Dear Editor – Transit and the Trolley

Dear Editor,
     The creation of a circular service through Downtown Corridors, July 20, 2020, is an excellent idea. However, I am a transit rider, regularly riding buses and trains since 1992 to reduce my carbon footprint to combat the Basin’s air pollution, and combat the increasing threat to the planet from global warming.

Nearly every transit ride I take starts with the Culver City No. 6, and this bus, and Culver City Bus, have been reliable in service, providing safe rides in clean buses. With my years of experience riding transit at all hours of the day and night, and in all types of weather, I have reservations of the circular trolleys to be open-air. While the open-air trolleys seem fun and inviting, there are the assumptions that the financial expenditures for this trolley are for service for many hours, day and night, and throughout the year, and a transit intent trolley should not be based so much on fun as on serviceability and utility.

I know from experience that if the trolley is open-air, in the day the rider will be subjected to the sun, and with temperatures rising, this means subjected to increased hot days. An open-air trolley will offer no relief from the sun’s heat, nor protection from the harms of ultraviolet light which can cause skin cancer. When windy, an open air trolley will offer the rider little protection from a wind which can be cold and biting in the winter. While it never rains in Southern California, we know of course it does, any rain, from light drizzle to downpours, will seek out any transit rider in an open-air trolley. They will become wet, and unlike driving where one can seek protection from the rain in a car, a drenched rider from an open-air trolley is then confronted with staying wet as they walk to the destination. If they get wet going to the their destination they remain wet there, and as they get back into the trolley, and then walk home. It would be dangerous to have riders use umbrellas in an open-air trolley, and probably not lawful.

I support a trolley through the Downtown Corridor, but a closed trolley gives the rider much needed protections from the elements, and this should entice more ridership at all hours of the day and night, in all types of weather, thereby increasing ridership and giving a better return of funds for transit.

Matthew Hetz

The Actors' Gang

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