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Is L.A.'s Public Transit User-Friendly? Debate on KCRW Tonight

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Do you love L.A.'s public transit system? | Photo by stephenfalk via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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Oh, this should be good. On his "Which Way, L.A.?" program tonight, KCRW host Warren Olney will talk to LA Times business columnist David Lazarus, who today slammed Metro and other public transit agencies with his pieced titled, "L.A. mass transit agencies make only a token effort to get people onboard."

Lazarus's main gripe is about transfers, especially between transit agencies, like Metro to Commuter Express to Big Blue to Foothill, etc. "It's almost as if dozens of entities" in the regional network "are conspiring to make the system as unwelcoming as possible," he said. Metro Spokesman Dave Sotero agreeed with him that it could be a little confusing.

But in defense of Metro, I'd say public transit is only as confusing as driving in a new area for the first time. Everything takes adjustment--there's a learning curve, if you will--from preconceived notions, which are usually based on public transit experiences in other cities. That's not to say Metro is in need of improvement, but understanding it and getting around on what is currently offered is the easy part. The hard part is beefing up service to make it accessible at an even broader level.

KCRW's Olney will also bring on Marc Littman, Metro's top spokesman, and Erin Steva of CalPRIG, the group that celebrated L.A.'s Transportation Freedom Day last week.