The MTA is unveiling its full proposal for what transit lines could be built -- and when -- if Los Angeles County voters approve a half-cent sales tax increase in November.
New rail routes through Claremont, Van Nuys, Westwood and Artesia would be built first under the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's ambitious $120-billion plan to expand mass transit in Los Angeles.
These lines would connect the region's growing transit network to cities that have lacked passenger rail since the demise of the Pacific Electric streetcar network a half-century ago.
The routes also represent a political calculation by transportation planners to spread out new services across the county as they try to persuade voters to approve a sales tax that would fund their construction. The priorities pleased officials in some areas but left others complaining that their regions were overlooked.
The transit blueprint, unveiled Friday, would fund more than three dozen mass transit and highway improvements over the next four decades if voters approve a $120-billion tax increase proposal expected to appear on the November ballot.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe on Friday called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to distribute highway improvements and rail projects evenly across the county.
"The R2 project list must first and foremost ensure geographic equity across our region; there are 88 cities in Los Angeles County, not just one," he said in a statement. "Taxpayers across the County will be asked to pay an additional half-cent sales tax and in return, they should all see benefits."
Knabe's statement comes after Metro on Friday unveiled its new mass transit blueprint, which officials say could be built if voters approve a $120-billion tax increase proposal expected to appear on the November ballot.
Knabe said promises were made when taxpayers approved Measure R eight years ago, but "some of those commitments are being pushed down the road."
"Fixing congested areas across the County is not just about rail, we must have multi-modal solutions including better bus service, road improvements and more bike lanes," he said.
Twenty-five years from now Los Angeles might well be an amazing place to live, a technological utopia, an economic giant, a true world city, a harmonious melding of culture and races.
Metro has released its plan to transform transportation in Los Angeles County.
The plan includes spending $120 billion in tax revenue over 40 years. Voters must approve the tax increase proposal on the November ballot.
The ballot measure would extend an existing half-cent sales tax for two more decades, and raise the county's sales tax rate by an additional half-cent for four decades or longer. The measure, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass, would boost Los Angeles County's base sales tax rate to 9.5%.
Perhaps no traffic bottleneck in Los Angeles County has frustrated transportation planners and commuters more than the Sepulveda Pass, where the infamous 405 Freeway connects the Westside and the San Fernando Valley.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority now proposes a radical step: Pushing a tunnel through the mountains that could accommodate a toll road and a passenger rail line.
The tunnel is one of nearly a dozen major transit projects Metro says it could build if voters approve a $120-billion tax increase proposal expected to appear on the November ballot.
Other projects include rail lines through the San Fernando Valley and southeastern L.A. County, as well as faster bus service on a handful of major corridors, according to two officials briefed on the plan.