MTA report calls for light rail, not rapid bus line, on Crenshaw corridor
A proposed transit line that will run through South Los Angeles should be light rail, not a rapid bus line, according to a report released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
South L.A. officials and community groups cheered the recommendation from Metro staff and said the project estimated to cost at least $1.7 billion will provide unprecedented transit opportunities for residents who so far have been under-served by the county's rail network.
"We do consider it a victory," said Trevor Ware, chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Urban League.
"Look at the transportation options that we have now. We have buses on Crenshaw and we see other neighborhoods that are developing other types of transportation options," Ware added.
"To have a decision made that we will have light rail - that's so much faster and will have so much more of an economic impact - we need that too," he said.
The proposed line would run about 8.5 miles from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards, down Crenshaw, southwest through Inglewood and south to a stop near the airport and a connection with the Green Line.
About 2.5 miles of the project is proposed as a subway, including a section that would run underneath Leimert Park, said Metro's project manager Roderick Diaz.
The recommendation from Metro staff must still be approved by the planning and programming committee and then by Metro's board of directors.
Dan Rosenfeld, a senior deputy for L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, said the project could create some 7,800 jobs and that groundbreaking could begin as early as 2012 if funding can be secured.
-- Ari B. Bloomekatz
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