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Riding Metro is a lot more productive than just griping about traffic

Riding Metro is a lot more productive than just griping about traffic
Morning rush-hour traffic moves slowly along Wilshire Boulevard west of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I understand why some elderly residents of Los Angeles might be hesitant to give driverless cars a try. But one 23-year-old who talked to columnist Steve Lopez said she enjoys driving her own vehicle.

Where does she drive? Lots of people tell me they enjoy driving, but I haven’t heard a really compelling case for it.

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When I first learned to drive, the four-level interchange in downtown Los Angeles was being built and all of us young people saw car travel as synonymous with personal freedom. Today, personal freedom is much more connected with scooters, skateboards, even Uber and Lyft.

Lopez’s column envisioned a future of driverless cars making vehicle ownership unnecessary, but even now we can all decide to drive ourselves less and use Metro more.

Carol Mitchell, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: Any plan to get more cars off the roads needs to include incentives for businesses to encourage cyber-commuting.

Hundreds of thousands of office jobs can easily be done at home at least one day per week. No infrastructure needs to be built; all it takes is planning and organization (including equal participation by all employees where possible), encouraged by tax breaks or other incentives.

Cyber-commuting is a relatively cheap and easy way to keep more cars off the roads.

Tom Morrison, Northridge

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To the editor: For the last few years, I’ve been describing a future to my friends where everyone who doesn’t take the train or bus has a subscription to a service that picks them up for a driverless ride pool (or a solo driverless ride if you’re really a high-roller).

There will still be a place for people who like driving — I envision large tracks and courses set aside where enthusiasts can store their cars and drive them on the weekends. But humans driving around on the city streets will not be permitted.

There will be a lot of resistance, of course, but by the time the technology is ready we can prepare a new generation for a better approach to transit. Progress takes time, but eventually people come around.

Lyle Riggs, Pasadena

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