Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 3

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

South L.A. needs trees (L.A. Times) 

The editorial despairs the loss of about 135 trees along Crenshaw Boulevard to accommodate construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line but also says the train is an important project. A city of Los Angeles streetscape plan to follow construction is vital, says the editorial.

Westside subway survives legal challenge from Beverly Hills (L.A. Times) 

Coverage of yesterday’s Superior Court ruling in favor of Metro in a pair of state lawsuits brought by the city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District against the Purple Line Extension. Reporter Laura Nelson this morning tweeted an update: the Beverly Hills City Attorney said a decision whether to appeal is still to come. Here’s our post with the ruling, links to the complaints and background on the issue.

UPDATE: LAT reporter Laura Nelson on Boston radio and on KPCC. And CurbedLA on the news.

Beverly Hills City Council approves two permits for Metro (Beverly Hills Weekly)

Outside of court, life goes on and the City Council on Tuesday approved two permits for Metro to conduct utility relocation work near the future Wilshire/La Cienega station. The city and Metro continue to work on a master agreement that will govern when and how construction is done in the city, according to the Weekly.

Watch the Wilshire bus lane stretching westward to Highland (Curbed LA)

And, speaking of Wilshire Boulevard, city of Los Angeles workers are making progress on the construction of the peak hour bus lane that will operate on parts of Wilshire between the Santa Monica-Los Angeles border and just west of downtown. Rebuilt lanes should hopefully make for a smoother ride for the 20 and 720 buses instead of the sometimes kidney-rattling journey of present.

Metrolink, Metro propose more express trains for busy San Bernardino County line (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Studies are underway to add more express trains — although it would require double-tracking some parts of the alignment. The project is still unfunded. There is currently one express train in each direction between San Bernardino and L.A. with a 65-minute run time compared to the usual one hour, 50 minute run time. The downtowns of the two cities are about 60 miles apart, btw.

Is effective transit possible in a transit-hostile city (Transport Politic)

The city is Nashville, where a big and nasty dispute has erupted over a 7.1-mile bus rapid transit project. Among the fears: the loss of regular traffic lanes. No word yet on where Reyna James, ex-hubby Mayor Teddy and Juliet Barnes stand on the matter.

Trees to be removed for Crenshaw/LAX Line along Crenshaw Boulevard

Crenshaw_lax_tree_removal_factsheet FINAL 032614 Crenshaw2

We posted last week about plans to remove about 135 trees along Wilshire Boulevard to accommodate the first phase of the Purple Line Extension. This week we are posting about similar tree removal plans for the Crensaw/LAX Line, a subject tackled in a story published Monday in the L.A. Times.

The above flier provides a good overview of the work. The highlights:

•The removals will be done in three stages, as shown in the map in the above flier.

Phase 1 from Exposition Boulevard to 48th Street: 98 trees are being removed. Of those, the arborist has identified 11 trees that may potentially be relocatedThe final decision on the number of trees to be relocated will to made by the city of Los Angeles. Two trees will be planted for each tree that is being removed.

Phase 2 from 48th to 67th streets: the arborist report for this area is still in draft phase but it is estimated that 53 trees will be removed with two trees planted for each that is removed. The actual number of trees to be removed may vary.

Phase 3: the arborist report is still under development and the number of trees to be removed is still to be determined.

•The plan is to keep the present trees as long as possible until construction is imminent. The plan calls for planting two trees for every non-native tree that is removed.

•Perhaps the most controversial of the tree removals is in Park Mesa Heights, where mature Canary Island Pines are in the median of Crenshaw Boulevard. These are trees, as their name implies, are native to the Canary Islands located off the northwest coast of Africa and are known for being drought-tolerant.

The median and the trees will eventually being removed to accommodate the train tracks that will run down the middle of the street.

Here are a couple of views:

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This is the view looking south on Crenshaw Boulevard between 51st and 52nd Streets. Photo: Google Maps.

The Endeavour moving north through Park Mesa Heights in 2012. The light rail line will run along the median at right, where the trees are located. Photo by Steve Hymon.

A view of the trees looking north on Crenshaw Boulevard from 54th Street. The train will run down the middle of the street and north and south traffic and parking lanes will be on either side of the tracks. Photo by Steve Hymon.

The Canary Pines were considered for relocation, but it was determined they didn’t have a good chance of surviving for a variety of reasons including their extensive root systems, previous damage from vehicles on Crenshaw Boulevard and from signs being posted to them in the past.

•The size of the replacement trees will vary depending on the species. The trees will initially be raised in nurseries and some may be nine- to 10-feet tall when first planted along the Crenshaw/LAX Line alignment.

•Plans still need to be finalized for the palm trees along the rail right-of-way on the north side of Florence Avenue. The project’s environmental studies indicated that most would remain and Metro is required to preserve 90 percent of the palms in the right-of-way in the city of Inglewood.

•The city of Los Angeles Planning Department is in the midst of developing a streetscape plan for the Crenshaw Boulevard area that is being funded with a grant from Metro. The agency has commented on the plan — but it’s important to recognize the plan is not part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line project.

•On a similar note, some trees in the project area were previously removed for the move of the Endeavour from LAX to the California Science Center. The museum has a plan to replace those trees. That plan is separate from the Crenshaw/LAX Line project.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, March 4

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

Blue Line train strikes vehicle–at least 12 injured (L.A. Times)

Initial reports are that a mini-van ran a red light and was struck by a Blue Line train on Washington Boulevard and Maple Street in downtown Los Angeles. Metro officials said that 10 people aboard the train were injured — none life-threatening and mostly described as cuts. The Los Angeles Fire Department said that 12 people overall were hurt. The train runs down the middle of Washington Boulevard and train and car traffic are both controlled by traffic signals. Therefore, there are no crossing gates.

Earlez Grill relocates to make way for Crenshaw/LAX Line (Intersections South LA)

The popular restaurant that used to be a stone’s throw from the Expo Line’s Crenshaw station has to move south. The new address will be 3864 Crenshaw Boulevard, about a half-mile south of the Crenhaw & Exposition intersection and an easy walk.

Los Angeles redoubles its efforts to win 2024 Olympics (Daily News)

The big question among the experts: what the International Olympic Committee will ultimately want from a host city: an effort starting from scratch requiring billions of dollars in investment or a more modest effort using existing buildings and infrastructure? The latter would seemingly favor a bid from the Los Angeles area. As I’ve written before, one thing our area can boast to the IOC (if it comes to that): in 1984 there were ZERO miles of rail serving the area. By 2024, there will be 117 miles of light rail and subways (and possibly more if projects are accelerated by America Fast Forward, etc.) and another 512 miles of commuter rail provided by Metrolink.

How Buenos Aires unclogged its most famous street (The Atlantic Cities) 

The answer: Avenida 9 de Julio saw three lanes of car traffic converted to bus rapid transit lanes in the middle of the street — even with a subway that runs below. A lot of opposition surfaced before the change and apparently melted away after the world didn’t end.

Cities move to help those threatened by gentrification (New York Times)

With cities enjoying a renaisance in some parts of the U.S. and property values rising thanks to new market-priced development, cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and Boston (to name a few) are changing laws to freeze or lower property taxes of long-time residents who stuck out the hard times. The property tax issue is not really an issue in California thanks to Prop 13 which greatly limits the amount that property taxes can be raised year-over-year. That said, there isn’t much in place to regulate the actual price of housing, the reason that affordable housing advocates fret (rightfully, in my view) that some parts of California cities will become off-limits to anyone but the wealthy.

Iron Maiden singer planning on circumventing the globe twice in world’s largest airship (Salon) 

Looks like a nice way to travel. Hopefully passengers don’t have to listen to Iron Maiden, a band who reminds me of a broken jackhammer.

Photos from the California drought (PolicyMic)

A little off-topic, but pretty amazing photos of two depleted reservoirs, Oroville and Folsom.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, January 22

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison!

This is a long one today, folks — lots of news since last week to catch up on. And away we go…

Metro breaks ground on $2-billion Crenshaw/LAX Line (L.A. Times and Daily Breeze

Crenshaw evolving: a look at Santa Barbara Plaza (Another Perfect Day) 

The news stories in the Times and the Breeze focus on yesterday’s groundbreaking event and both also note there were some protestors there — some arguing against the train running at street level through Park Mesa Heights, others saying the job should generate more local construction jobs.

Also rightly getting a mention is the ‘LAX’ part of the project’s name. Both articles note that a separate project is working to figure out how to connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line to the airport. The Breeze article states that Metro officials are reluctant to build rail tunnels directly under the central terminal area and that’s correct — however, it should also be known that Los Angeles World Airports owns the land and officials have made it clear they don’t want rail tunnels under the terminal area due to the complexity of the work involved.

The Another Perfect Day blog post looks at redevelopment in the area along Crenshaw Boulevard and ponders whether the new rail line could help spark things. I liked this excerpt:

Back in 2008, I started working in the community and people who would see me with a camera knew that I was part of some type of redevelopment effort. Many conversations were had, but the universal message I got was that people were seeking the same kind of amenities that any community would want. Most of us take for granted the pleasant little communes we call shopping malls, but many would travel to such places as Fox Hills, Westside Pavilion or the South Bay Galleria to have an experience that was safer and more upscale.

Ultimately, they wanted to all this in their own backyard and who can blame them? We’re all Angelinos who hate traffic.

 

There was a lot of talk at yesterday’s event about the new rail line bringing economic development to the Crenshaw Corridor. That, of course, would be great and I personally believe the Crenshaw/LAX Line could help.

But…I also think rail lines alone don’t revive local economies. As we’ve discussed here before, you can certainly look at the Metro Rail map and find places such as NoHo, Hollywood, K-Town and DTLA (to name a few) that have seen a revival since the arrival of Metro Rail. You can also find many places near rail stations that haven’t changed much (much of the Blue Line corridor, for example).

So what does it take to revive a community? Mobility is certainly one factor, but other things that come into play are public safety, schools, a diverse stock of real estate and the willingness these days of businesses — including the national chains — to invest in neighborhoods they’ve overlooked or plain ignored.

As for the Crenshaw/LAX Line part of the equation, I disagree that the street level portion will be bad for Park Mesa Heights — in fact, I think having the train visible to the neighborhood and vice versa are a good thing. I also think it’s important to note that the current project isn’t happening in a silo. As noted, the Airport Metro Connector is working on the LAX part of the equation.

The South Bay Green Line Extension (a project partially funded by Measure R) will push the Green Line deeper into the South Bay, allowing trains to run from the South Bay to the Expo Line via the new Crenshaw/LAX tracks. An extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line remains in Metro’s long-range plan, albeit in the unfunded section. That would presumably push the tracks to the north toward the Purple Line subway. It may seem a long way off, but building that kind of transit network would benefit everyone, Crenshaw Corridor included.

L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin: airlines may not want it but LAX must be connected to rail (L.A. Airspace)

The story is in reaction to LAX chief Gina Marie Lindsey telling the airport’s board last week that airlines aren’t interested in a people mover or rail going to the airport because they don’t want to pay for it and it doesn’t really benefit them. She also opined that perhaps it’s best to keep costs low for a people mover or “Intermodal Transportation Facility” that would serve as a junction between light rail and a people mover.

Bonin represents the Westside and the airport on the L.A. City Council and he repeats what he has said before: to paraphrase, he doesn’t give a hoot what the airlines say:

“It’s hardly a revelation that the airlines have little interest in growing transportation,” Bonin said. “All they care about is that you are at the airport. They don’t care if it took you three or four hours to get there. Our commitment as owners and operators of the airport requires us to be competitive for the customer experience. Traditionally, it’s an area where LAX has fallen down.”

Bonin and Mayor Eric Garcetti have said that connecting transit to the airport is among their top transit priorities. I think both this new article and the one last week require some reading between the lines and my reading tells me that when it comes to the airport and City Hall, it may be worth remembering who exactly works for who. :)

Metro seeks to raise fares and allow free transfers on bus, rail (L.A. Times) 

News coverage by Laura Nelson of the fare proposals released by Metro late Friday. Excerpt:

“We looked at our whole fare structure and said, is this really fair to our riders?” Metro spokesman Marc Littman told The Times. “We actually penalize our passengers for trying to use the system more efficiently.”

More than half of passengers make a transfer during their trips, Metro surveys indicate. Charging full fare at each transfer discourages passengers from using more than one bus or train, Littman said.

Riders who buy daily, weekly and monthly passes will see the biggest increase in price because most of them use the system most heavily, Littman said. The monthly unlimited pass, now $75, would be eliminated in 2018 and merged with a pass that allows unlimited rides on all Los Angeles County bus systems. The price would eventually rise to either $135 or $180.

Some of the comments are interesting and let’s just say they’re not all rave reviews of the proposals.

Here’s our Source post about the proposals, including the Metro staff report and charts showing the two options being proposed. On Thursday, the Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to consider whether to set a public hearing on the proposal on March 29.

LADOT announces Priority 2 list of planned bikeways (LADOT Bike Blog) 

The list includes the two dozen or so bike lane projects that the city of Los Angeles is pursuing in the next year. The mileage for most is on the small side but hopefully will help create more of a bike lane network than what currently exists.

Making Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard into a haven for pedestrians (L.A. Times) 

The city is pondering removing one lane in each direction and converting part of the street from parallel to diagonal parking in the Theater District (i.e. the area around the Vromans bookstore and the Laemmle theater). This would allow for wider sidewalks and parklets.

Traffic doesn’t exactly flow smoothly through the area now thanks to many cross streets and poor timing of traffic signals (my opinion, not the city’s — I live in Pasadena). So perhaps this makes it a better spot. Or perhaps this plan serves to completely constipate traffic on the main thoroughfare through town.

If the plan gets more development on Colorado, then I’m for it — although it will likely push traffic onto other nearby east-west streets, which will need better signal synchronization to handle it. I’ve been watching South Lake Avenue suffer a slow death for years now and I’d like to see the commercial corridors in town remain viable. And by viable I don’t mean 18 different types of banks, yogurt places and/or Subway sandwich shops.

Video of this morning’s groundbreaking event for the Crenshaw/LAX Line

And here is video of this morning’s groundbreaking for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

There are nice comments about mobility — and the need for more of it — from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Metro would like to extend a special thank you to Secretary Foxx and Senator Boxer for making the trip to Los Angeles on Tuesday and for their help — and they were both personally involved — in getting this project off the ground.

RELATED POSTS:

And so it begins: ground is broken for the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line

Social media roundup for Crenshaw/LAX Line groundbreaking

And so it begins: ground is broken for 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line

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The groundbreaking of the Crenshaw/LAX Line was held Tuesday morning adjacent to the Expo Line’s Crenshaw station. Video is coming later today and we posted to our Twitter and Instagram feeds during the event; see this post for social media coverage of the event.

Here is Metro’s news release:

Construction began Tuesday morning on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, an 8.5-mile, $2.058-billion light-rail line that will run between the Metro Expo and Green lines and is expected to open in 2019. The project will also bring Metro Rail closer to Los Angeles International Airport.

The groundbreaking bought together top officials from federal, state and local government, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and California Senator Barbara Boxer.

One of the old Yellow Cars at Crenshaw & 54th in 1954. Photo by Alan Weeks via Metro Transportation Library and Archive.

One of the old Yellow Cars at Crenshaw & 54th in 1954. Photo by Alan Weeks via Metro Transportation Library and Archive.

The event was held at the intersection of Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards, where the first of the project’s three underground stations will be built. Demolition of some existing structures will be among the first work done, with heavy construction expected to begin this spring.

“Thousands of hard-working families and seniors living in Crenshaw depend on public transportation every day to get to work, to school, and to obtain medical care,” said Secretary Foxx.  “Bringing light rail to this community will create jobs, spur local economic development and make it easier than ever for residents to access downtown Los Angeles and beyond.”

The new Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project will be the first rail line to serve Crenshaw Boulevard and the city of Inglewood since the streetcars of the Los Angeles Rail Line (known as the “Yellow Cars”) stopped running in 1955. In some places, the new light rail line will use the old alignment for the streetcars.

“The Crenshaw Line is a top priority for me because it will provide a crucial transportation link, create over 18,000 jobs, help connect communities, reduce air pollution, and provide economic development and economic opportunities,” said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The new light-rail line will serve the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, Westchester and the area around Los Angeles International Airport with eight stations, a maintenance facility and park-and-ride lots.

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Then & Now: in L.A. getting rid of streetcars easier than getting rid of billboards

008 - Old - LATL 5 Line Car 1423 Northbound At Prw. & Crenshaw Bl. 19550507 (2)

Looking west from Crenshaw Boulevard, just south of 67th Street. Photo by Alan Weeks, via the Metro Transportation and Library’s Flickr stream. Click above to visit.

008 - New - Metro ROW now

Photo by Metro.

005 - Old - LATL 5 Line Car 1402 Southbound On Crenshaw Bl. At 60th St. 19541215 (2)

Looking north at Crenshaw Boulevard from 60th Street. Photo by Alan Weeks, via the Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s Flickr stream. Click above to visit.

Photo by Metro.

Photo by Metro.

Two observations from this set of past and present photos along Crenshaw Boulevard:

1. It’s a shame that there are so few food outlets remaining that serve both donuts and chili dogs.

2. Those set of three ugly nearly street level billboards in the bottom set of photos: They were there when Alan Weeks took captured his image on Dec. 15, 1954, and they were there last year when Metro staff took the bottom photo. Billboards in L.A.: once there, always there, eh?

Many thanks to Alan Weeks for capturing the two images from the 1950s and Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line construction staff for taking the modern photos.

About Alan: He worked for many years as a transit scheduler first with the RTD and later the MTA, now known as Metro. He is retired and very proud of his many years of public service — as he should be. Many of his photos of L.A.’s transit scene can seen on the Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s Flickr page, which as of this morning had 8,915 images and is still growing.

If you’ve enjoyed our Then & Now posts, then you are morally obligated to check out the Metro Library’s Historypin page, a sophistacted mapping tool that allows you to overlay historic photos with current street views. It is, trust me, epically cool. Here’s a Source post from last week explaining Historypin; check out the photo from Crenshaw and 60th on Historypin. Very cool.

Art of Transit

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The intersection of La brea, Market and Hawthorne.

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La Brea and Arbor Vitae.

 

Photos by Gerald Hunter, via submission

Street work on La Brea in Inglewood in recent days has churned up the old streetcar tracks that once carried the Number 5 line of the Los Angeles Railway from Hawthorne to Eagle Rock. A portion of the route included the future Crenshaw/LAX Line alignment along Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard.

Many thanks to Gerald for sending us the pics and related information!

RELATED POSTS: 

Two photos of Florence Avenue: a streetcar in 1955 and a bus this afternoon 

Then & Now: streetcars along the Crenshaw/LAX Line alignment in the 1950s and those places today

Then & Now: Streetcars along the Crenshaw/LAX Line alignment in the mid-1950s compared to those places today

For those who were interested in yesterday's “then & now” post from Florence Avenue, below are a few more then & now photos taken along or near the alignment for the Crenshaw/LAX Line project (the project map is at the end of this post).

One other note: all the streetcar photos were taken by Alan Weeks. His photography and tons of other photos of old streetcars, trains and buses that served the Los Angeles area can be seen on the Metro Transportation Library & Archive's Flickr stream, which has 8,876 photos and is growing all the time.

Alan is now 81 and still shooting photos of transit — his photos of construction of the Gold Line Foothill Extension can be seen on the Metro Library's Flickr page.

A Los Angeles native, Alan has been interested in transit since he was 10. At 15, he started taking photos with his family's box camera. The photos below were taken with a 35mm SLR made in Germany with a 50mm Zeiss Tessor 2.8 lens and Kodachrome slide film. Kodachrome was known for its sharp colors but Kodak stopped manufacturing it a few years ago. (More below on photography then and now).

Alan worked for many years as a transit scheduler first with the RTD and later the MTA. He is now retired and — as he should be — very proud of his many years of public service.

Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Library & Transportation Archive's Flickr stream.

Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Library & Transportation Archive's Flickr stream.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

 

The top photo of an eastbound streetcar on 54th Street was taken in 1955, just a few steps east of Crenshaw Boulevard. The bottom photo was taken Thursday; the only real difference: there are no streetcars or Metro buses running anymore on 54th. The bus bench from 1955 is now gone.

Otherwise, all the buildings in the 1955 photo are still there in the 2013 photo. The brick building at right no longer has an awning over its ground-floor windows, but the 2nd story windows do have awnings. The billboard atop the building is still there. And the building on the opposite side of Crenshaw is still there, but the red roof of 1955 is now a green roof. I can't tell if the palm trees behind the green roof are the same. But I doubt it.

Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Transportation Library & Archive's Flickr stream.

Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Transportation Library & Archive's Flickr stream.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

 

The top photo was taken in 1955 looking north on Crenshaw Boulevard from 54th Street. The bottom photo was taken from a few feet to the left of that spot on Thursday.

The most obvious similarity is that the building with the rounded top at right is still there; it's now the Pacific Beauty College. I'm not sure what it was 58 years ago. The streetcar tracks down this stretch of Crenshaw were replaced by a median. The median will in the next few years be replaced by tracks for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

A few other differences. Firestone is gone from Park Mesa Heights. Access roads were added to Crenshaw at some point, likely after the streetcars were gone. The access roads will disappear as part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line project — there will be a parking lane and bike lane.

I should have taken a photo of a bus here. I missed the first few southbound on Crenshaw. They had green lights and I didn't feel like playing chicken with traffic. Another day, people!

More photos after the jump!

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Metro staff make contract recommendation for firm to build Crenshaw/LAX Line light rail project

Click above to see larger. Note: the Metro Board decided in May to build the Leimert Park and Hindry stations.

Click above to see larger. Note: the Metro Board decided in May to build the Leimert Park and Hindry stations.

Metro today provided the agency’s staff recommendation for a contractor to build the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line. Staff is recommending a contract in the amount of $1,272,632,356 to Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors. The contract includes stations at Leimert Park and Hindry that were approved last month by the Metro Board of Directors.

Walsh/Shea is a joint venture between Walsh Construction and J.F. Shea Company. Walsh/Shea has collaborated to work on many other rail projects in the United States, including the DART system in Dallas.

Walsh/Shea was one of four firms to submit proposals for the contract. The Metro staff evaluation gave Walsh/Shea the highest technical score; Walsh/Shea also had the lowest bid in terms of cost.

The Metro Board of Directors will decide on the contract award; the Board can choose to accept or reject the staff recommendation. The Board’s Construction Committee will discuss the contract at its meeting on June 20 and the full Board is scheduled to vote on the contract at their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 27, at Metro’s headquarters adjacent to Union Station. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Both the committee meeting and full Board meetings are, as usual, open to the public.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line is one of 12 transit projects being funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

The light rail project between the Expo Line and the Green Line is currently forecast to open in 2019 with major construction beginning in 2014. Utility work is already underway. The Board is also being asked to add funds to the project’s budget to include the Leimert Park and Hindry stations, as well as extra contingency funds, bringing the project’s budget to $2.058 billion, assuming all the funding sources come through. The budget also includes funds for new rail cars, a rail maintenance yard, real estate acquisition and the costs of planning the line and other items not included in the contract total.

Some notes and background about the project and the contract:

•The line is forecast by Metro to have average weekday boardings of just under 25,000 by the year 2035. Metro and Los Angeles World Airports are working together on another Measure R project that would connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line to LAX via either light rail, bus rapid transit and/or people mover. That project is currently scheduled to be completed in the late 2020s and will depend on funding from the city of Los Angeles.

•For those who want the Park Mesa Heights segment placed underground instead of running at street level, I want you to understand the process. First and foremost, it needs to be understood that the Board of Directors and the Federal Transit Administration have approved the project with a street-running segment through Park Mesa Heights. The Board has stuck with this decision.

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