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Too many studies, too little service

April 05, 2013

I understand from previous reports in the Burbank Leader that the Airport Authority has contracted with consultants to conduct a ground access study at a cost of about $1 million.

I also see in the Leader that the MTA has passed a resolution supporting the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments’ “list of transportation priorities,” including “more public transit” to Bob Hope Airport. How can the MTA and the Council of Governments have a list of priorities before this study is complete? Or put another way, why is the airport spending money on a study when it seems that MTA and the Council of Governments already know what the priorities are?

I believe that the original earmark of $1 million for the study dates back to the early 1990s before there were plans to build the airport intermodal center. Perhaps 20 years ago there was need for such a study, but surely not now. What if this study determines that the transportation center is in fact not needed?

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The whole episode is extremely dubious. It is a symptom of the fact that far too much money is spent on studies and too little on service to the public. It is also symptomatic of too many agencies involved in the planning process duplicating each others' work and enriching the consulting companies at the taxpayers' expense. We have the MTA Long Range Transportation Plan. That should be enough.

Paul Dyson
Burbank

Editor’s note: The writer is president, Rail Passenger Association of California and Nevada, and chairman of the city of Burbank Transportation Commission.

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