- A discussion of the development of the city’s transportation system, including major influences such as geography, demographics, and economy.
Los Angeles is the most populated city in the United States. It is estimated that the city of Los Angeles has a population 3.7 million people based on last census that was conducted in 2010. This South Californian city occupies an area of approximately 470 square miles (Schad, 2010). . Los Angeles is also home to some of the largest recreational facilities in the United States such as Hollywood. Considering the economic importance of this city, Los Angeles has a well-developed road, railway, and water transport system. This case study describes the past, present, and future of all major transportation modes in the city, specifically including (but not limited to):A discussion of the development of the city’s transportation system, including major influences such as geography, demographics, and economy, current major modes of freight and passenger transportation, including usage, strengths, and weaknesses of each, an analysis of the potential impacts of the transportation system to quality of life, sustainability, and the city’s future. This case study also discusses the transportation planning activities related to future development of the city’s transportation system.
- Current major modes of freight and passenger transportation, including usage, strengths, and weaknesses of each.
First of all, Los Angeles enjoys a well-defined intercity transportation system. This intercity transportation system has over the years served the West Coast as a region and is also a hub for international passengers and overseas traffic. The Los Angeles intercity transportation system is composes of cargo freight railway infrastructure, lighter railway infrastructure for passenger commute, subway lines, domestic and international airports, commuter bus lines, as well as extensive roads which include multiple interstates and freeways that link the city of Los Angeles to other destinations.
Focusing on air transport in the city of Los Angeles, there are approximately five large airports for commercial purposes. Of the five large airports in the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the busiest. This airport is believed to be the fifth busiest in the world. In the United States, LAX is considered as being the third busiest compared to other airports in the United States. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) handles approximately 62 million passengers in a year. In 2007, Los Angeles International Airport recorded about 680, 950 air craft movements. This illustrates the high level of busyness that characterizes the Los Angeles International Airport. Some of the other large airports that are located in Los Angeles include the Bob Hope Airport, Long Beach Airport, LA-Ontario international Airport, and the John Wayne Airport. In terms of airport transport Los Angeles plays a vital role to the world because it is home to the Van Nuys Airport which is considered to be the busiest in the world in terms of general aviation services.
Los Angeles city also has a well-define intercity train service. The Los Angeles Union Station is the largest railway terminus in the city of Los Angeles and the West Coast region. The Los Angeles Union Station is served by companies such as Amtrak, Metro rail, and Metro link. The LA Union Station is considered as being the world’s fifth busiest train station.
According to statistics conducted in 2006, The LA Union Station recorded about 1.5 million passengers who boarded and alighted commuter trains ran by Amtrak. The LA Union Station is also used by trains from other cities such as Chicago Illinois, New Orleans, and Jacksonville Florida. Hundreds of Los Angeles residents use trains to commute to work. Due to the large population in Los Angeles, the use of commuter trains has been one of the ways people have been able to avoid traffic jam and other charges that result from parking vehicles in the city. The present of a port complex in Los Angeles has contributed to the growth of a rail way services in the city. Freight arriving in Los Angeles from international destination is hauled using railway roads. Some of the railway roads that are used in the hauling of freight from the Los Angeles Port Complex include the Union Pacific Railway Road, Southern Pacific Railroad, and the BNSF. These freight railway roads have enabled the city of Los Angeles to be in a position to conduct business and commerce with other states and foreign countries (Hutchinson, 2003).
Los Angeles is also served by elaborate intercity highways. There are major highway routes that link the city of Los Angeles to other cities. Some of the interstate connections that serve the city of Los Angeles include Interstate 10, Intestate 15, US Route 101, and Interstate 5 which runs from San Diego to Sacramento. The presence of these interstate highways and freeways allows people to be able to drive both to and out of the city of Los Angeles. In addition, as a result of these highways, there are interstate bus services that operate within the city of Los Angeles. Greyhound lines are one of the major bus lines that serve the city of Los Angeles. These bus services serve areas such as Hollywood, Anaheim, Long beach, and East Los Angeles among other surrounding areas. Potholes are a major challenge on the road transport in Los Angeles (Murthy & Loza, 1999) .Owing to the high population and road users; there are notorious potholes in many roads of Los Angeles. These potholes often lead to damage of vehicles that often use routes that have these notorious potholes.
- An analysis of the potential impacts of the transportation system to quality of life, sustainability, and the city’s future.
Bearing in mind that Los Angeles has a large population, the maintenance of infrastructure is more difficult compared to other cities that have lower population. The more people drive, the higher the lever of emissions that are released in the atmosphere (Wachs,1993).One of the ways that the city of Los Angeles can improve the quality of life of the people and sustainability in the transport industry is by encouraging more people to use public means of transport (Dear, 1996). When many people use bus services or commuter trains, there will be lower levels of carbon emissions resulting from private vehicles. In addition, people will be able to save on the gas that they use to commute to work on a daily basis (Bottles, 1987). The use of commuter buses will also reduce the amount of road destruction that results from the high traffic on Los Angeles roads. Therefore, the use of public transport by Los Angeles is one of the ways that the city of Los Angeles can be sustainable in its transport system.
- Transportation planning activities related to future development of the city’s transportation system.
Some of the future plans that are underway in the Los Angeles transport system are the allocation of more funds to road repair and maintenance. This allocation will make sure that some of the notorious potholes that contribute to the damage of vehicles are rectified on time. In addition, the city of Los Angeles has begun to solicit for funds so that more airports are served by railway terminuses (Gottlieb, 2007). This step will be instrumental in encouraging people to use public railway transport rather than driving. In this way, the city will be more sustainable in its transport system. In addition, there are plans to extend railway services to some of the areas of Los Angeles that are not served by railway transport. This will enable more Los Angeles residents to use railway commute to and from work.
Bottles, S. L. (1987). Los Angeles and the automobile: the making of the modern city. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Dear, M. J., Schockman, H. E., & Hise, G. (1996). Rethinking Los Angeles. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Gottlieb, R. (2007). Reinventing Los Angeles: nature and community in the global city. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Hutchinson, S. (2003). Imagining transit: race, gender, and transportation politics in Los Angeles. New York: Peter Lang.
Murthy, A. S., & Loza, J. d. (1999). Innovative solutions to improve the transportation system in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Schad, J. (2010). Los Angeles (2nd ed.). Berkeley, California: Wilderness Press.
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Wachs, M. (1993). Learning from Los Angeles: transport, urban form, and air quality. Berkeley, California: University of California Transportation Center.