Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by joshg1
I am most familiar with the MBTA. I generalize, but the T started as a way to remove streetcars from downtown and increase capacity. As the network grew to include subways and elevated, streetcar lines (now buses) were routed as feeders to the "Elevated" or eliminated as duplicate, a philosophy, or strategy, that continues today. Somewhere I have a 1920s photo of a elevated train with a streetcar across the platform and a bus in the street below, indicating the hierarchy of service (must be Ashmont).

I read something about the Purple Line extension, looked at LACMTA's maps and wondered why the grid of bus routes continues. Are buses on a rail corridor considered feeders to the rail line? Has the topic of hierarchy and connections come up in planning discussions/reports? I admit I didn't check Metrolink for connections.

Also- no transfers? Surely not, although a pass would eliminate that problem.
  by kaitoku
As for transfers, they don't have them, except for interagency ones. They never had them, as far as I can recall, and I rode the buses back when the system was called RTD. They do have a day pass for a fiver, it saves you money over regular fare if you transfer twice or more. Back when I lived in West LA, I saved on fare by catching a Santa Monica Municipal Lines bus (50 cents to ride back then- a real bargain and good 'ol GMC Fishbowls) and asking for an interagency transfer, and getting off at the next stop to catch a RTD/Metro bus, which has/had a higher fare.
  by kaitoku
Regarding the grid network of bus routes- LA is a sprawling and decentralized urban area, so a grid network is actually an efficient solution to serve the largely working class users of the bus system, many who have jobs away from city centers. The growing rail network appeals to a different demographic, who are less likely to use buses due to social stigma. Of course many existing bus riders will use the new rail lines, just the inverse is not likely at this moment. In the future perhaps, as more rail lines are built, will a hub and spoke feeder system come into more widespread use.