One of the advantages the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency has, being an agency that's only existed for twenty years, is that it doesn't have as much historical inertia or preconceived notions to overcome as transit agencies in other cities. Case in point: its subway stations. I've recently heard grumbling over the TTC's preferred designs for the six stations of the Spadina extension into York Region - and they're eminently understandable. Take the plans for Highway 407 Transitway station, one of the two stations to be located outside Toronto. It will be huge, incorporating a surface bus terminal serving York Region Transit and GO Transit buses with plenty of space underground for passenger movements. What may end up drawing negative attention is that the costs for this station are estimated at $134-million, when the budget for construction is a mere $95-million.
Beyond that, have you ever been to the area where the station is going to be? I haven't, but if the map photos I've seen online are anything to go by, it's desolate. You would think a better plan would be to build a smaller station capable of being expanded to serve higher traffic volumes if/when necessary, but that's not how this is going.
Los Angeles has a better idea, I think. The only parts of Metro Rail subway stations that are on the surface are their entrances, and they don't look drab, either. Take today's photo, the main entrance to Vermont/Santa Monica station.
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