Transportation Reform Act

In his Op-Ed piece (Aug. 12) criticizing my Transportation Reform Act, Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum incorrectly states the facts and reaches faulty conclusions.

Admittedly, no reforms can immediately solve all of the transportation problems facing Los Angeles.

The goal is to lay the groundwork for a cost-effective, responsive and accountable transportation planning system.

The Transportation Reform Act does not, as Schabarum suggests, transfer decision-making power from local to state officials. On the contrary, it requires local elected officials to be involved in major transportation decisions and to personally serve on the board of the new Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

No longer will elected officials be able to blame appointees or staff for poor management decisions--they will be in charge and they will be accountable to the voters.

Schabarum also criticizes my attempts to ensure that the current Rapid Transit District and Los Angeles County Transportation Commission management is replaced. Allowing the inept top management at RTD to become top management at the new MTA simply maintains the mismanaged and wasteful status quo. We have suffered long enough under the current management; we need a fresh start.

Perhaps nothing is more ridiculous than the supervisor's assertion that the transition to the new agency will cause inefficiency and waste taxpayers' money. The reform act streamlines our transportation planning system and protects all current federal- and state-funding arrangements. The new system will not only cost less, it will be more effective and more efficient.

My reform bill is the product of countless hearings and meetings with almost every organization and individual involved in transportation in Los Angeles. I have amended my bill 11 times in response to positive input. It is well thought out and it will work.

Some bureaucrats still oppose reform, but not for policy reasons. It is because they fear change. But change is exactly what we need.

The people of Los Angeles deserve the responsive and efficient transportation system that my Transportation Reform Bill will create!

ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD KATZ

D-Sepulveda

Sacramento

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