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December 1965

January 1966

Calendar of Events
Dear League Member (Gladys Gabert)
Practical Politics
Memo from the President (Nancy Dykes)
State Study
Budget Committee
Recommended Reading
Nominating Committee
Mass Transportation (Gladys Gabert)
Mekong River
Consensus - the word
Aloha to Our New Members
Notes from the Local Agenda Committee
CARE in Paperback

Mass Transportation

We hear a lot about 'mass transportation' and 'transit systems', and when we are trapped in a traffic snarl we are apt to think anything would be better than what we now have. It might be well to give a definition for a transit system, and to give some types available.

A transit system is any high-volume, short-haul, fixed-route, high-cost, low-fare-per-capita passenger carrier. In ascending order of volume carried the types of transit systems are (1) low frequency buses, (2) high frequency buses. (3) exclusive right-of-way buses or electric cars, (4) tracked systems and lines.

Tracked systems can be standard dual rail, elevated, surface or subway. Monorails are also included in these, and these are of two kinds. There is the monorail like the one at Disneyland, which has the main disadvantage of only functioning on a circular path. They cannot switch directions easily. There is a monorail which hangs from the track. This can switch easily and change directions. Any elevated system has both a visual and an audio impact. Subway systems are probably most expensive to build. Usually, the standard dual rail track systems are cheapest and best.

The Mayor's Committee on Urban Renewal is presently studying mass transportation, because the development of such a system has a direct bearing on where people live. It can eliminate city-center slums, thus freeing much valuable land for business purposes. Blight is caused by (among other things) a continuing market for obsolete housing. This market is composed of people with little money for housing and/or transportation, and they must be near work opportunities. To destroy blight alone is to crowd the poor further. To replace blight with better quality housing is to raise rents and move slum dwellers to the next cast-off area. To improve blighted areas in the same community may be an uneconomical investment. But - to replace blight with housing specifically designed for economy is an answer, if housing costs can be brought down. This can only be done with low cost land and low cost design and materials, Low cost land is at a distance. Transit systems reduce distance.

Gladys Gabert

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