After a year and a half of writing for The Source, I’m sad to say that I’ll be taking a leave. It’s exciting news though! Over the next year, I’ll be working in L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s office thanks to a fellowship through my urban planning program at UCLA and the David Bohnett Foundation.
Before I sign off, some thanks are due: Thanks to Metro and The Source editor Steve Hymon for giving me a chance to help explain how Metro works and to make the agency more accessible to the public. Hopefully, I was able to shed some light on the process of planning the suite of Measure R transit projects coming down the line.
And a big thanks to The Source readers. One of the most valuable parts of this gig for me was hearing what public transit in Southern California means to you, as well as your hopes and aspirations for what transit can and should be.
So, after 200-plus posts, what perspective did I gain writing for The Source?
I certainly gained a greater appreciation of the challenge of planning major transit projects in a county as diverse as Los Angeles — with almost 90 unique cities and nearly as many languages and cultures. But I also learned that there are a slew of other American cities trying to do what we are doing in L.A. County: rapidly expanding transit using local funds.
Writing for The Source also gave me the opportunity to dig deep into the transportation history of Los Angeles, be it researching the various proposals over the last century for a Westside subway line or exploring the artifacts of an old trolly line soon to be reborn as Expo Phase 2. I’ve come to appreciate the vast amounts of talk and study about transit in the past century here — it’s refreshing to see the talk and study today coupled with action!
On that note, if you’ve never been to the Metro Transportation Library and Archive, it’s time to make an appointment to visit. You can spend hours poring over interesting photos and old maps — and the librarians are just as big transit enthusiasts as are you are.
With that, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of my colleagues on The Source’s writing team. If you’d like to stay in touch, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @CarterRubin.