So I took Andy on his first trip on the Orange Line last night up into the valley. We had to travel at rush hour, which is never pleasant, and the Red Line–LA’s subway–was sweltering hot, crowded cheek to jowl, nowhere to sit. So we hung onto a pole for 40 minutes getting jerked around stop after stop.
Exiting the subway, we walked across the street to the Orange Line platform. We decided to let the first go without us because I was tired of being crowded and bam! Five minutes later, there was another bus.
Air conditioned, perfectly comfortable, and I *swear* faster than the Gold Line and large swaths of the Blue Line–both LRTs.
One of the things that gets lost in the crush to build build build build in transit is just how important frequency is. Is transit great in London because of the geographic coverage of the Tube? Or is it great because buses come every five minutes? Or, as I would argue, both?
As it is now, if transit operators have a choice between building and operating frequency, they’ll build every time. Such a terrible mistake that undermines transit more than any mythical “car lobby” ever could.