Public transit detractors (and yes, there are still plenty) will point to a recent study that Metro ridership actually dipped last year and hasn’t actually removed that many cars from roads. The ambitious rate at which the city is laying down rail and beefing up bus service will certainly deliver the promised social and environmental benefits to the city, although it may be years (and an age of higher gas prices) before those investments start to reverse traffic data trends. At any rate, it’s clear LA’s playing the long game.


But to many Angelenos, it’s about more than that—it’s about having a cheaper, smarter, stress-free option to get to jobs and school and family. In addition to providing an alternative for soul-crushing rush-hour traffic on the city’s freeways, these new rail lines are psychologically knitting the city back together.