Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Space Race Time, and LA is Rockin!

We've been following the Transit Space Race for over a year now and more cities keep jumping into the race. Yesterday Los Angeles vaulted into the upper tier of the race with an announcement of their long range plan. We've covered them before, but there are some extra goodies in the announcement. Now if we could only get increased federal funding for rail projects...

From Curbed LA:

Strategic Unfunded Projects
Tier 1: Currently Under Planning or Environmentally Cleared/Route Refinement Study

-Regional Connector
-Metro Subway Westside Extension to La Cienega
-Harbor Subdivision Alternate Rail Technology between LA Union Station and Metro Green Line Aviation Station
-Metro Subway Westside Extension to City of Santa Monica
-Burbank/Glendale Light Rail from LA Union Station to Burbank Metrolink Station
-Metro Gold Line Eastside Extenstion from Atlantic/Pomona Station to City of Whittier
-Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Sierra Madre Villa Station to Azusa
-Metro Green Line Extension from Redondo Beach Station to South Bay Galleria
-Metro Gold Line Extension from Sierra Madre Villa Station to Montclair
-Metro Green Line Foothill Extension between Norwalk Station and Norwalk Metrolink Station
-Mero Green Line Extension to LAX
-West Santa Ana Branch ROW Corridor Maglev between LA Union Station and Santa Ana Metrolink Station

Tier 2
-Metro Red Line Extension from North Hollywood Station to Burbank Airport Metrolink Station
-Vermont Corridor Subway
-"Yellow" Line Light Rail between Metro Red Line North Hollywood Station and Regional Connector
-I-405 Corridor Busway between Metro Orange Line Sepulveda Station and Metro Green Line Aviation Station
-"Silver" Line Light Rail between Metro Red Line Vermont/Santa Monica Station and City of La Puente
-Metro Green Line Extension from LAX to Expo Santa Monica Station
-SR-134 Transit Corridor Bus Rapid Transit between Metro Red Line North Hollywood Station and Metro Gold Line Del Mar Station
-Metro Green Line Extension between South Bay Galleria and Pacific Coast Hwy Harbor Transitway Station


Scott said...

Sure, this looks impressive. Yes, indeedy.

And, it is impressive, really. But, remember, this is a 30 year plan.

In the past 30 years (since 1977), what has LA built?
Blue Line from Long Beach to Downtown
Gold Line from Downtown to Pasadena (originally supposed to be connected)
Red Line from Downtown to North Hollywood (subway)
Purple Line from Downtown to Mid-Wilshire (part of Red Line, really)
Green Line from Norwalk to not-quite the LA Airport
Orange Line BRT from North Hollywood to Woodland Hills
Metro Rapid System (psuedo-BRT, really express bus lines)
Metrolink commuter rail system

Also in the pipeline (definitely will be built) are:
Gold Line extension to East L.A.
Expo Line Downtown to Culver City
More Metro Rapid lines

Okay, sounds pretty impressive. Metrolink is pretty far-reaching, with almost 500 miles of routes.
But the mass transit rail (MetroRail) has 72 miles right now, with a total of 92 miles due by 2015. That's for the number 2 metro area in population in the USA.

We really should have more than that, and 72 miles built in 25 years or so is not that great. With this rate of construction, we'll have 150 miles in the next 30 years, which should be just about right, and should put us just above Chicago (but well below New York) for the size of the system. But for the number people we have living here, and will be moving here over 30 years, it's really not that impressive.

I guess I can live with that, but does it really have to take 30 more years????

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I agree Scott. Beijing is building like 200km in 5 years all subway or something like that. We need new policy that stops spending money on freeways that carry single passenger vehicles and start investing in transit. Watch closely for updates on the next transportation bill in 2009. Something has to change so we can speed up these projects.

arcady said...

I think what LA really needs is a system in the spirit of BART or WMATA, in the sense that it would be planned as a single unified system and ridership projections made on that basis, rather than building many one-off lines. I suspect that the MTA planners secretly agree and would love to work on a single unified system but can't due to the way the process and politics works out. I suspect things will start changing when the subway starts running down Wilshire, bringing rapid transit to the single busiest corridor in LA, and giving people a real alternative to burning increasingly expensive gas sitting in traffic jams. And besides, it's not like NYC Subway was built in a decade either: it was more like 40 years, and I think I can safely predict that by 2028, LA will have a whole lot more transit than it does now.