As someone who doesn’t own a car and frequently uses public transit, I know the struggles Angelenos face on Metro firsthand. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States, but we have some of the weakest transit infrastructure. It’s so much a problem that there are thousands in our car culture who want to take public transportation, but just don’t see it as plausible. It’s essential that we work to get these folks on Metro, and to make sure Metro can actually get them where they’re going.
As I said at the Rally for Free Transit in January 2022, I strongly advocate for keeping our buses and subways free forever. It’s incentives like these that will encourage Angelenos to take public transit rather than their cars. Imagine having to travel a short distance and being able to easily hop on a free, frequent bus; under our current system, schedules are often random and the payment process is just difficult enough to discourage ridership. Only 6% of Metro’s budget comes from fares, and more than one-third of that goes right back into fare enforcement (Source: https://www.curbed.com/2022/01/los-angeles-metro-free-transit-buses.html). Metro was free for the vast majority of the COVID-19 pandemic and the results were positive: why not keep those gains for future generations?
For a greener and more accessible future, we also must make necessary investments in clean, green transit. I support a new Green New Deal for our city, one that will entail sweeping investments in public transit to dramatically cut our city’s emissions. Our car culture is failing everyday Angelenos, as neighborhoods become increasingly polluted and traffic gums up our highways. The solution to these issues is not simply more lanes or more freeways, but real investments in transit. These choices are better for everyday Angelenos, safer for our environment, and far more affordable in the long term. As an environmentalist candidate, I know we must make these investments and we must make them now.
A green future for Los Angeles for Los Angeles requires that we invest in public transit. A comprehensive transit plan means that more Angelenos need to feel safe, knowledgeable, and assisted when they take our buses and trains. And if public transit isn’t free, we can’t truly call it public. I’ll be the Mayor who finally gets our city to that better future, where the Metro gets you where you need to go and does so in an easy, accessible way.
1) I will fight for public transit in Los Angeles to remain free, now and forever.
2) I will make necessary investments in our public transit system, to make it more accessible and encourage more Angelenos to become frequent riders.
3) As a proud rider of Metro, I don’t plan on stopping when I’m elected Mayor.