Metro names leading experts in push to accelerate projects

Metro has named Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC, a recognized authority in the U.S. public-private partnership (P3) infrastructure market, to help Metro select the best delivery methods possible for advancing major transportation projects in L.A County.

Tom Rousakis – a leader in the field of infrastructure finance – will partner with Tuyen Mai and other experts from Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC as Metro’s P3 financial advisor. They will assist Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation in the process of evaluating infrastructure financing proposals submitted as part of Metro’s new Unsolicited Proposal Policy, which was introduced earlier this year.

“Metro is planning to build out our transportation infrastructure in L.A. County for generations to come,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “P3s offer the opportunity to accelerate some of these projects, enabling us to enjoy transportation benefits sooner.”

Through the development of Metro’s current transportation expenditure plan, which goes to voters on November 8 as Measure M, Metro staff identified some of the projects that would be good candidates for P3s. Those include the West Santa Ana Transit Corridor project, the High Desert Multi-Purpose Corridor, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor and the Crenshaw Line Northern Extension project.

Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington will introduce the new P3 Financial Advisor team at a kick-off meeting on Sept. 29 with stakeholders from these project areas who are interested in the concept of P3s to see projects in their areas accelerated. The new team will also be instrumental in assessing community needs, and will be available to meet with various community leaders individually and separately to discuss specifics of their respective projects.

“We’ve got a fantastic team on board to help us evaluate unsolicited proposals from the private sector,” said Metro CEO Phil Washington. “By working with the community from the start of this process, we hope to develop and provide the most innovative project delivery mechanisms available.”

Through Metro’s new Office of Extraordinary Innovation, the agency has been very vocal about seeking unsolicited proposals for innovative ways to accelerate project delivery, improve design and implementation and reduce the costs associated with major infrastructure projects. Once proposals are received, they are evaluated to determine their financial and technical feasibility, customer benefits and whether they match Metro’s needs and capabilities.

“P3s are a critical mechanism for bringing innovation to project delivery,” said Metro Chief Innovation Officer Joshua Schank. “This meeting is the next step in Metro’s efforts to deliver one of the largest infrastructure programs in the country faster, better and cheaper.”

Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors is a global financial services firm with wide experience in infrastructure finance.

11 replies

    • The is why we need a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), like Chicago and other large cities. There would be a regional tax with proceeds divided between L.A. Metro, Metrolink Regional Rail and a few suburban bus systems.

  1. LA Metro cannot build into Orange County because of the ridiculous and asinine situation that prevents Metro from crossing county lines except in rare occasions such as the 460 bus line. If OCTA can run express buses into LA County, then LA Metro should be allowed to build rail lines in Orange County.

    At the very least, there should be dozens of inter-county bus lines where now there are only a handful. You would think that the legislature acted as though no one commuted across county lines. I think that the rush hour traffic on the 10 and 405 would demonstrate the fallacy of this illogical thinking.

    This illogical division of responsibility was the direct result of short-sided legislation that created separate transit authorities in the LA, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura Counties. For this same reason, LA Metro cannot extend the Gold Line into San Bernardino County such as to the Ontario Airport.

    A logical extension of the Santa Ana Line would be along the UP branch to Huntington Beach.

  2. Is it possible that the Santa Ana Bus or Rail Line will ever make it to Santa Ana and/or Garden Grove from Artesia? We actually have Mertolink from Santa Ana to Union station. Do we really need another line from Santa Ana to Union Station? Additionally, OCTA is funding and building a light rail line from Santa Ana to Garden Grove.

    To bad Anaheim didn’t join Santa Ana/Garden Grove to build a rail line from Santa Ana to Garden Grove continuing into Anaheim to serve Disneyland and onward to the new Anaheim station.

    • It’s not about having 2 rail lines with same end-to-end destinations.

      Does Metrolink serve the city of Cerritos and Artesia?? Nope. Will the Santa Ana Corridor serve Santa Fe Springs and Buena Park?? Nope. These are 2 completely different rail lines serving different communities.

  3. If Measure M fails to pass, will these P3 project accelerations still be an option?

    • Hi Ezra;

      Perhaps but it would be more difficult without having the local funding stream flowing to Metro.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. What is even more pathetic (and outrageous) is that Metro’s new Measure M spending plan has delayed further (until FY 2041!) the completion of the sorely needed L.A. County portion of the planned West Santa Ana Branch light-rail line (on existing railroad right-of-way!) from DTLA to Artesia (an ORIGINAL Measure R project), while crowding newer non-R projects for wealthier regions ahead of it (like a Gold-Line extension to Claremont!), despite the much greater need for rail transit in what is perhaps the lowest-income, most transit-dependent part of L.A. County (Maywood, Bell, Huntington Park, Cudahy, South Gate, Paramount, etc.)

    Ironically, an earlier completion of the West Santa Ana Branch (or Eco) Line would take a lot of passenger pressure off the perennially overcrowded southbound Blue Line rail to Long Beach, which has been steadily losing customers to autos as the economy recovers because of the Blue Line’s notoriously overcrowding, lack of passenger safety, and unreliability of service–but I guess the working-class, largely immigrant communities in southeast L.A. County just don’t have the political clout of areas like the Westside and San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.

    Why should poorer, transit-dependent areas vote for Measure M when Metro pays so little attention to them?

  5. What is truly pathetic is that we had the forerunner to the West Santa Ana Transit Corridor project operating in its full length in 1950 as a branch of what is now the Blue Line and a stub until 1958 when the Original MTA decided to replace it with meandering buses as the rail line was on a straight diagonal trajectory all the way to Santa Ana.

    However, because of the utterly ridiculous split between Metro and OCTA, this line will probably never reach Santa Ana and beyond as any rational logic says it should do.