Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Need a Lift? An Overview

The fact of the matter is that Southern California is essentially based on ranch style planning, design, and landscaping. That is to say, it's broad and expansive. Other cities are developed with the thought that land space is limited; therefore, build up by using air space and essentially zero setback clearances between buildings.

That, in turn, creates smaller distances between destinations. What that boils down to in terms of getting from Point A to Point B is that Southern California is more conducive to using a car than many of the other forms of transportation. Since the auto is becoming a luxury item in terms of cost and fuel, and because environmentally speaking, using a personal auto is becoming a less desirable option, it's important for Southern California real estate planners to come up with transportation options that will get people to and from their various destinations with ease. Timely transport and reliability are also significant issues. Those two issues are intensified when it comes to quickly getting through and out of dangerous areas without becoming a statistic.

Then comes taking stock of the needs of the population and its demographics. The aged, those without vehicles of any type, and the disabled still need to commute at various times and need a reliable means of doing so. Affordability of transportation, especially for these populations, makes the ability to go and come a precious commodity. It's difficult to find ways to balance the demands and come up with a workable solution that satisfies the needs of as many as possible.

Unfortunately, there are parts of any city that suffer from no public or private convenience transportation system, limited service, or the distances between one connection point and another is great. In those situations, it's the same as being stranded given the amount of effort (and time) it takes to transition from one connection spot to another. Again, this is particularly true of locations in areas of high crime, low to lower income residents, and areas densely populated by immigrant and protected class residents. It becomes an additional barrier to moving into mainstream and quality of life.

Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is constantly looking for ways to serve the public more efficiently, safely, and courteously in whatever way they can with their bus and rail systems. The sad situation is that while Administration is receptive to the complaints that reach their Customer Relations Center, not all of the employees are aware of those complaints or are of another mindset. That means retraining efforts are repeated until the matter is finally resolved in some way.

There are many ways to look at the services provided by MTA. And there are alternatives to MTA such as cabs, shuttles, community vans, carpools, and accessibility transports available in addition to the friend or family member who can handle the commute issues. The most significant areas where transportation options play a vital role on the constituent population are where the demographics are skewed with dense numbers of lower income residents, the disabled or aged, and areas beset by a high crime rate.

Let us look at how some transportation issues are impacting various segments of commuters, whether regular riders or those who have several other options available to them, and whether there are challenges with using those options.

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