the money? Did we pick the right route? Tell us what you think


TalkbackHere it is. After decades of debate, L.A. transit officials have selected a basic route for the proposed Westside subway.

It largely follows Wilshire Boulevard, which has long been the expected route. Other alternatives have been considered, including a route through West Hollywood and the Beverly Center/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center area.

What do you think of the route? Is it worth the estimated $5-billion + price tag? Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's spokesman, spokesman Tony Bell, said he's concerned that the price of the Purple Line would take resources away from other transit projects.

Comments () | Archives (28)

Can they please build the WeHo spur and extend the subway to Santa Monica?

One, Antonovich is a putz. Yes, the subway is expensive, but that's why the county voted to increase sales taxes, so we can start getting out of traffic.

Two, I am tired of Los Angeles making half-efforts into public transportation and then wondering why no one wants to take a bus or a train that neither goes anywhere or takes forever to get to where you do want to reach.

I commute using the MTA rail transit system. I believe it would have made more sense to have the rail actually go "to the sea" as originally conceived. That would give more opportunities for Santa Monica residents, who commute to downtown, to use it. On weekends beach- goers could use it without increasing car traffic and without being subjected to Santa Monica’s Draconian parking rules and process.

I think Metro hit the nail on the head, or at least came as close as possible given all of the limitations (extending all the way to Santa Monica would be ideal--maybe some day). LA will never be a truly great modern city until it has a real transit system. Between this and the Expo line, huge swaths of the west side will finally be connected in a way they never were before. It'll give residents other options besides sitting in traffic, it'll spur development, and it will be huge boon to the environment. Of course it's worth the price tag.

Now we just need 30/10 so that it can be build in our lifetime.

A "Subway to the VA" has FAIL written all over it.

The route should go all the way to the ocean.

of course it's worth the money and in fact, alternative 3 (all the way to the sea) would have been preferable and also worth the money.

alternatives to driving are needed now, hence, they will be needed more as la city becomes ever more and more dense with people seeking to live closer to work and entertainment. already several hundred units of apartments have been and are being built or redeveloped in dowtnwon, along wilshire in koreatown, mid-city and in westwood, with no end in sight. the purple line makes sense.

transit-oriented development in los angeles is past due, as is cohesion among elected officials in creating a master plan for a livable and beautiful los angeles of the future. but this is a start.

Of course it is worth the money. People who say it won't alleviate traffic are missing the point. New York and Tokyo have horrible traffic yet they have trains that move millions of people. It gives us more options. LA will only get more crowded. Trains are not meant to "alleviate" traffic. That is an outdated and typical car centric idea. Get over it. Trains give people another option to avoid traveling in traffic.

I wish the train would go to downtown Santa Monica.

67% of LA County decided in 2008 that it was worth it when they approved the Measure R sales tax increase, which precisely delineated which projects would get exactly how much funding.

After studying 5 different routes, Metro picked the one that is most likely to receive the largest matching grant from the US Department of Transportation.

Not only will the project massively improve mobility from the Westside to Downtown (a 25 minute trip from UCLA to Union Station), the subway will keep traffic at bay by preventing a 25% increase over the next 30 years that would occur if the subway weren't built.

Yes, this makes sense. I have used public transpotations along Wilshire for years and would take a train if it were available. Makes more sense than the wasteful Gold Line into East LA. which really goes nowhere and has very few accessable stops for locals. That line should have gone through to East Los Angeles College amd Atlantic Square or to Whittier Blvd instead of landing on the lawn of the ELA Sheriff station.

For the 6 billion dollars in union give away, we could build 100 miles of monorail integrating the l.a. basin with MASS not MESS transit. METRO has given us all the excuses why monorail is no good: Its a Disney ride, it may tip over, its not compatable technology. But the truth is, it can be done faster, cheaper, more enviornmentaly friendly, and give us many more miles for the buck. But, like all past metro projects, and projects in L.A., the unions have control of the purse strings so once again, instead of putting tens of thousands of people to work on a 100 mile monorail project, we will put a few thousand to work on the "subway to nowhere". Once promised to go to the sea, where Santa Monica has created all of the jobs, none of the housing, and all of the cut through traffic on the Westside, we now will dead end the subway at the V.A., nowhere near where the jobs really are. Another sad day in L.A> transit history was made today.

Yeah, it's worth it.

Wilshire Boulevard businesses and commuters, you have my condolences. You are scr*wed.

When is the Valley going to get some subway mass transit other than the end of the Red Line? Enough with the subway's for the basin!

They messed up. They should run it from Wilshire/Western to Century City. The amount of people who commute into CC is incredible. Just look at Olympic Blvd on any week day. Yet they aim to appease students at UCLA (who'll likely use it on occasion) by placing the station in the VA campus? How about the potential of having a dedicated ridership of hundreds, even a few thousand folks who would take it twice a day, Monday thru Friday? There's a freaking golf course between the two areas and will not be accommodating to the dedicated commuters at all. If you're trying to relieve trafic between Downtown and the Westside, I'd suggest you make it available to those who actually drive everyday and not to the kids who live on campus and don't really have anywhere important to be on a daily basis besides school (which is where they are to begin with).

Give me the map and I'll tell exactly where to put the stations in order to make it work to it's fullest potential:

Wilshire/La Brea
Wilshire/La Cienega
Santa Monica/Beverly Glen (Century City)
Santa Monica/Westwood
Santa Monica/Third Street

Hah! You people don't know L.A. like me. This city is in my blood.

it is a nice start....but it would have been better to get closer to the beach like to Lincoln.

Who wants to be in a subway in an earthquake?

Oh gosh..not again! How much is that stupid Desert Express corridor costing us in Measure R money? We're paying over a $1 billion in Measure R funds for a new freeway between Palmdale and Santa Clarita...is that worth it? What about the $1 billion I-405 HOV lane addition (for one side of the freeway)? Is that worth it?

Where's Chris Hawthorne?

As a Vet who has to rely on the VA for medical care I'd say this will be a welcome addition. I always hate the trek down the 405 to get to the VA facility. This way I can use the Metrolink, Metrorail and whatever else I need, I can leave the car at home.

Yes, the Subway is totally worth it. Remembering that two years ago nearly 70% of the people from around the county voted for a transit tax with the Subway as the signature project; we should stop debating whether or not this is a worthwhile project. The people have spoken. And, everytime there's a chance, they speak again and again and again.

We. Want. The. Subway.

As for whether it's the right route, I think it's going to depend whether the Board has the spine to run it under Beverly Hills or not.

definitely worth it.

So what happens if there's an earthquake? What other major cities in earthquake territory have extensive underground transit systems? What about the constant upkeep that will be necessary when damage is caused by slight tremblers?

What about the fear that people will have when/if a tunnel collapses from a trembler? And what if, god forbid, there are people trapped in those trains?

It is a romantic notion, this idea of connecting greater Los Angeles with public transportation. But it seems to me that certain politicians just want to push things through to cement their legacies in Los Angeles rather than weigh the true variables from it all.

I would take the bus or above ground train any day of the week. You couldn't pay me to ride an underground rail. It is a disaster waiting to happen.

It is a huge waste of money and would make an already over populated area worse by bringing in more people.
This is not new york, people in CA like driving their own cars and will not use this subway to get around.

I bet all the naysayers are people who don't commute along Wilshire blvd. It's a mess people. It's a zoo down here. Can't get anywhere.

Would have much preferred it to go all the way to Santa Monica where all the jobs are. But again, I guess you can't have it all right now. Want to salute the mayor for this huge accomplishment. Our taxpayer money should be spent here not in Iraq or Afghanistan. Everybody is complaining about the $4 Billion cost. That's probably the cost of financing the war in Iraq and Afghanistan for a month or so. Finally, America is spending money for its own people and that's a huge progress.

Yes, it's absolutely worth it. My two cents, briefly:

Before I came to live in LA, 16 years ago, I visited many times as a tourist and was always irritated that I could not easily get around, as I did not drive. A great city like LA needs this kind of permanent infrastructure. Every other great city has it, why not us?

Visitors should be able to get from the beach to Century City, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Universal City, the Miracle Mile museums, Downtown, and Exposition Park reliably. The Metro already covers many of these places (plus Pasadena & Long Beach) so, connecting them all just makes sense.

The city is so spread out, that commuting to work by train may be problematic (how do you get from home to the train, and from train to your office, unless both are very near a station), but I believe that people will use it given the option. Especially if there are good "park & ride" lots available.

Frankly, I wish it was an option today, so I could go out and have a drink without worrying about driving home! (This is me, missing New York)

I'm disappointed that it does not go all the way to Santa Monica. Perhaps they will still get the "Expo" line to the sea at some point, and find a way to connect the two with a north/south route.

I'll keep dreaming...

The people who want a monorail in LA haven't seen the realities. Where could you put the elevated structures? Also, there is no unified monorail technology and you have to buy all new rolling stock.

Only a subway will work through Wilshire. That corridor is long overdue.

A Westside Subway Extension would be the BEST thing to happen to LA in a very long time! The sooner the better...!!!

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