Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Westside subway prevails in MTA's long-range plan

In a victory for the mayor, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board today reaffirmed the Westside subway and a rail connection through downtown L.A. as the agency's top priorities for federal funding.

The board took the action despite calls from some in Southern California's congressional delegation that the MTA add other projects to its priority list for New Starts federal money, including light-rail extensions in the San Gabriel Valley, the Southside and the Eastside.

But backers of those projects did get a consolation prize as the MTA approved its long-range transportation plan, which outlines how it will spend an estimated $300 billion over the next 30 years.

The MTA board decided that those projects should be allowed to seek other types of federal funding.

Under the plan, L.A. County could see a significant increase in rail service in the coming decades. The extension of the Gold Line, for example, from Pasadena to the east could be complete by 2013, according to agency planning the line. The MTA agreed to operate the line if it is built before 2017.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been trying to fast-track the long-delayed Westside subway proposal.

He has been pushing to have the subway completed in 10 years — more than 15 years earlier than under current estimates. At his urging, the MTA board agreed to submit the subway expansion, as well as a plan to build a light-rail through downtown, as the county's two projects to compete for a share of a national pool of federal funding.

—Ari B. Bloomekatz

Comments () | Archives (18)

If we could get a subway to LAX, that would revolutionize the access to that airport.

What about non-downtown centric routes in the Southland? Such as the 57 Fwy connecting East San Gabriel Valley to Orange County? Its one of the most congested freeways in the region and the only option for those travelling that route.

Since the MTA only has jurisdiction inside LA County, maybe a new governing body that can coordinate across county lines should be created. The region as a whole needs to work together.

Can't say I'm surprised. As far as the eMpTyA board is concerned, L.A. county only encompasses Downtown and the Westside.

Excellent news. Sanity prevails. this is not to say the other projects are not worthy and shouldnt be built, but the Subway extensions as well as the downtown connector are easily the most important projects in Los Angeles. Lets get them all built asap!

It still doesn't go ALL the way to LAX ! You need to get on a bus to get the rest of the way - does this make ANY sense?

Spend billions of dollars - but let's stop short of one of the most important transit points on the world!!!


Those who understand we dwell and work and play and pay taxes and use services and breath air in an integrated--albeit sprawling--megalopolis will hail this effort to fund and build as quickly as possible the two transit projects most important to our collective future. Those who pander to dysfunctional parochial interests and those who obsess on perceived or real past slights will curse this impediment to feeding first at the trough.

You're missing the black line from Culver City to Santa Monica for the Expo Line Phase II, which is also included in the 10-year phase of the LRTP.

where the tracks go determine where growth will be for the next 30 years, economic, cultural, dynamic growth. it seems to me the westside has experienced phenomenal growth during the past 30 years. why would our mayor, a witness to slow, awkward growth east of los angeles not set as a top priority the dynamic growth spurred by moving people/workers, which is what we have in abundance east of the harbor freeway? anyone elected to powerful office in this town, regardless of who they are and where they come from, always take care of the westside first. a wise man once said, "follow the money, it is the mother's milk of politics." i guess i am finally understanding the profound implications of that insight.

How can Los Angeles have a mass transit plan that doesn't include rail to and from LAX?

Alas, a connected city... It's not just a dream...

God, please start expanding the Los Angeles metro already! This city needs it! Start spending tax-payer's dollars on something that will enhance the entire City's value and likability to its inhabitants and visitors!!

We need a train to reach the beach (any beach), LAX, USC and UCLA desperately! It's unreasonable to not have those stops.
Once those are built, we can concentrate on integrating the rest of the city, that would help solve the problem of ridiculous traffic, smog and pollution in this city... jeez, you'd think one of the major cities of the world would be on top of this, but no .. apparently too much corruption going on .. and VILLARAIGOSA is an idiot!


Let the good times roll (on new rail tracks)!


It's not accurate to say that Metro doesn't have plans to extend Metrorail to LAX.

In Measure R and the LRTP there is funding to extend the Green Line to LAX.

Also, the Crenshaw Line will also head to LAX.

There is a third project, the Harbor Subdivision Transit Project which should connect LAX and Downtown in a one-seat ride via Metrorail and/or Metrolink.


There is debate about whether rail should go into the terminals as it does in Heathrow or whether it should go to a transit center that connects with a people mover as it does at JFK Airport and Newark Airport.

Personally, for security reason and the way a people mover can make sharper turns, I do not see it as unduly burdensome to board a people mover between the airline terminals and a Metrorail and bus station. Others may disagree. However, it is incorrect to state that Metro is not planning to go to LAX.

Those who are wondering about rail to LAX: This map shown above is not the official map - it's just a drawing by LA Times. I don't know why their map doesn't show all the lines that will be created. Green Line to LAX is included in the LRTP. So is the subway to Westwood (UCLA). Light rail between culver city and Downtown (with connection to USC and the Coliseum) will be finished late next year.

Why all of this unnecessary blame to Antonio Villairaigosa? It was because of him (yes, primarily because of him), Measure R passed. He got the MTA on board with it and now we have an extra $30 - $40 billion to build projects in LA County. It was also Antonio Villairaigosa who spearheaded the effort to overturn the federal ban on subway construction in LA County. Has any other Mayor done that? No. Antonio has been one of the most pro-transit mayor's LA has ever seen.

LAofAnaheim, i couldnt agree more. Antonio has done more than any mayor in LA's history for rail and transit. If he can get the subway to westwood in less than 10 years, he will be a legend.


While Villaraigosa certainly did a lot to get Measure R passed and deserves credit for it, I would say it is be incorrect that "Antonio has done more than any mayor in LA's history for rail and transit."

For more info, see "Tom Bradley".

You are sooo right JWalker! And let's not forget how many of our civic leaders criticized Tom Bradley for supporting a subway, including Richard Riordan.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: