We requested if public transit ought to be free. You answered

Good morning, and welcome to the Important California publication. It’s Monday, Dec. 5. I’m Ryan Fonseca.


Final week, because the leaders of California’s largest public transit company thought of some modifications that may enhance fares for some riders, I posed a query to you within the publication: Ought to we simply make public transit free?

In the end, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of administrators permitted a brand new fare-capping plan, which means riders would pay for journeys on the system till they hit a set greenback quantity (structured day by day and weekly), then trip free after that. In addition they determined to not reduce the discounted off-peak fare value for seniors and riders with disabilities — they usually opted towards a plan tying future fare hikes to inflation charges.

“What that proposal means is, since you are paying extra for bread and since you are paying extra for milk, it’s important to pay extra for transit,” board member and L.A. Metropolis Councilmember Mike Bonin stated throughout Thursday’s assembly. “That doesn’t make sense.”

Forward of that assembly, transit riders and advocates rallied in entrance of L.A. Metro’s downtown headquarters, calling on the company to cease amassing fares and make the system free and accessible to everybody.

That very same sentiment was echoed in a lot of your feedback in our callout. As of Sunday afternoon, we have now greater than 1,700 submissions.

Overwhelmingly, your responses expressed assist for making public transit free for all. A few of you famous that we already pay into the service with our tax {dollars}. Many stated it will encourage individuals to decide on transit over their vehicles, decreasing site visitors congestion and contributing to the state’s and nation’s targets of decreasing dangerous carbon emissions.

Of the comparatively few feedback in opposition to free transit, a standard concern was that it will result in extra unhoused Californians on buses and trains. Others apprehensive service may start to deteriorate, making it much less helpful for the individuals who depend on it probably the most.

I discussed in my inaugural publication that I needed to incorporate extra of your voices, and also you undoubtedly confirmed up! Thanks to everybody who took a while out of their day to share their ideas (look out for extra callouts in upcoming editions).

Right here’s a small sampling of what lots of of you needed to say (some responses had been frivolously edited for readability and brevity):

“[Free transit] is sensible, and it’s essential, given how California’s air high quality is horrible and roads consistently jammed. Making transit free would draw some extra individuals out of their vehicles and make the state extra livable.”
— Sean Wherley, Los Angeles

“I’m an individual who’s at the moment on Social Safety, and on the low finish of that. Despite the fact that I get senior reductions, the cash I spend on public transportation may be spent on hire which may be going up subsequent 12 months — and the price of meals, which already goes up. Public transportation with no out-of-pocket price could be a godsend.”
— Don Paschal, Los Angeles

“Public transport is a utility that ought to be absolutely backed by the state. Something in need of that’s violence towards the poor.”
— Nilesh Patel, San Diego

“As a school scholar, I shouldn’t have to decide on between my funds and my have to get between class, work, and residential. Transit is a public useful resource — its objective is to offer a public good, to not flip a revenue.”
— Lilly Armstrong, Berkeley

“No, making it free would lead to a extra unsafe and dirtier atmosphere and drive away middle-class riders like me. Higher choice could be to subsidize passes for low-income riders.”
— Joanne Kang, Los Angeles

“California has a robust tax base that would fund fareless transportation for all riders. This is able to possible enhance transit use and reduce non-public vehicles on roads, highways and freeways. It could be an funding in our state’s future.”
— Bryan Mack, Bishop

“After transit began charging once more this 12 months, I keep in mind seeing quite a few individuals attempt to get on the bus and be turned away as a result of they couldn’t afford it. Paying fares slows down transit service. Motion is a human proper, and we must always be sure that everybody has entry to it — and the extra individuals who use transit, the extra frequent service might be.”
— Alyssa Ross, Santa Monica

“I don’t at the moment use public transportation, however we’ll all have to contemplate it to handle the local weather change problem. If free public transportation may remove the necessity for a automotive, the fee financial savings for a family could offset the general public price of offering free service.”
— Tim Moran, Modesto

“Making public transit free would enhance the accessibility of those providers for individuals who want it probably the most. People dwelling paycheck to paycheck would have one much less price to fret about of their lives. Concurrently, this could assist cut back the quantity of air pollution stemming from vehicles in a area overburdened by cars.”
— Dante Valenzuela, Compton

“Everybody utilizing public transit is way more of a buddy to the planet and our lungs. It is mindless to cost individuals for doing a public good.”
— Stanley Nelson, Los Angeles

“Public transit companies across the state can’t afford to make public transit free with out substantial will increase in federal, state, and native subsidies. That’s not going to occur due to competing good applications that taxpayers pay for as nicely. Additionally, citing funds numbers might be deceptive as a result of solely a small portion of the subsidies transit companies get can really be used for operations. Chopping fares is a direct reduce to operations funding with only a few sources to make up for it. You’ll get shiny new electrical buses with no one to drive them.”
— Shane Gusman, Sacramento

“Transportation racism and classism have lengthy plagued our state. With housing prices what they’re, a number of the poorest staff need to journey the farthest distances and pay probably the most for transit. Public transportation ought to be a real commons, free to all and a web site of motion and neighborhood, not fare policing. Lastly, with the local weather disaster upon us, it makes absolute sense to incentivize even these within the center class (like me) who’ve vehicles to start to desert them in favor of public transportation. It’s merely shortsighted to not make public transportation free and accessible to all instantly.”
— Molly Talcott, Los Angeles

“That is the kind of public good a authorities ought to present for. Fares being free supplies an incentive for everybody to make use of public transit, which has necessary implications for sustainability and site visitors (fewer vehicles on the street). The federal government provides large tax breaks and advantages to the wealthy and firms. The good thing about free public transit to everyone — however particularly those that are economically marginalized — is obvious!”
— Ellie Corbas, San Francisco

“Our dependence on vehicles to get in all places causes congestion, outsized roads, and numerous site visitors fatalities that price tenfold greater than rising public transit and making it free as nicely.”
— Tim Gentry, San Simeon

“We want a paradigm shift in transportation for the sake of the local weather, for walkable, nice communities, for safer streets. Making public transit free is an funding in a extra simply and local weather resilient society. It could enable transit regulation enforcement to focus solely on public security fairly than fare assortment, and the cash misplaced from fares might be recouped by ending subsidies to vehicles like free parking and widening highways.”
— Isaiah Berke, Los Angeles

And now, right here’s what’s taking place throughout California:

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Three blue planes fly close together and leave a trail of smoke in the air near a mountain range.

Skytypers planes write “Completely satisfied Fourth” on July 4, 2022, in Los Angeles. Pilots manually preserve their tight abreast formation, and an automatic program releases smoke from every aircraft to create matrixes of smoke dots.

(Wesley Lapointe / Los Angeles Occasions)

Skywriting was all the craze within the early days of aeronautics. Now it’s making a comeback within the skies over Los Angeles, Occasions reporter Ronald D. White explains, fueled by “social media and our insatiable promotional starvation.” Undoubtedly wouldn’t wish to be the pilot who flew a typo. Los Angeles Occasions

Try “The Occasions” podcast for important information and extra

As of late, waking as much as present occasions might be, nicely, daunting. For those who’re in search of a extra balanced information food regimen, “The Occasions” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, together with a various set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Occasions newsroom, delivers probably the most fascinating tales from the Los Angeles Occasions each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Hear and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


Transit companies within the Bay Space say service cuts might be coming as ridership stays low and federal pandemic assist cash dries up. Operators are getting ready for worst-case situations as they method that fiscal cliff. San Francisco Chronicle


Robert Luna, former Lengthy Seaside police chief, was sworn on this weekend as Los Angeles County’s thirty fourth sheriff. He’ll have his arms full as the highest cop for probably the most populous county within the nation, together with mending relationships with county leaders that had been strained by his predecessor, Alex Villanueva. Luna says he goals to “defend good policing,” including that his division additionally has a “accountability to name out unhealthy policing.” Los Angeles Occasions

In case you missed it final week, San Francisco metropolis leaders permitted a brand new coverage that may enable police there to kill individuals with robots. Legislation enforcement officers had argued robots may be wanted in excessive situations towards violent perpetrators comparable to a mass shooter or suicide bomber. However civil liberties teams have been talking out towards the coverage, which they are saying additional militarizes policing and will hurt communities of shade. Wired


California drivers nonetheless rolling with that old-school gasoline ought to count on to cough up much more cash to fuel up. With a state mandate to finish gross sales of latest gas-burning vehicles and vans by 2035, the oil trade, which in fact likes to earn cash, will possible cost drivers who haven’t gone electrical extra on the pump to maximise their earnings in a shrinking state market. (In associated information, California lawmakers will open a particular legislative session in the present day to contemplate inserting monetary penalties on oil firms for extreme revenue.) Los Angeles Occasions


A man stands on the back of a horse in a field with trees in the background.

A cowboy stands atop his horse after a path trip throughout an August campout at Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, Calif.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Occasions)

Howdy! Black Californians have an extended, wealthy historical past as a part of Outdated West tradition, although which may not be the primary picture that involves thoughts once we image somebody on horseback. However latest movies like “Nope” and the “The More durable They Fall” are placing a highlight on Black cowboys and cowgirls. As one rider advised Occasions author Tyrone Beason: “We’re the unique cowboys, and the world is waking as much as that.” Los Angeles Occasions

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Los Angeles: partly sunny, 63. San Diego: partly sunny, 63. San Francisco: showers, 58. San Jose: rain possible, 58. Fresno: slight probability of rain and fog, 59. Sacramento: showers, 56.


At the moment’s California reminiscence is from John R. McNicholas Jr.:

My of us had been elevating 4 youngsters in Glendale’s Glenoaks Canyon, again when the street resulted in stables and an unsupervised rifle vary. Simply earlier than the Pink Vehicles had been junked in 1955 (I used to be 6) my mom took us to trip the trolley into downtown L.A. and again.

On the L.A. finish of the road, we stood and watched the conductor undergo the automotive and switch all of the seats round to face the wrong way. He drove the return journey from what had been the again of the automotive. I used to be shocked and amazed.

If in case you have a reminiscence or story concerning the Golden State, share it with us. (Please hold your story to 100 phrases.)

Please tell us what we will do to make this article extra helpful to you. Ship feedback to essentialcalifornia@latimes.com.

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