Public transit. Over the years, if you mention the word to a lot of Southern Californians, who love their cars, you would often get a reaction along the lines of….sorry, not interested.
But as traffic in the San Diego and L-A areas has gotten worse in recent years, more people are expressing more interest. After all, who wants to spend two hours or more tied up on the freeways every day.
And that’s why we’ve seen an expansion of the Trolley system in San Diego, with the line to La Jolla now under construction.
And the news this week from the Metropolitan Transit System to re-do some of their bus routes got a lot of attention. The CEO says they’re making the changes on dozens of bus routes to make the system as convenient and efficient as possible.
Interestingly, ridership in the bus system is down, so they think that making the route changes will attract more riders.
Time will tell if it will work. As much as Southern Californians have had to deal with growing traffic in recent years, the desire to be in their own car and not ride a bus or trolley is still strong. And that’s even with higher gas prices.
Public transit does work for a lot of commuters and as traffic gets worse, it probably will become even more attractive as drivers get tired of driving in all that traffic.
But then if you start peering into the future, you have to wonder what will happen when self-driving cars become popular and drivers become riders in their own private transit vehicles.