Friday June 10, 2016
“We need to build and sustain a world-class transportation system here in Los Angeles County to accommodate our ever-changing and continually growing needs,” said Washington. “Working with our community stakeholders, this updated plan brings us a step closer in defining what projects are needed and where a sustained level of funding could come from to accelerate and complete those projects.”
The revision also has a new name: the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan. It would also devote billions of dollars to commuter rail, transit operations and projects to keep buses, trains and facilities in good repair. The plan would return revenues to local cities on a per capita basis — money those cities could spend on their own local transportation improvements.
In March, Metro staff presented a 40-year draft plan that would ask voters to increase the countywide sales tax by a half-cent and to continue the existing Measure R tax for 18 years, meaning both would run through 2057. In May, the Metro Board of Directors asked agency staff to model a sustained “no sunset” scenario to determine additional benefits that could be delivered if the tax continued beyond 40 years.
Under the new sustained funding senario, nine projects could be accelerated for a combined 42 years earlier than previously scheduled for a savings of $9.4 billion. The revised plan also allows the Eastside Gold Line Extension to be built to both South El Monte and Whittier and would also fund the L.A. County section of a new freeway, energy and high-speed rail corridor between the Antelope Valley and San Bernardino County.
In addition, three projects would be upgraded later in the plan: a bus rapid transit project between North Hollywood and Pasadena could be light rail, a high-capacity transit project on Vermont Avenue between Hollywood and the Green Line in South L.A. could be a subway and a proposed bus rapid transit project on Lincoln Boulevard could be light rail.