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Car Culture

Coming Soon:Take the Bus to the Game?

9:21 PM PST on February 25, 2008

Don't Worry, There's Nothing to Dodge These Days

Councilmember Ed Reyes and Council President Eric Garcetti have stood out recently as advocates for cyclists' causes.  If their resolution urging Metro and the Dodgers to work together to (re)create bus access to Dodger Stadium is succesful, they may also gain praise from baseball fans.  The resolution will be heard by the City Council Transportation Committe at tomorrow's (Wednesday, 2/27) meeting.  That we're discussing adding bus service to baseball games is confusing to this east coaster.  How can a baseball team that was partially named after a mode of transit (the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers) have no non-automobile options to get to the stadium?

That no transit service of any kind exists for Major League baseball in Los Angeles is just one of many signs of how car culture has taken control of the transportation grid.  In other major cities transit is  a crucial part of local nine's transportation plan and in some cases transit is spotlighted by the team as the best way to get to the ballpark.  Yet in L.A., one of our teams has no transit access at all and the next closest team, the geographically challenged Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, doesn't list transit as an option to travel to the ball park on their official website.

Garcetti and Reyes are seeking to change one part of the problem.  Their resolution states that all parts of LA's Downtown should be available by transit.  For example, the Staples Center is located adjacent to public transit (even if we can't get the Lakers to admit it), the LA Music Center is located adjacent to transit, and the Gold Line will soon provide access to USC's Galen Center and the LA Coliseum. 

But don't make your transit plans to the Stadium just yet.  Even if the resolution passes the Council, it isn't a gurantee that new bus service would come.  Rather, it asks the Dodgers and Metro to work together to come up with a plan to re-route existing service to cover trips to Dodger Stadium (presumably just on game/event day, although that isn't stated clearly).  The resolution stops short of asking DASH to examine the same route changes.

However, without a high-level of enthusiasm from the Dodgers, there is a good chance any new transit to the stadium will fail.  Previous bus lines to the ballpark were cut because of low ridership proving that just having a transit line doesn't gurantee that people will use it.  In cities like New York and Chicago the local MTA's advertise heavily within the ballpark and they work with the teams to create PSA's that air during games on the local broadcasts and the jumbo trons inside the ballpark. 

In addition to a stop at the stadium, the routes suggested by the councilmembers also included a stop at Elysian Park, the newly opened Los Angeles State Historic Park.

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