Fellow blogger Ethan Elkind has spent a lot of time researching the history, politics, and future of transit in California. Earlier this year he published Railtown, a fascinating portrait of the fight over development of the L.A. Metro rail system, revealing the degree to which that development has been driven by good old-fashioned politics and even intrigue — think of it as Chinatown but for rail, not water. He has also written on the topics of high speed rail and financing public transit.
Today, we’re releasing a new report by Ethan that develops key lessons for the future of transit in California. “Back in the Fast Lane: How to Speed Public Transit Planning and Construction in California” examines some of the causes of transit planning and construction delays, identifies flaws in current construction policy, and offers steps to prioritize public health and safety. Its recommendations aim to promote proper development of public transit in heavily populated metropolitan areas. “Public transit offers important benefits to society as a whole—more so than most other public investments. In order to help meet California’s broader economic and environmental goals, policymakers must prioritize reforms that put transit planning and construction back in the fast lane,” Elkind said.
This is the latest in our series of Pritzker Environmental Law and Policy Briefs, which are published by the UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in conjunction with researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines and the broader environmental law community. They provide expert analysis to further public dialogue on issues impacting the environment. All papers in the series are available here.