Growing cities need mass transit
Re “Want to be green? Work at home,” Opinion, June 23
Joel Kotkin does some funny stuff in his piece, which seems to be designed to denigrate public mass transit.
He spends some time talking about 5% of the populace in Los Angeles in 1980 using public transit compared to “slightly less than 5%” now, ignoring the fact that the greater Los Angeles area has grown by more than 50% in that time period, which yields an aggregate gain of ridership of probably hundreds of thousands of people.
Also, he seems to forget that people use mass transit for other things that boost the economy besides commuting: going to ballgames, museums and other cultural attractions. All one has to do is look at the resurgence of downtown Los Angeles to corroborate this.
Last, while many do work from home (as I do), there are many jobs where this is an impossibility. As time goes on we will need more public transit (with more coverage and stops) to handle our growing population. Steuart Liebig Culver City
Kudos to Kotkin for his observations on telecommuting as a positive change. He didn’t mention one major factor, though.
The model of employees commuting to a central office to share resources is becoming obsolete. Telecommuters can access resources remotely, and the need to commute has dwindled.
However, if the current commute-to-the-office paradigm goes away, so does the need for many management positions. And the power to change the commuting paradigm rests in those management positions — which could be, and should be, obsolete. Dave Suess Redondo Beach