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Laura SturzaAfter Tim Hicks walked away with...

Laura Sturza

After Tim Hicks walked away with minor bruises from the MetroLink

train that derailed at the crossing of Buena Vista Street and San

Fernando Boulevard on Jan. 6, his wife was not too anxious to have

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him use public transit again.

“Now that the price of gas is so high, I’ve convinced my wife to

let me take it again,” said Hicks, an NBC editor who commutes from

Valencia.

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He is among many Burbank workers who take advantage of the city’s

free Media District Shuttle, which connects MetroLink riders to their

offices, the airport and other locales. Shuttle use has increased

between 13% and 20% in the past six months and serves 300 to 400

riders daily, Burbank Transportation Supervisor Andrew Carrasco said.

The increase is due to heightened gas prices and new developments,

like the Media District’s Pinnacle office building, that bring added

workers to town, Carrasco said.

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Commuter services like the shuttle go a long way toward reducing

traffic congestion, improving air quality and assisting the economic

work base, Carrasco said.

Every employer with 25 or more employees in the Media District and

the downtown area is required by Burbank law to meet yearly goals for

reducing car commuting, Burbank Transportation Engineer Greg Hermann

said. Many employers offer financial support to encourage workers to

use public transit.

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Pat Dunlap, a Disney Channel executive secretary, started taking

the train and shuttle to work from her Valencia home more than a year

ago. Though the travel time by shuttle and train is about equal to

driving, she appreciates keeping the mileage off of her car, she

said. Disney pays for half of her $120 monthly ticket, and for each

day she commutes by train, she banks $1 in “Disney dollars” that can

be spent at Disney attractions.

For more information about Burbank public transportation, call

246-4258 or log on to www.ci.burbank.ca.us.


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