In their meeting today, the Metro Board also took action on a three other items of interest:
•(Item 21) The Board approved a report explaining that the 30/10 Initiative will be called America Fast Forward at a national level. The 30/10 Initiative was created to change federal laws so that federal loans and other financing can be used to accelerate the construction of Measure R projects. The idea is that America Fast Forward better reflects that such changes in the law could also help many other transit agencies in the United States. The changes are sought as part of the next federal transportation bill, which Congress could begin debating this summer.
•(Item 12) The Board approved a $2.26 million contract with HDR Engineering to launch environmental studies of the proposed downtown Los Angeles Streetcar project. The studies are being paid for by the city of Los Angeles and the Community Redevelopment Agency; Metro is providing oversight and technical expertise. Starting the environmental studies will later allow the city to seek federal funds to help build the project. The remaining funds would need to come from the city — for example, downtown residents could vote to tax themselves. That was the strategy used in Portland, Ore., to great success. Here is the streetcar project’s website.
•(Item 12) The Board also approved a $4.77 million contract with STV/PB-ConnectLAX Joint Venture to begin environmental studies of a project to provide some type of transit between Los Angeles International Airport and the new Aviation/Century stop for the Crenshaw/LAX and Green lines. See yesterday’s post for more info.