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The Short Red Line

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What do City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, and the city of Beverly Hills have in common? Well, yes, they all think Jamie Foxx is a shoo-in for Best Actor (and who doesn't?), but they're also all in favor of extending the Red Line subway westward along Wilshire, all they way out to Santa Monica.

This astounding consensus, which Councilmember LaBonge has tirelessly worked to build, didn't carry much weight for the MTA Planning Committee. The committee unceremoniously rejected the expansion program, saying that subway tunneling would only serve certain "vested interests". We're guessing they were not referring to Los Angeles commuters, who would certainly benefit from a subway that actually went somewhere.

And maybe they're right, maybe a better use of scarce transportation money is a new set of speed bumps in Duarte. Who are we to say? We only live here.

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Regardless, Labonge and his subway-lovin' wrecking crew will take their fight straight to the man tomorrow, going before the full MTA board to make their case that a subway that actually relieves traffic is a pretty darn good idea.

What are the odds that they'll be successful? About the same odds that Jamie Foxx will go home empty-handed on Sunday, but good on 'em for trying.

more after the jump

In Other News:

- The 1996 consent decree has once again come back to bite the MTA on the ass, as a mandate to hire new bus drivers, combined with a shortage of recruits, has led to the transit agency regularly incurring $45,000 a week in overtime expenses.

Okay, so maybe the best use of scarce transportation funds is paying out unneccesary overtime. Sorry Duarte, no speed bumps this year.

- No wait, the best use of scarce transportation funds is to create a virtual tour of your underused subway system, post it to your website, and hope that the gee-whiz factor stirs people to actually use the damn thing.