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Here Are L.A.'s Metro Stations Ranked

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A Metro Red Line subway (Photo by Gary Kavangh via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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L.A.'s Metro stations just got ranked within our own city and the state. We're not sure if our parents would be happy with this grade, but L.A. scored a C-average in California.

The study was released this week by Next 10, a nonprofit nonpartisan group, and the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at UC Berkeley. They analyzed 489 neighborhoods within a half-mile radius throughout California and 88 stations in L.A. county, to find out "which transit stations serve as hubs of thriving, walkable areas that encourage residents and workers alike to ride the train, and which station areas need improvement," according to their press release.

Analysts broke up the stations into three types: residential, employment and mixed. They based their grades on 11 factors, which included walkability, ridership levels, affordability and transit quality.

What they found was that L.A.'s Metro system got a C-average, tying with Sacramento for third place among six of California's major rail transit systems. San Francisco Municipal Railway ranked the highest with a B-grade, while San Diego Metropolitan Transit Station and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority tied for last place.

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As for our own subway and light-rail stations, Metro's Westlake/MacArthur Park stop scored the best in L.A. County with a whopping A+ average. "The diversity of destinations, walkability, transit access, and affordability offered by this station positions it as an example for other stations to follow," the release said.

"If rail transit stations are not located in good areas, our systems are not going to get good ridership," Ethan Elkind, the study's lead author and associate director of the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, told the L.A. Times. "You need walkable communities, mixed land uses, an emphasis on pedestrians and bicyclists and giving people the option to live this way."

KPCC pointed out that the Westlake/MacArthur Park ranked at the top even though it had a low rating on safety. Elkind explained to KPCC that it was because there is just more crime in more urban areas. "Even though the Westlake/MacArthur Park station did score high on crime, it was competing against other stations throughout California," Elkind said. "In many of these urban areas, you're just going to see more instances of crime as opposed to a desolate area without many pedestrians where there really aren't enough human interactions to even have much of a crime statistic."

Long Beach's Wardlow Station ranked last in the study, with an F. "You don't really see a lot of residents or employees in the area and if there are, they're not riding the transit line by any great margins," Elkind told KPCC . "It's not stimulated any kind of development or neighborhood type activity around it. That's really the challenge of Wardlow and other stations that scored poorly."

However, not all is lost as more than half of L.A.'s Metro stations scored A or B grades. Other A-grade stations included the Hollywood/Western and Wilshire/Western stops.

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F. Noel Perry, the founder of Next 10, told the Times that they weren't trying to criticize the six public transit agencies with their study, but rather "to make them aware of the best practices and how they can improve their rail transit station."

Some feel that the results of the study aren't completely fair. Cal Hollis, Metro's managing executive officer for countywide planning, told the Times that the criteria for the analysis favor densely populated cities like San Francisco. Los Angeles is sprawling in comparison.

And even though our Blue Lines scored low, Hollif said that the study may not be a good indicator of performance as he says it's the most heavily used light-rail service in the country.

You can see how each L.A. County station fared in this study below: