No Love for the Silver Line?

Unlike the myriad and very fun MTA-sponsored and promoted events surrounding the opening of the eastside extension of LA’s Gold Line LRT, the LA MTA also has the Metro Silver Line, an express bus proposal between South Bay and San Gabriel to downtown LA. It so far has generated very little interest.

Why does the Silver Line get no love?

And more importantly…why is it acceptable for the MTA to plan to charge Silver Line patrons a $2.45 base fare when MTA’s rail riders get the same $1.25 base fare as regular bus riders? Wah? The justification given on the website is that the Silver Line runs on the freeways, so it’s better service. Isn’t better service what we’re paying all this money to build LRT for?

And wait! People hand me my fanny for saying things like drivers who pay into HOT lanes are just buying better service. That’s not fair, people yell. The poor don’t get to have as much HOT lane use as the rich and that’s wrong! Wrong, they say! But…it’s not wrong to have almost DOUBLE the base fare on an express bus because it’s better service? An express bus that is being used to eliminate other routes? Aren’t the poor less likely to be able to afford taking the Silver Line?

Why is the Bus Rider’s Union standing for this? In my writing frenzy the last few months, have I missed something big where it’s acceptable to charge double for a new bus but a new rail extension gets the same base fare as the rest of the system?

Am I hallucinating? What is going on here?