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Expansion proposals

[edit] Official
Purple Line: Los Angeles mayor and MTA chair Antonio Villaraigosa has announced his intention to extend the Purple Line from its current terminus at Western Avenue to downtown Santa Monica. MTA has not officially announced this project. In the past there was a federal ban on tunnel construction in the Miracle Mile District, due to lingering concerns over large pockets of methane gas underneath it. On October 27, 2005, a panel selected by the MTA Board and Congressman Henry Waxman, formerly a vocal opponent of the subway extension, declared that extension of the subway was safe. On December 16, 2005, Waxman introduced H.R. 4571 to the U.S. House to allow subway tunneling under Wilshire Boulevard. On September 19, 2006, H.R. 4571 passed the U.S. House of Representatives, removing a major roadblock preventing the construction of this extension. A Senate equivalent of this bill is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Blue Line: Initial plans for the Blue Line called for it to travel all the way to Union Station and beyond; thus, the Gold Line was originally known as the "Pasadena Blue Line." A subway tunnel of approximately two miles (known as the "Downtown or Regional Connector") connecting the 7th St/Metro Center to the future Eastside Extension at First and Alameda would allow the Blue and Expo Lines to reach Union Station, Pasadena and the Eastside, and vice versa. However, because a county subway construction funds initiative (passed in 1998) bans public funding for extension work, all work has been halted. In September 2005, the MTA board publicly indicated its desire to take up this project again, a call heartily endorsed by the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times.
Gold Line: Using former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway trackage and right-of-way in the San Gabriel Valley, The Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority is working to extend the northern branch of the Gold Line eastward, from its current terminus in Pasadena to the city of Montclair in San Bernardino County, or even possibly to L.A./Ontario International Airport. As the population density is lower in this portion of the county and projected ridership is lower, other projects have been given a higher priority than this extension. The 24-mile (39 km) Foothill Extension (so named because the route is just to the south of a mountain range) does enjoy popular support from all of the twenty-three cities along its route. The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments recently obtained federal funding for environmental studies and hopes construction of the first segment to Azusa can begin in as early as 2007 with a possible completion in 2010. The second segment to Montclair is hoped to be completed by 2014. That the extension has been seriously considered at all is due in large part to the advocacy of former Azusa city manager Rick Cole, a vocal smart growth proponent. With the completion of the Foothill and Eastside extensions by 2014, the Gold Line would become the longest Metro Line, and maybe even the longest light rail line in North America, surpassing the 22-mile (35 km) Blue Line with over 50 miles (80 km) of rail.
Green Line: The long-delayed reconstruction of Los Angeles International Airport will include a Green Line spur to the new terminal. Los Angeles City Council member Bill Rosendahl has called for this spur to be extended to Marina Del Rey or even Venice along Lincoln Boulevard, citing MTA white papers indicating the feasibility of such an extension. The extension would fix the Green Line's issue of being a route that goes "from nowhere to nowhere." The MTA has also in the past listed on its list of possible projects an extension at the Green Line's eastern end, linking the Green Line to the Metrolink station in Norwalk, possibly with a short underground segment.
Regional Connector (Downtown Connector) project: Proposed mass transit rail project in downtown Los Angeles, connecting the Blue Line to Union Station. The project would allow Blue Line trains to terminate at Union Station which would allow easier connections, ease crowding on the downtown section of the Red and Purple lines, and would allow Gold Line vehicles to travel to the large shops in south LA for their heavy maintenance (they currently need to be trucked). This connection would begin at the 7th Street/Metro Center station, which is currently the northern terminus of the Blue Line. The project is still at very preliminary stages of planning and thus no alignment has yet been determined, but a number of alignments have been informally studied and proposed. The connector was envisioned as far back as 1992, when in its Long Range Transportation Plan, LACMTA envisioned the Blue Line running through downtown to Union Station and onward to Pasadena. The connector was not completed due to lack of funds and realignment of the Red Line eastside extension which became an extension of the Pasadena Gold Line.

[edit] Citizens' advocacy
Rail advocates have proposed the following lines:

The Yellow Line is a proposed light-rail line which would run from North Hollywood to Downtown L.A., serving the communities of Burbank, Glendale, Silver Lake, and Echo Park en route. Part of the proposed route, a former Southern Pacific railway alignment along Chandler Boulevard in Burbank, has recently been converted by the City of Burbank to a bicycle path and parkway, thus reducing the likelihood this line would come to fruition. The Yellow Line proposal also advocates use of the former Belmont tunnel built by the Pacific Electric system, not in use since 1955. The land adjacent to the tunnel exit near Second Street and Beverly Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles, long vacant, has recently been sold. An apartment complex is now being built on the site, making it much less likely this area could be used for a new rail line.
The Silver Line is another light-rail proposal which would operate from El Monte to Hollywood, passing through the western San Gabriel Valley, Union Station, Downtown L.A., Echo Park, and Silver Lake along the way. It would use existing rail between El Monte and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. (This is unrelated to the Foothill Transit "Silver Streak" bus service, which also serves the San Gabriel Valley as of March 19, 2007, and uses buses similar to those of the Metro Orange Line.)
The Harbor Line would serve residents of the Harbor Area, by connecting it to the rest of Los Angeles by linking it to the MTA's existing light rail system. The line would serve as a convenient way for people to visit San Pedro, which is currently undergoing a state of rapid redevelopment (with the Port's Bridge to Breakwater proposal and other condo projects). This route would use the long-abandoned right-of-way known as the Harbor Subdivision, which MTA currently owns.[5] Part of this route would also form the basis of the proposed LAX Express.
The Get L.A. Moving Plan is a proposal lead by author Damien Goodmon with the support of local and international transit advocates, planners and engineers, which primarily combines already built lines, and extensions that have been throughly studied by the MTA and predecessor agencies to illustrate the type of rail transit system that would exist if they came to fruition. It would create a system which would be competitive with the best systems that are in the world (i.e. London and New York). The Get L.A. Moving Plan includes cost estimates, suggested construction schedules, construction methods and financing, and cites rail construction systems around the world including Madrid, Washington D.C. and several Asian countries as precedence.
 

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Bleed Dodger Blue
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You just copied this out of Wikipedia.
 

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Shaken, never Stirred
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^ On the note..... I would really like to see the Yellow Line come into service in a near future. It would benefit NorthEast Angelinos very much.
 

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Bleed Dodger Blue
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Why is everyone so negative? Let him thread baby, let him thread!Who care's where he got it, I don't!:)
Anyone could have posted this thread, it's completely worthless. We've been talking about these lines in the LA Transit Thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There needs to be a line serving the Sunset strip, the Beverly Center, and the Grove, either teh silver line or a detour of the red line?
 

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MTA sets sights on Broadway
Can a transit mall make it there? Transportation officials think it's just the ticket for downtown L.A.
By Cara Mia DiMassa and Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writers
May 26, 2007



Broadway in downtown Los Angeles was long a symbol of the bustling city: site of the city's original shopping district, a boulevard for protest marches and the home of a rich confluence of movie palaces, once home to star-studded premieres and thousands of moviegoers nightly.

The street's fortunes have ebbed and flowed along with most of downtown. And now, as a loft and condo boom brings thousands more residents to the area, transportation officials are considering a bold effort to remake Broadway.

They are talking about converting portions of the street into a transit mall, widening the sidewalks and allowing only transit buses on the street.

The idea of remaking the bustling shopping district — now an eclectic mix of stores and restaurants, mostly aimed at a Latino clientele, and a dozen or so historic movie theaters — is hardly new.

An almost identical plan was proposed and eventually abandoned in 1977.

But lately, the transit mall concept is getting another chance — thanks in part to the changing face of downtown.

"It was time we took a fresh look at how we serve downtown," said Ed Clifford, director of service planning for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The agency's plan, he said, is "part of a larger discussion on downtown, about the role transit would play in its future. The city is trying to beautify it, and this could possibly line up with some of those things. So what we are doing is shopping it around."

Under the plan, which is still preliminary, the street would be closed to traffic between 2nd and 9th streets, except for buses and delivery trucks. Officials would rework the sidewalks and streetscapes to encourage pedestrian traffic along a street that is already one of the city's most heavily trafficked on foot.

When city planners floated a similar plan 30 years ago, as part of an effort to revitalize downtown's east side, an artist's rendering showed widened sidewalks with double and triple rows of street trees, as well as parking bays for the buses to make their stops.

But Clifford said the plan never got off the ground — in part because of concerns about how it would affect parking for the theaters' customers.

Although most of the theaters have closed, some Broadway merchants now echo similar concerns.

Maria Iturbe, owner of Michelle's Cosmetics, a small stand between 4th and 5th streets that sells everything from hosiery to herbal medicine to gift wrap, said she worried that fewer cars would mean fewer eyeballs scanning Broadway's vibrant but edgy landscape for shopping opportunities.

"I think that would just cause there to be less traffic of commerce," Iturbe said. "When there's cars, people in there are looking around to see what there is. They may not stop right away, but they might say, 'Look what's over there' and come back later. Business is bad enough as it is."

Frank Schultz, manager of the historic Los Angeles Theater on Broadway between 6th and 7th, said he liked the idea of making Broadway a pedestrian zone. But he questioned the idea of a transit mall.

"If they want to do something like that, they need to eliminate even the buses," he said. "This halfway thing makes no sense to me. But then again, a lot of the things going on down here make no sense to me."

But the idea has many supporters — especially among those who live downtown. Downtown resident and blogger Eric Richardson said the transit mall is a "perfect fit for Broadway."

"I think Broadway is uniquely positioned for this sort of use because it is such a pedestrian-heavy street," he said. "It's a street where the majority of traffic already is people walking, and the majority of people who come to the street are coming via public transit or parking nearby and walking."

Soccorro Carrillo, 45, a shopper from Boyle Heights who usually takes the bus to Broadway, also liked the proposal.

"I think people would get here faster on the buses because they wouldn't have to be stopping as much for all the cars."

Broadway is one of L.A.'s most storied streets, perhaps most famous for its ornate movie palaces.

Before World War II, it and 7th Street were downtown's major shopping destinations, drawing customers from around the region by car and trolley.

The business district declined after the war as shopping centers opened in the suburbs. But Broadway bounced back as a shopping destination for Latino immigrants.

Many — but far from all — customers now take the bus to get to Broadway. But the street also remains a major traffic thoroughfare across downtown.

Clifford said there were no preliminary cost estimates for the plan — or ideas about who would fund it.

"We have to see first if there's interest," Clifford said, "then we would see who would fund it."

Other downtowns have found success with similar transit malls. Denver, Dallas, Calgary, Canada, and Portland, Ore., have similar pedestrian-transit zones.

Los Angeles city officials have long touted Broadway as the potential heart of a new entertainment district, centered around the historic theaters. Others have indicated an interest in returning upscale shopping destinations to the area.

A spokeswoman for the office of Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the district, said discussions about remaking Broadway were "exciting" — though still too preliminary to comment on directly. She said that she would like to see them rolled into ongoing discussions about the reintroduction of a trolley system to downtown.

Blogger Richardson agreed. "It's a street that doesn't depend on people being able to drive down it."
 

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MTA fee hikes still leave rail plans unsure
Even after winning the biggest fare increase in more than a decade, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority still finds itself in a cash crunch that keeps several projects in limbo.
By Jeffrey L. Rabin and Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writers
May 26, 2007

Even after winning the biggest fare increase in more than a decade, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority still finds itself in a cash crunch that leaves several rail projects in limbo.

If it survives an expected legal challenge, the boost in fares will help stabilize the transit agency's deficit-ridden finances. But the increase is significantly less than what MTA staffers originally sought to close a projected $1.8-billion deficit over the next decade.

That leaves the MTA with a fundamental challenge that has faced the agency since its birth 14 years ago: how to operate a vast bus system while simultaneously building or expanding light-rail and subway lines.

The MTA has dramatically increased its mass-transit network this decade, finishing the Red Line subway to North Hollywood and opening the Gold Line from downtown L.A. to Pasadena and the Orange Line, a busway across the San Fernando Valley. The agency is in the midst of building two more rail lines at a combined cost of $1.5 billion: a downtown-to-Culver City route known as the Expo Line and an extension of the Gold Line from downtown to East L.A.

MTA Chief Executive Officer Roger Snoble offered a sober assessment Friday of what comes next.

Although he believes the agency can afford to complete and operate the Culver City and East L.A. lines, he said other transit projects now being considered, including one busway extension, could face significant delays.

"There has been a big expectation that we will get it done sooner than is financially possible," Snoble said. "This whole experience shows we need to be realistic about our expectations…. It may delay some projects."

Among them:

‧ The Expo Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica, where officials have already purchased property around the Sears department store near City Hall and plan to convert the store's auto center building into a transit center.

‧ The Gold Line extension that would run from Pasadena to Montclair, in San Bernardino County, with a possible link ending at LA/Ontario International Airport. The line has been pushed aggressively by officials in the San Gabriel Valley, who have long complained that their region has no light rail service.

‧ The Green Line extension from its Aviation station near El Segundo to Los Angeles International Airport.

‧ The Orange Line extension from Woodland Hills to Chatsworth.

‧ The much-discussed $4.8-billion "Subway to the Sea" under Wilshire Boulevard that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a top priority when elected.

Only a dream?

Without a massive infusion of state and federal funds, officials said, the Wilshire subway remains only a dream. "That's got a long way to go," Snoble said.

The stakes are high, because there is general agreement that the MTA's current 73-mile rail network simply doesn't go enough places to lure motorists out of their cars. The agency's planners hope that pushing rail and busways farther into the Westside, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay and San Fernando Valley will create a system in which more people can get to their destinations. With L.A.'s population rising, officials worry that congestion on major boulevards and freeways will worsen, slowing bus service further.

The first set of fare hikes, which will hit bus and rail riders July 1, will generate at least $30 million in new revenue the first year, about 11% more than current levels, Snoble said. But it's less than the MTA chief had wanted.

A second wave of increases will be implemented in July 2009, possibly followed by another hike in 2011. That should provide the agency with enough revenue to operate the East L.A. and Culver City lines now under construction, as well as the other bus and rail services.

Already, an intense behind-the-scenes fight is underway between politicians from the Westside and the San Gabriel Valley over what rail project should follow the two now being built.

Westside forces are pushing for the $800-million Expo Line extension, saying traffic in their region is worse and that building a rail link to the ocean would be a huge relief valve. San Gabriel Valley forces say their area is underserved by rail and are pushing for a $1.4-billion route that would end in the fast-growing suburbs of San Bernardino County. (Both projects are at least six to seven years from completion.)

It is sobering'

Transit advocates Friday said they are worried that the MTA's financial problems could cause delays on their projects.

"It is sobering," said Darrell Clarke, a Santa Monica planning commissioner and co-chairman of Friends 4 Expo Transit. "We need a network of new rail lines, not just a couple of little new ones."

LaVerne Mayor Jon Blickenstaff said the MTA's problems probably mean that the competition for funding will heat up.

"There's a critical need for a better transit system, [but] it's all very expensive to build and operate, and the subsidies are not nearly adequate," he said.

Members of Congress from L.A. County and transit lobbyists in Washington are trying to win approval of special provisions that would allow the local money being spent on the Culver City and East L.A. lines to be used to draw federal dollars for the extensions.

If successful, this effort would give the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Valley lines an extra source of funds. But even Snoble is skeptical. "It's really a hard sell," he said.

The fare increases approved by the MTA board Thursday will significantly increase what riders pay.

The cost of the monthly pass will gradually rise from $52 to $75 by July 1, 2009. The day pass — the most popular pass — will rise from $3 to $6 over the same period. The single-ride cash fare will rise the least, from $1.25 to $1.50 over the next two years.

Critics of the increase have already threatened to sue the MTA in federal court, arguing that the agency is ignoring the needs of working-class bus riders to build a grand rail system. Bus riders and civil rights groups sued the MTA on similar grounds in 1994, resulting in the agency's signing off on a consent decree that kept fares stable and resulted in improved bus service.

Connie Rice, a civil rights attorney who fought the MTA often over the last decade, said Friday that the increased fares will again hit the poor hard.

"They are going to make poor people's lives even more miserable," she said. "It looks like they are back to business as usual."

MTA officials have warned that without the fare increases approved Thursday, they might not be able to operate the Culver City and East L.A. rail lines after they are built.

Such restrictions would also be bad news for some projects in their early planning stages. L.A. officials are pushing for a light rail line along Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue from the Expo Line to LAX. There are also studies of a downtown route that would connect the Blue Line and Gold Line.

MTA board member Pam O'Connor, a Santa Monica councilwoman, said boosting fares was a difficult decision — but a needed one for the future of mass transit in L.A.

"You have to have a solid foundation," she said. "And, frankly, we were on shaky ground."

(INFOBOX BELOW)

At risk

Expo Line extension
Where: From Culver City to Santa Monica
Est. Cost: $800 million or more
Purpose: Would bring rail to the beach and traffic-
clogged Westside.

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Gold Line extension
Where: From Pasadena to Montclair
Est. Cost: $1.4 billion
Purpose: Would connect L.A. rail system to the fast-growing Inland Empire.

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Green Line extension
Where: From near El Segundo to LAX
Est. Cost: $150 million or more
Purpose: The two-mile route would fill infamous "missing link," connecting rail line to LAX parking lot.

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Orange Line extension
Where: From Woodland Hills to Chatsworth
Est. Cost: $135 million or more
Purpose: Successful busway would cross the full Valley. Costs less than rail.

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Purple Line extension
(Wilshire subway)
Where: From Mid-Wilshire to Santa Monica
Est. Cost: $4.8 billion
Purpose: Would run through heart of city. Expensive but potentially popular.


 

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"There It Is, Take It!"
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I'm confident that a changed political climate in the next few years will make funding for all this eventually possible, hang tight Angelenos!
 

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Silver Lake
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Funny how people want something for nothing. The BRU chanting that fares should be free, why? So that no rail can be built. Why? To make the oil and car people who fund them happy!
 

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"There It Is, Take It!"
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The BRU is racist in thinking that the only mode of transit that poor minorities ever deserve is buses.
 

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MTA OKs study of Wilshire subway extension
From a Times Staff Writer
June 29, 2007

The Metropolitan Transportation Agency board of directors on Thursday approved a $3.6-million feasibility study of the much-discussed extension of the Wilshire Boulevard subway.

The study will look at alternate routes and preliminary engineering and environmental issues. It will take up to 18 months to complete.

In approving the study, board members say they are not necessarily backing the so-called "Subway to the Sea" project, which would run along Wilshire from the Mid-Wilshire area through the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Westwood and to Santa Monica. The subway would cost at least $4 billion.
 

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Silver Lake
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I think these are the most likely lines that will be completed next decade(if any):
Expo extension Santa Monica
Purple Line to Santa Monica/Whittier Blvd
Gold Line to Azusa
Harbor Transitway
Crenshaw Line
 

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Bleed Dodger Blue
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^^You don't think the MTA would go for a Vermont Line rather than a line on the Harbor Transitway?
 

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Silver Lake
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To me their seems to be much more political will for a Harbor Line that would take you to the airport.
 

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Shaken, never Stirred
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Just a quick question?

How come lately there has not been any updates on the Expo Line? At first there was excitement and great reviews and now as if forgotten. Does anyone have any updates on this project?
 

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Bleed Dodger Blue
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^^It's under construction. There's just not much to see at this stage.
 
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