Wednesday, May 27

Letter to the Editor: Benefits from Measure M light rail extensions outweigh the costs

Public transportation has always been the subject of controversy in Los Angeles, and this has only become more heightened in recent years due to Measure M.

Measure M was a ballot measure passed by Angelenos in 2016 that increases sales tax by a half-percent to help the city expand its light rail network while improving bus services and freeways. Most of the hostility toward public transit comes from pointing out its disadvantages: it is usually less convenient than driving, it is very expensive to build and maintain and the city would need a massive network of public transportation vehicles to make the system efficient.

While these claims are valid, people who make these arguments fail to see the potential in a really great public transportation system in Los Angeles. Eliminating or reducing the need for cars is good for the environment and for urban character – freeways take up a lot of space, after all. Public transportation can also be healthy for you: Numerous studies have shown that that long commutes can have damaging impacts on your health, such as increases in the risk for depression and high blood pressure.

Surely you would rather be on a train zipping across town than be stuck in traffic. Of course public transportation has its drawbacks, but the potential benefits are too good to pass up.

Remy Engels

First-year mechanical engineering student

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