So am I suggesting we abandon transit as one way to reduce congestion? Not necessarily.

There are proven transit solutions that do work in an urban/suburban environment. Look to Brisbane, Australia. Bus Rapid Transit [BRT] works there. SANDAG is including a BRT solution in the I-15 corridor. But are they doing it right? Will the BRT offer a superior alternative to the automobile running in the dual express lanes now under construction? If we want transit to succeed can we continue to build competing alternatives that may be more desirable? People will get out of their cars if there is something better. Better is measured in convenience, cost, personal security, door-to-door elapsed travel time, reliability and a number of well known parameters. For taxpayers we want to know that it will be cost effective. For planners it should be sufficiently adaptable to accommodate future demographic and land use changes.

But for San Diego to undertake a more visionary and aggressive approach to making transit really work we first need a new mindset. Continuing two separate transit districts in one region is wasteful duplication. Looking at the current plan which includes a billion dollar plus extension of the fixed rail trolley to UTC from Old Town does not inspire confidence.

HARVEY GOODFRIEND

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