Motion will go before the full MTA Board for vote next Thursday
Acting on a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe and Santa Monica City Councilmember Pam O'Conner, a committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today advanced to the full MTA board for consideration the setting aside of about $5 million to complete an environmental clearance process that would set the stage for connecting the Crenshaw Transit Corridor project with the larger regional plan.
The full MTA board is scheduled to vote Thursday, May 28, on the recommendation by the MTA's Planning and Programming Committee to use Measure R dollars and other appropriate funding options to finalize the Harbor Subdivision South Bay Corridor environmental clearance process.
Convinced that connecting the Crenshaw Transit Corridor project with the larger regional plan provides greater benefits in long run transportation goals, the MTA committee has suggested including the money in the 2010 budget in anticipation of the Green Line Extension.
"It is important that we evaluate all of our options and have them in a higher state of readiness so that new funding opportunities can be taken advantage of once they occur," Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.
Last month, the Supervisor led newly-appointed MTA Chief Executive Officer Arthur T. Leahy on a tour along the Crenshaw Transit Corridor, part of the major project to improve public transit services in the area. The Supervisor directed the tour of proposed transit stops that began at the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza and traveled through the communities of Leimert Park, Park Mesa/Hyde Park, Inglewood, and LAX.
Mobility requirements in the corridor have been well documented in many studies for more than 15 years, including the Crenshaw-Prairie Corridor Preliminary Planning Study (1994), the Route Refinement Study (2000), the Major Investment Study (2003), and the 2004 Regional Transportation Plan.
The Crenshaw Corridor extends approximately 10 miles from Wilshire Boulevard on the north to El Segundo Boulevard on the south. The overall goal of the proposed project is to connect Crenshaw with existing lines, such as the Metro Green Line, the Exposition Light Rail Line -- which is currently under construction -- and the "Subway to the Sea" down Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles International Airport and communities in the South Bay.
The Harbor Subdivision is a freight rail corridor, approximately 26 miles in length that traverses southwest Los Angeles County from Vernon to Wilmington. In the early 1990's, Metro purchased the portion of the corridor between Redondo Junction and Watson Yard, along with several other rail rights-of-way, to further the development of the region's rapid transit system.
Metro has initiated an Alternatives Analysis Study for the Harbor Subdivision Transit Corridor to examine potential transit service along the Metro-owned Harbor Subdivision. The goals of the study include the following:
Â¥ Improving mobility in southwestern Los Angeles County by introducing high-frequency transit service options;
Â¥ Enhancing the regional transit network by interconnecting existing and planned rapid transit lines, such as Crenshaw;
Â¥ Providing an alternative mode of transportation for commuters currently using the congested I-405 and I-110 corridors;
Â¥ Improving transit accessibility for residents of communities along the corridor;
Â¥ Encouraging a mode shift to transit, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.