Dodger Trolley Drops Into Money Pit

Estimates reveal return of popular shuttle could cost city more than $600,000

There are countless examples of the sorry state of public transit in Los Angeles, but one of the more glaring delinquencies is the inability of riders to get to Dodger Stadium.

Metro buses get close. For example, a 14-mile ride to the stadium from Westwood Village drops at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Innes Avenue, but that's well outside the stadium parking lot, quite a long haul after what amounts to a one hour and 10 minute trip.

Did I mention that was a 14-mile trip that took one hour and 10 minutes?

In an effort to improve the situation, the City of Los Angeles last year initiated The Dodger Trolley in the middle of the season, and it proved to be an immediate success.

The trolley buses, which originate at Union Station, actually dropped riders off inside Dodger Stadium behind center field.

The buses ran frequently. The rides were free. The fans used it!

So, of course, there's a chance the whole thing is going to fall apart before the start of the 2009 season.

Blogdowntown reports that new estimates suggest the Dodger Trolley service could cost the city as much as $630,000 this year, making more dire a situation that's been bad since November.

All the money for the Dodger Trolley service comes from the city. The Dodger organization has refused to put up even a few bucks for the effort, though that hasn't stopped the team's Web site from promoting the service.

Considering the city's budget woes, the only hope for the service might be advertising revenue, which is actually kind of funny considering the numerous battles the city is fighting with the billboard industry.

Says blogdowntown: "The Dodgers have argued that advertising funds could be found to pay for the Trolley. In its report, LADOT concludes that model may hold the only hope for 2009."

-- TJ Sullivan

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