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Do Transit Oriented 'Livable Communities' Leave Out the Middle Class?

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h/t for video via Streesblog LA

Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited Los Angeles last week and took a tour of the Gold Line Eastside Extension, which is expected to open soon (no date had been announced, though). The line will run between Union Station and East LA.

"This whole rail line is way ahead what we are talking about in Washington," exclaimed LaHood. "This is what we mean by livable communities. You build it and they will come."

Charity Tran, a fellow LA blogger at ExperienceLA, the region's official website dedicated to public transit and cultural events exemplifies her website's mission and is car-free, commuting to work every day via the Red Line. Her housing situation has turned and she's looking for a new place, hopefully in downtown near work or along a rail transit corridor so she can keep to her car free ways. What she's found in the first week of searching is a little middle class American drama: anything affordable along a rail line is for low-income workers and everything else is too expensive (if you've got any helpful tips, leave a comment below).

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No doubt, something will come up for Tran as her search continues, but for those who can afford to move in next to transit, are they using it? An LA Times investigation proved otherwise (similar results in an LA Weekly feature) a couple years ago, but as far as we know, no studies about Los Angeles transit corridors in regards to this issue has come out. Former LA Times transit reporter Steve Hymon began to question it last year, too. "Something I've noticed in recent months is that a lot of what's getting built near mass transit is labeled as 'luxury' housing," he noted.