Friday, August 25, 2006

MTA Votes for Confusion

Looks like the MTA board wimped out and scrapped plans to call its new light rail train (between USC and Culver City) the "Aqua Line." Bowing to bizarro pressure from City Councilman Bernard Parks -- who grew rather obsessed over the issue of the line's color designation -- the train will instead be known as the "Expo Line."

Never mind that every other MTA train is named after a color -- Red Line, Blue Line, Green Line, Gold Line.

But the debate isn't over yet. The next question the MTA has to determine, believe it or not, is the color of "Expo." MTA still wants the color of "Expo" to be aqua on maps, while Parks wants the line's color to be "rose."

I think both would just add to the confusion. If you're not going to name the line "Aqua" or "Rose," riders may confuse those colors with the Blue Line or Red Line.

Aren't there bigger issues the MTA board should be debating? Notes the Daily News:

"At some point this board has gotten to listen to the people and not politicians ... but the hundreds and hundreds of people that have advocated for this and want this. And I think it's a slap in their face and a slap in the staff's face," said MTA board member and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, calling the debate "unseemly."

"I have resented the minimal amount of time I have had to spend on this, roped in to spend on this. But it is serious in one sense, it telegraphs to the community what our worldview is about how we make decisions."

MTA officials say even after laying down 73 miles of rail and subway, they have never faced such a drawn-out debate over a color designation.

In fact, moments after the board spent nearly an hour debating colors, it quietly and unanimously voted in favor of naming the leg of the Red Line that runs from Union Station to Wilshire and Western the Purple Line. It also adopted silver as the color to designate the El Monte express busway and the bronze for the Harbor express busway.

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