In order to understand this evidence we first have to discuss certain techniques used to predict the future and also certain aspects of the history of the topic as it relates to the evidence. But don't worry we will get there.
The problem is that in this area, as in others as well but this is an excellent test case, solving the problems require capital investment, tremendous political will, short-term grief, and a lot of time to execute. It is an excellent example where naive, one might say, stupid, reliance on "free market solutions" is obviously a failure. The benefits of mass transit take many forms, but several of them require the system to be planned and executed and in place for a period of time so that things can be built around it and make it all the more useful. In other words, the transit system may have to be there for 20 years before all the benefits accrue to the investment (through the placement of hotels, universities, theatres, etc).
To ask politicians and citizens in LA to face a problem 20 years in the future and a benefit also 20 years or so in the future is so far beyond their limited intelligence and wisdom as to be beyond funny into farce. Los Angeles was built for a reason, and that reason resounds in every decision that the civic body makes. Los Angeles is built on a desire to steal money and fuck people right now, not on stealing money and fucking people in some future day. This is obvious in the cheap architecture, the lack of zoning to control cheap real estate development, the dumping of wastes into the water system, the failure to control pollution generated by container ships at the Port of LA that causes a substantial percentage of the air pollution in the LA basin (is it 30% ? 40% ? No one knows).
The point is this: it isn't possible or plausible that LA would just get around to fixing this problem, or at least some of this problem, by building a transit system, eventually. I don't buy it. If something like this is happening, it is an indicator, as previously described, of a larger process that is taking place behind the scenes, even if the people executing this idea are not aware of it. I think that the will of the people and the force of shame and the collapse of the transit system in Los Angeles over the last 15 years or so has finally caused the City of LA and related areas to finally move in an area that should have been addressed 50 years ago and therefore there is no possibility of this being a wise move. By the time it is done, something will have happened to expose why this was at best a very late decision for LA to make.
Therefore I am very optimistic that we will see a sea-change in urban transit technology in the near future, as these things are measured. Its about time.
I grew up here. I know where some of the bodies are buried.
Ancient History of the Expo Line