Metro creates new 30/10 Initiative web page

Click above to visit Metro's new 30/10 web page

Here’s the link to the new web page on the 30/10 Initiative that received the unanimous support of the agency’s Board of Directors earlier today.

The page, shown at right, includes the list of 12 transit project that the 30/10 plan hopes to accelerate and/or help fund.

Some of these projects were already scheduled to open within the next decade according to Metro’s long-range plan. But getting some type of federal loan or bonds under 30/10 allows the agency to better spread Measure R funds around to hopefully complete the transit projects in the next decade.

That would be quite a boost for some of the projects. For example, the Eastside Extension of the Gold Line — which will run either to South El Monte or Whittier (the project is in its draft environmental study phase) — was originally scheduled to be finished in 2035. By the same token, the Westside Subway Extension wasn’t scheduled to reach Westwood until 2036 and the Green Line South Bay Extension was also supposed to be done in 2035. The 405-Sepulveda Pass transit project wasn’t scheduled to be done until 2039.

A press release about 30/10 from Metro is after the jump.

Parallel track to expedite highway improvements
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Directors Back
30/10 Initiative To Accelerate Transit Projects

A proposal to greatly accelerate construction of a dozen transit projects and expedite highway improvement projects in Los Angeles County was approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors today.

The 30/10 initiative, first proposed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, would seek federal assistance to build within the next decade a series of light rail, subway and rapid bus projects throughout Los Angeles County. (http://www.metro.net/projects/30-10/).  The Board also voted to explore federal funding or public private partnerships to expedite local highway improvements.

The transit and highway projects will receive local funding spread over the next three decades under Measure R, a local transportation half cent sales tax approved by two thirds of Los Angeles County voters in November 2008.  All the projects are slated for construction over the next 30 years.

The 30/10 initiative asks Congress and the Obama Administration to advance funding so the transit projects could get built much faster and generate hundreds of thousands of construction and other jobs to help jump start the economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ease traffic congestion. The funding package could include existing or new programs to provide low interest financing or loan guarantees.

On a parallel track, the Board voted to simultaneously begin work to develop a strategy to expedite the construction of Measure R highway projects, focusing on public-private partnerships.

Accelerating the Measure R construction schedule also would let Metro save substantially on costs by beating inflation for labor and materials and by taking advantage of competitive construction bids in the depressed industry.

Moreover, in recent testimony before Congress, Mayor Villaraigosa cited other benefits of the 30/10 initiative for transit – an annual reduction of 568,000 pounds of mobile source pollution emissions, 10.3 million fewer gallons of gasoline used, 77 million more transit boardings and 208 million fewer vehicle miles traveled annually.

The 30/10 initiative includes all 12 transit projects approved by voters in Measure R, such as the Crenshaw Corridor light rail line, rail connections with LAX, a Metro Green Line extension in the South Bay, an Eastside extension of the Metro Gold Line from East Los Angeles, extending the subway to Westwood, and transit projects serving the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys. On a parallel track, Metro will seek to accelerate Measure R highway projects including one that would add capacity on Interstate-5 between I-605 and the Orange County line.

“This is a win-win for the Los Angeles region and the nation,” said Ara Najarian, Chairman of the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “If we can leverage our local tax dollars with federal support, we could put as many as half a million people to work in the next 10 years while getting more people out of their cars and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a model for other help self-help transportation agencies throughout America.”

“Both in Los Angeles and in Washington, D.C. people are getting on board with 30/10 to build sustainable transit projects faster, cleaning the air and creating jobs.  This innovative model to advance funds from Measure R won’t break the federal bank and can be the catalyst to economic recovery in the Los Angeles region,” said Mayor Villaraigosa.

The 30/10 initiative is gaining traction in Washington. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer have spoken favorably of it. The Mayor, Chairman Najarian and other transportation agency Board members and Metro CEO Art Leahy have made repeated trips to the nation’s capital to seek federal support for Metro’s building program.