I had a piece in Sunday’s LA Daily News:
“YOU’VE got to use public transit,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared. “You can’t keep on pointing to someone else and saying it’s their responsibility.” Imagine the credibility and public-relations points Villaraigosa could have racked up uttering those words while commuting on a bus to City Hall. But instead of being the “eco-friendly transit-riding mayor,” Villaraigosa rides an SUV to work. Yet many Angelenos probably sympathize with the mayor. “Give me a first-rate transit system, and I’ll use it,” they might say. Until that system arrives, they support new transit proposals, like the $5 billion “subway to the sea,” while continuing to drive everywhere. But what would it say about the practicality of mass transit if the mayor of the city with the nation’s best subway system also took an SUV to work?