Opinion: Green Line to get some green


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The Green Line in South Los Angeles may be the oddest light-rail line in California, notorious for going from nowhere to nowhere. Sen. Jenny Oropeza, one of the key lawmakers who has been blocking progress on a ballot measure that would improve L.A. County’s public transit system, wants credit for changing that. Because of her obstructionism, there’s a good chance that the Green Line will run from somewhere to nowhere. Yippee.

Oropeza, a Democrat out of Long Beach, is one of several local politicians who have been holding Measure R -- a ballot initiative that would impose a half-cent sales tax increase on L.A. County residents to pay for public transit -- hostage. Like most of the others, Oropeza wanted to make sure a good share of the proceeds went to her district. Today, she sent out a news release crowing that AB 2321, which would place Measure R on the ballot, now includes language guaranteeing funding to extend the Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport. The bill, with the opposition from Oropeza and others withdrawn, has now passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee.


The Green Line runs along the 105 Freeway in South L.A. from Norwalk to... almost... LAX, and then south to Redondo Beach. Bizarrely, it stops two miles short of the airport. Fixing that might end a historical oddity and make life a little easier for airport workers, but it won’t do much to improve traffic around LAX or ridership on the Green Line. Those who take the line to the airport are mostly people who work there, not the thousands of airline passengers driving to the airport daily, very few of whom are coming or going from Lynwood.

Oh well. Oropeza got what she wanted, and as a result, L.A. voters might get a chance to vote on the sales-tax measure. Whether it will end up funding the most needed projects, rather than the ones with the most powerful political backing, is another matter.

* Photo by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times