The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors is soliciting public input on $120 billion worth of transit and highway projects it envisions building with funds from a possible ballot measure in November. With the list of projects extending from Lancaster to Long Beach, the expenditure plan is aimed at fully building out Los Angeles County’s transportation system and reducing congestion.
“This expenditure plan brings us a step closer to defining what projects are needed and where the funding could come from,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said. “As Metro plans for future growth and transportation needs, it is imperative that we look at all mechanisms at our disposal to ensure the region’s mobility needs are met.”
Metro’s Board of Directors will decide in June whether to ask voters to increase the countywide sales tax by a half-cent through 2057, and to extend an existing half-cent sales tax called Measure R to 2057. If approved, the ballot measure would raise $120 billion over 40 years.
“We want to continue on the path of making this a transparent and inclusive process, and public review begins with the release of this expenditure plan,” Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas said.
The foundation of the plan consists of 36 major highway and transit projects, as well as projects designed to improve and enhance mobility and system connectivity. Several are in the Second District, including a train station/transit center on the Crenshaw/LAX Line where passengers can take a people mover directly to to LAX. Other projects include:
- Purple Line Extension subway to Westwood, a decade earlier than currently planned
- Vermont Transit Corridor improvements between the Expo Line and Red/Purple Lines;
- LA River Bike Path connecting downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley;
- ExpressLanes on the 405 Freeway over the Sepulveda Pass, where a rail line could later be added to connect the Orange and Purple Lines and, eventually, LAX;
- ExpressLanes on the 105 Freeway between the 405 and 605;
- Bus Rapid Transit between the Orange Line and Red Line in North Hollywood, and the Gold Line in Pasadena.
The complete list is posted at www.metro.net/theplan.
Aside from transit and highway projects, the expenditure plan invests in pedestrian and bike paths, commuter rail and transit operations. There are also projects intended to keep buses, trains, bridges, tunnels and other facilities in good repair; reduce congestion; hasten the movement of goods on highways; and keep fares low for seniors and students.
Metro projected the expenditure plan’s benefits include increasing the overall number of transit riders by 3.2 billion over 40 years, cutting the number of miles traveled in vehicles by 5 million a day, and four percent reduction in greenhouse gases.