Board of Directors motion asks Metro to make renewed effort on public-private parnterships to fund transpo projects

Interesting motion above that was approved today by the Metro Board. My read on the motion: it’s three members of the Metro Board — Eric Garcetti, Michael D. Antonovich and Diane DuBois — asking Metro to step up its game when it comes to developing public-private partnerships to help fund and build transportation projects.

As the name implies, public-private partnerships are financial agreements between public agencies and private companies. There are several variations of PPPs but generally speaking it means a private firm fronts some of the money to build a project and then is paid back later, sometimes from revenues created by the project.

Metro has a PPP program that has already identified five big projects that might make for good PPPs — the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor (which could involve building a rail line under the Pass to connect the Westside and the San Fernando Valley, a very pricey idea), the High Desert Corridor, the 710 South and 710 North projects and a project that would construct congestion pricing lanes on the 5 freeway in the Santa Clarita area. But no deals have been finalized.

It’s hard to discuss PPPs without mentioning what’s happening in the Denver metro area, where voters in 2004 approved a sales tax increase to fund a big transit expansion. A PPP is being used there to build some of the commuter rail projects — including the 22-mile line that will connect downtown Denver and Denver International Airport.

Sound familiar? It should. Both Antonovich and Garcetti have made repeated public statements about the importance of connecting Metro Rail to LAX via the Airport Metro Connector project — a project that will likely need funding beyond the scope of Measure R to be fully realized.

10 replies

  1. Warren, Can you provide documentation to your claim that the Chinese government let it be known that it would like the 710 extension to be built? I have heard this multiple times, but have never seen any documented source. i would be grateful for a source.

  2. Warren,

    I’d rather leave the 710 gap as it is! I don’t want Communists funding our public needs, no matter how far-left leaning the politics in the state has become.

  3. I’m open to the idea of partial privatization of Metro, like freeing up 20% of Metro shares to investors and setting a goal to become more self-sustaining that being constantly reliant on taxpayer dollars to keep them solvent.

    If the success of partially privatized mass transit systems in Asia has shown is that it can work.

    However, I have high doubts politicians and bureaucrats would want to give up part of their job and control of transit over to the private sector or investors.

  4. Since the Chinese government let it be know that it would like to see the 710 gap built I don’t understand why Metro hasn’t made a deal with them yet. Maybe the Chinese can finance the 710 and LAX projects.

  5. Like I have stated previously, extend the Green Line into the airport via the the already constructed switch above Sepulvada Bl. And secondly construct a connector at Imperial Station allowing some Blue Line trains to devert to Green Line tracks which would give us a direct link from the current Seventh & Flower Metro Staion to the airport. The only new construction would be from the current Green Line into LAX and the connector at Imperial Station. No long wait to study it, would create a new line using existing trackage.

  6. “Connecting Metro Rail to LAX via the Airport Metro Connector Project” ??? You mean going from LAUS by transferring to the 35 mph Expo Line that doesn’t go to the airport, transferring to the 35 mph Crenshaw Line that doesn’t go to the airport, transferring to the People Mover that will loop around the airport? That’s a connection?

    • I would check that 35mph figure.

      In time, I think the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Green Line will both be extended and more of a transit network will make getting to the airport easier. Yes, it will not be a direct trip for many Metro riders. For others, however, it could be a fairly quick ride depending on how the project is built, operated and the future lines.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source