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MTA unveils new timelines for transit projects

Want to step aboard the subway extension to the Westside? Looks like you may have to wait until 2019 -- and even then you'll only be able to travel as far west as La Cienega Boulevard, according to a new staff report from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The staff published an intriguing report that details when they think they can build new transit projects over the next three decades. It's part of their effort to adopt a long-range plan. Go to Page 20 to see the projected opening dates for different transit and road projects.

A sampling:

Subway to La Cienega -- 2019

Subway to Century City -- 2026

Subway to Westwood -- 2032

Expo Line light rail phase II, Culver City to Santa Monica -- 2015

Gold Line light rail extension -- 2017

Wilshire Boulevard bus lane in city of Los Angeles -- 2015

Crenshaw Boulevard light rail or bus rapid transit -- 2029

Green Line to LAX -- 2016 to 2018

Westside to San Fernando Valley transit project along the 405 Freeway -- 2038

Regional Connector downtown light rail -- 2018

These are just agency recommendations and can be adopted, revised or junked by the MTA board. The big news here is that the Crenshaw project appears to have been pushed back and the subway looks to be a project that will take as long to complete as MTA Chief Executive Roger Snoble said last year. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has intimated on several occasions that it could be built faster.

As for the Crenshaw project, at this time last year, it was one of few projects that the MTA was prepared to fund and move forward on. Now the MTA staff has done something clever but somewhat misleading: They're calling the Green Line extension to LAX the first phase of that project, something they were not doing last year.

Why? Well, the bill that authorized Measure R to go to the ballot had to include special language committing to the Green Line-LAX project to satisfy state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, who was threatening to kill the bill. Others also have insisted that the extension to LAX be built quickly, and it was one of the few projects actually mentioned in the Measure R advertising.

It's likely that the MTA board will rake this report over the coals several times. And it will be mighty interesting to see if the dates for some projects change.

--Steve Hymon

Comments () | Archives (32)

These timelines are unbelievably long, and TOTALLY unacceptable. Other nations and world megacities will be laughing at us and asking, 'are you serious?' And if fact these timetables represent ‘reality’, the window to seize the moment of public frustration in LA County over traffic, and public support of creating a ‘tipping point’ for a true regional transportation network will close quite quickly once folks realize how lame these timelines are. It would be a shame indeed to squander this moment in LA’s history.

In my opinion, the problem is not the dedicated public servants at MTA or the aggressive lobbying for Subway to the Sea by the Mayor, but to be honest I just can’t figure out why people who do this stuff day in and day out with passion and purpose seem to be setting the bar that low. I know we certainly have had historically low expectations and systemically low prioritization/funding of public transport on local, regional, and national levels, which seems to ‘beat transit boosters down’….
And at first glance, the current cratering of the economy appears incredibly daunting.


1. Obama’s team is going to support Measure R, Prop 1A etc…regarding transit, thru the large stimulus package. In theory, this should allow for more aggressive timelines.

2. Aren’t we able to get ANY buy in from the private sector on
investment/partnerships to fast track these projects?

These timetables are not only a regional embarassment, they are a national disgrace.

While we proceed at a tortoise’s pace, the rest of the world is
 creating the first rate infrastructure that will position them as more efficient and globally competitive.

We sent humans 240,000 miles to the moon, taking them from orbit to the moon in less than a decade.

–25 years to push 15 miles from Downtown LA to the Sea? Or should I say, 25 years to push only TEN miles to Westwood/405?—

Wow, have we devolved or what?

I hope that in some way I can participate in helping improve this lame and unacceptable state of affairs.

We are better than that as a region and as a nation.

Jonathan Trachtman

Los Angeles

"These are timelines based on funding soley from Measure R. Once you add in Federal and state matches, it moves much faster. "

Nope. They've included both the estimated state and federal money. They won't be going for federal aid on some of the projects (like Expo Phase 2) in large part because doing so would greatly add to the timeline.

The US built a transcontinental railroad in less than six years in the late 1800's.
That is a track that ran across the entire United States.
It doesn't take a totalitarian state to build such projects. It takes the will of the people, the labor of hundreds and the vision of great leaders. What part of the equation are we missing here? Build this thing! We are already becoming the laughing stock of the world with our inability to do anything right or within a timely basis.

@Shawn: Why do you think they've included estimates of as-yet-un-applied-for federal funding when generating these time lines? All signs point to that not being the case. When Roger Snoble mentioned that "we could potentially get the purple line to Westwood in 20 years now that Measure R has passed" back in mid-november, Mayor Villaraigosa jumped in and said he hoped we could shorten that time substantially by getting federal funding.

You seem pretty sure that they already included estimates of receiving federal funding, even though none has yet been made available by the federal government. Why?



It doesn't take a totalitarian state to build such projects. It takes the will of the people, the labor of hundreds and the vision of great leaders.


SKD does have a good point.

Look how fast the 10 Freeway was reconstructed after the Northridge quake. The will was there.

If we summon up the will to pressure our elected Federal and local officials to make creation of these projects quicker, it can happen.

China China China. Let me ask you folks, how much do you suppose the labor costs in China? I agree, these projects should be cut in half and executed quicker but that requires immediate funding. Is it worth it? Yes. Would I be willing to make that .5 cent sales tax increase a full cent if it meant this happening quicker? Absolutely.

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