Random notes from Metro Board committee meetings

A few notes from Board of Director committee meetings the past two days:

•As part of the proposed financial agreement with AEG to expand the Blue and Expo lines' Pico Station to handle Farmer Field crowds, ramps for both the existing and new platform would be widened and lengthened. In addition, to free up space on both platforms, ticket machines will be moved to the street. The financial agreement part is very easy to understand: Metro builds the platform, AEG pays for it as well as other crowd control costs for Farmers Field events.

•The Board's Executive Management committee asked that a proposal to rename the Universal City station as the “Universal City/Studio City” station be sent back to the San Fernando Valley Service Council for their consideration. The Studio City Neighborhood Council backs the name change, saying they were previously unaware that the station was within the boundaries of what's considered Studio City.

•Metro planning officials responded to a motion by Supervisor and Metro Board Member Don Knabe asking for ways that the Metro Airport Connector project could be accelerated with or without the Measure J ballot measure seeking to extend the 2008 sales tax increase for 30 years until 2069.

Metro staff explained that if Measure J is approved, the best case scenario for finishing a project would likely be 2023. Without Measure J, the planned completion date would be in 2028, the designated date in Metro's long-range plan.

The foremost issue on the table is that the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't want Metro to begin its draft environmental study until Los Angeles World Airports — a city of Los Angeles agency — completes an ongoing specific plan update for the airport. That update considers transportation and other improvements for LAX. Another issue is that completing the project — alternatives under study include a light rail extension, people mover and bus rapid transit — will require a financial contribution from LAWA and possibly other funds.

Two Board Members — Mark Ridley-Thomas and Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich — made it clear they consider this a priority project that can't be built soon enough.

 

Categories: Projects

10 replies

  1. I think we should just privatize LAX. A lot of airports around the world are privatized, like London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita.

    Privatizing LAX would free up a lot of public funds that can be diverted to accelerating public transit projects. The City of LA doesn’t need to be operating LAX anyway. It costs way too much tax dollars to run an airport.

  2. Antonovich and Ridley-Thomas want to accelerate construction for an airport connector……….but yet do not support Measure J?

  3. Brian,

    The airport is by law self sufficient. The city does not put any tax money into the airport nor can it legally take any money out by federal law.

  4. Local funds are being used to build the $1.5 billion dollar Tom Bradley extension and all the other projects going on at LAX. http://www.lawa.org/laxdev/ProjectFactSheet.aspx

    If LAX is sufficient, then it can privatize and start making profit. If it can earn profit, then it can pay for its own upgrades than relying on $1.5 billion dollars in city funds which can otherwise be put to speed up public transit projects.

  5. The FAA does have a Airport Privatization Pilot Program that can be submitted by any airport. If LAX is self-sufficient on its own, it can submit an application to the FAA to become privatized and become on its way to being for-profit.

    http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_compliance/privatization/

    In fact, there are 2000 airports around the world that are privatized or in the process of being privatized. Compared to Europe and Japan, the US is the only industrialized country that still has majority of their airports funded by state and local governments. Airlines were deregulated, airports can be too, in fact, the federal government encourages airports to do so under the Airport Privatization Pilot Program.

    The City of LA should definitely look into applying to privatize LAX. That’s one less tax burden the City of LA needs to worry about which can be diverted to better use elsewhere.

  6. Hector, no public funds are being used by LAX for the Bradley International Terminal modernization effort. Funding comes from: “LAX operating revenues, capital improvement program funds, fees from airlines, passenger facilities charges and airport revenue bond proceeds. No monies from the L.A. City general fund will be used.” It would be nice if you actually read the documents you posted a link to.

    http://www.lawa.org/uploadedFiles/LAXDev/News_for_LAXDev/New%20TBIT%2005%2015.pdf

  7. The total inability of the MTA to produce a direct rail connection into the terminal area of LAX, despite decades of demand for it by the flying public and despite that fact that plenty of other major airports in the world already have such a direct rail connection just provides another example of the shameful failures of the MTA, its staff, and Board (not to mention of L.A. World Airports).

    One cannot help believing that, if the MTA Board were directly elected by the public, rather than being stuffed with politicians from other, nontransit agencies, for whom effective public transit is their last priority (and who seldom, if ever, “eat their own cooking” by using MTA buses and trains for their own personal and official transit needs), we would have a public transit system that actually works for the benefit of the public rather than for those who make money off the MTA and for the fat-cat campaign contributors to said MTA Board members.

    Why should L.A. County taxpayers vote to extend the Measure R salestax for yet another few decades when the MTA as currently led cannot effectively and efficiently spend the money it already has? Just look at the repeated power outages and other breakdowns on the existing MTA rail lines this year, and the continuing farcical problems with the rails at the connection on Washington Blvd. between the Blue Line and the new Expo Line, not to mention the great likelihood of repeating the problems with the tunnel construction for the original Red Line subway as the MTA finally begins trying to extend the Purple Line subway to West L.A.

  8. Ronald Reagan said “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ ”

    He’s exactly right. Politicians only make things worse. They need to back off of trying to control everything. Besides, what do they know about how to run mass transit? They don’t use it so they don’t know what’s wrong with it. They don’t have expertise on it and all they care about is getting re-elected.

    Politicians need to lay their hands off of Metro. We’re better off privatizing the whole thing. Just sell Metro to private mass transit operators in Asia because they obviously know what they’re doing; they have the best mass transit system in the world. I bet you they can fix everything that wrong with Metro in less than five years without resorting to tax hikes, fare increases or service cuts.

    Politics need to stay away from mass transit, PERIOD.

  9. Well, here is a contrary opinion: The current connection to the Airport via the Green Line and shuttle busses is good enough! 1. It is already there. 2. It won’t cost billions to implement. 3 I have used it a number of times and it is more than adequate. 3. Are any of the proposed solutions going to provide better access to ALL the terminals than the current shuttle?? 4. Would you take a super techie option that caused you to walk twice as much as the current one’s access to your favorite terminal? 5. Any construction would bring more endless delays for current users.

    The current option is more than enough and in some ways better than proposed one and infinitely less expensive than any change. Let the Crenshaw Line have its own shuttles if need be.