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As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority moves closer to abandoning plans for a Valley rail line, legislators are exploring other options to alleviate the region’s traffic snarls. Local political leaders are now proposing the creation of a set of dedicated busways, in which special freeway lanes would be created for use only by buses. At a cost of about $700 million, the new system could potentially accommodate 200,000 Valley residents along 40 miles of busways each day. The San Fernando Valley Business Journal asks: Do you think a dedicated bus line is the solution to the Valley’s traffic problems? Steve Crane manager Sports Ltd. Woodland Hills A dedicated bus line would be better than a dedicated rail line. It makes more sense and it would really work in conjunction with a carpool lane over the Sepulveda Pass. It could influence people to take public transportation over driving as long as it’s seen as a convenience, if it proves to be quicker than driving and the pick-up and drop-off points are in places where people are and want to go. Dennis Eder president and chief executive CareAmerica Health Plans Woodland Hills As the only solution, no. If we really want to ease traffic congestion, commuters have to be offered choices such as carpool lanes, toll roads and rail systems. Private businesses need to offer solutions as well. Telecommuting, flexible hours and monetary incentives for using alternative modes of transportation are just a few of the ideas we have implemented at CareAmerica. Rich Monosson director of marketing and new media Instant Internet Corp. Woodland Hills I think the solution is a high-capacity, moderate-speed mass transit system, not unlike those of other major cities in the world. To deny us this is a slap in the face of Valley residents and businesses. I don’t think people in L.A. are going to leave their cars behind for buses. The overall concept of a bus in this city is not a positive one. I blame the city for not putting in a rail system back when the cost was significantly lower and we had federal backing for it. Are we the only major city in the world without one? It’s not a good thing for anyone, especially businesses. What business would want to come here under these circumstances? Carl Schatz chairman Encino State Bank Encino No, but I don’t know what the solution could be. Right now they’re building a lane dedicated to carpools from the Antelope Valley, and eventually carpooling has to be used by more people, because most people above a certain level will always want to use their cars rather than public transportation. Another solution would be if they built the seven miles of Mulholland Highway that has never been completed. Not only is it a thoroughfare with a beautiful view, but it would get some of the traffic off the smaller streets. Ted Sumida rental consultant Cort/Evans Furniture Rental Sherman Oaks Yes, it would be a good solution for alleviating traffic. It could be popular if there was some incentive in taking that bus; for example, if the monthly rate or the rate per trip was at a good price, or even free. I would take the bus, personally, because it would mean less mileage on my car, and if the bus was a much faster option. Dan Verdin sales manager Fred Sands Tarzana That’s a complicated question. I would say that a dedicated line would obviously have some effect in diminishing the problem, but I don’t think that it would solve it completely. There’s a mentality here that people just don’t take mass transit systems. L.A. is not a metropolitan city like New York or San Francisco. To me, if you build such a line, it would be kind of like spitting on a forest fire. I’m sure anything could help, though.

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