Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Commerce, CA - Has free public transit

Determined to avoid the higher property taxes annexation to any neighboring city might bring, a hardy band of residents and business leaders set out in 1959 to incorporate the City of Commerce as the 67th city in Los Angeles County. On the low hills to the east of downtown Los Angeles, these volunteers proclaimed their intention to establish a "Model City" with unique advantages for industry and residents alike.
Residents who wanted a swimming pool saw the two-pool, all-year Aquatorium facility (now the Rosewood Park Community Center and Aquatorium) rise at Rosewood Park. Citizens who had worried that the county library branch would close saw four municipal libraries open. Residents who had to clear their own first baseball field attended games featuring professional players, college teams, and even astronauts, at the new Veterans Park Stadium. And they could ride there on the city's free buses — the nation's first free municipal transportation system.
Business people found a low-tax, pro-business environment with no municipal property tax and no utility tax. A high level of fire and police service continued (and continues today) provided by agencies under contract.
Today, (four decades after incorporation) Commerce is a dynamic city, which has effectively recycled old heavy industrial sites with high technology, office, warehouse and retail use. The city has exceptional recreation and social service programs and provides superior-quality public safety, transportation, and community development services to all residents and businesses located in the city while cultivating a unique small town ambiance enjoyed by all of its citizens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A little more context to Commerce's bus system.

Commerce has a five-route system operating Monday through Saturday. It is free, and it does very well.

BUT ...

Keep in mind of its limitations.

The system is free, but every line runs hourly. The service also shuts down at noon so drivers can take their lunch break.

The routes are designed for two things: To take residents to and from the Commerce Center, a giant strip mall; and to take families to the the Civic Center complex, where the City Hall, library and swimming pool are.

So the service is free, but it's only good for going to two places and what Commerce doesn't charge in fares it offsets the cost by refusing to add more service.

Those buses are standing-room only, plus every passengers is carrying armfuls of shopping bags.