No, you didn’t read that headline wrong. Los Angeles actually has a subway! Even the people who live here are somtimes surprised to hear this fact. Less surpised in the last two years as the Metro has crept it's west into more affluent areas and recieved funding and media attention. Those western areas, for the record, were largely opposed to Metro explansion since anyone without a car is obviously riff-raff. And such carless poeple were not openly welcomed in their pretty neightborhoods (or on 'their' beaches, that were previously only accessible by car or a soul crushingly long bus ride.)
And I’m not talking about the one that was closed down mid-20th Century. I’m talking about TODAY’S subway system. It is real. And is clean, safe, attractive, and easy to use. You didn't know that did you?
There’s the Red Line from North Hollywood to Union Station. The Expo line to Culver City (that will extend to the Santa Monica pier this summer). This is a way better system that our reputation for a car-only city would suggest. Still, compared to other major cities, New York in particular, our system is like a child’s train set. A few branches here and there. Nothing exceptionally convenient or consistent enough to make taking the subway a viable option for everyday commuter use.
However (with luck and good funding!) all might change in the near future. LA has approved plans to expand the public transportation system, including newer trains, wide-stretching metros, trams and connectors. These plans have me hopeful. As someone who lives in Pasadena and works in Culver City, a more convenient and efficient subway would be a really big deal. And it would be for countless other Angelenos. It would mean less congestion on highways and surface streets, less pollution, and huge populations could save money at the pumps and pour that cash into other areas of the economy. All these benefits mean a happier healthier population! I have my fingers crossed - so should you. :)